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Coasterbill's Alcohol, Coaster and Culture Trip Reports Land

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^First, hello from a former resident of Stanislaus County (Patterson, on the West Side).

Small world.


I live out in dairy country between Modesto and Crows Landing. I go to Patterson several times a week. If it's been many years since living here, you'd barely recognize the Patterson of today. It was a small town in my youth(my dad and grandpa would tale me to the Portuguese festa there) and now its got a Walmart supercenter, Walgreens, CVS, Save Mart, Amazon distribution center, and more than a dozen fast food joints. It still amazes me how quick it expanded.


That peach festival is a pretty major event now. Traffic congestion during it is bat poop crazy.


It also has a fairly high crime rate now. Past few years a lot of robberies. Funniest being the time two guys tried robbing the bank near Walmart. THey left their car running, went inside, someone noticed what they were doing, opened their car door to turn the engine off and take the keys, they panicked and took off running(without any money), and cops nabbed them minutes later.

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That's a very interesting concept. Is this the first time such a thing has happened or a yearly event at some parks?


I'm single so if something like this were to happen near me(CGA or SFDK), I'd consider it. Now that my long dead interest in amusement parks/coasters has been resurrected, I'd love to meet someone with that identical interest.

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I feel like this could attract some interesting people. I can see this now:


Guy- "Hi nice to meet you."

Girl- "Don't you wish we could be on an Intamin instead?"

Guy- "Yeah B&M sucks."

Girl- "Anything after 2000 is forceless."

Together- "We're almost atop the 120 foot lift hill and now we're going to go through 5 inversions."

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Bill, great and funny report as always!


The Pretzel Dogs and the Fury Bacon Pretzel are manna from heaven, and I couldn't agree more with your assessment of Kumba. It really is an amazing ride (my favorite parts are the zero-g roll and that awesome little "course adjustment' hump before the Cobra Roll.)


Thanks again for posting!

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Awesome report Bill. Congrats on making the home page! Sucks you had a minor snafu with Allegiant, but it still sounds like it was well worth the cost difference. I'm envious of not only your ability to find such enjoyment in parks, but the fact that you guys seem to have a minimalist attitude. I'll explain by saying that I'm no marathoner when it comes to coasters, but I need to at least ride my favorites a few times to feel fulfilled.


I have an Allegiant kind of horror story from last year when my sister and I flew down to Florida to meet our parents, who had flown down on Southwest a few days before us. (For those asking how we got back, we all flew Southwest together a week later.) Our flight was delayed about two hours out of Grand Rapids and they never bothered to update the info board at the airport. Also, once we got on the plane, we were on the ground for an hour before we actually took off. Two good things about Allegiant: It's cheaper than competitors (most of the time; even with all of their fees) and they fly into Sanford, which despite it being way out of Orlando (a solid hour plus to the main tourist strip) is a much more manageable airport to get around compared to MCO (within 10 minutes of getting off the plane, we had our luggage).

Horror stories are common with every airline.

Delta: During our honeymoon our Delta flight was so delayed that we missed our connection flight that was supposed to leave two hours after our initial arrival. We had two options: Fly to 3 other airports throughout the night on the "Red Eye" to get back to St. Louis at 8am OR Get put up in a hotel to get back on a plane in 6 hours, with another layover, to get back to St. Louis.


American Airlines: A couple weeks ago we flew into DC at 8pm and has a connecting flight to Norfolk at 930. We were informed our plane was down for maintenance when we were supposed to board. An hour later we were advised our flight was rescheduled to take off at 1120. At 1100 we were advised our plane was under maintenance review. At 1130 we were advised our flight was cancelled. They put us up in a Hyatt Recency overnight and rescheduled us on a 630 am flight. After 3 hours of sleep on our way back to the airport, using the Hyatt Shuttle, we received our flight was cancelled and rescheduled for 6pm with another layover, and an arrival time in Norfolk at 11pm. Instead of eating our Busch Gardens tickets, we rented a car and took the three hour drive to Norfolk. We received no refund.


Southwest Airlines: We arrived at Norfolk intending to fly back to St. Louis. We arrived to chaos in the small airport as a representative advised that a flight to Chicago (not ours thank God) was cancelled and best case scenario for getting everyone to Chicago was two days from then.


United Airlines: My parents' flight for 1pm was cancelled yesterday. Instead of getting back to St. Louis in the early afternoon they were back around midnight.


Air travel is a nightmare, period. We've decided that unless it's horridly inconvenient, we'll never do a layover again, as it makes you twice as likely to have a flight cancelled or delayed. Maybe even more, since you have the possibility of missing the layover all together. Our new plan is to always go for a one-way flight and cover the gap in a rental car. If the rental car from the major hub is too expensive, we're willing to drive a one day rental to a smaller airport or rental car location on the way to our destination and pick up a cheaper rental for the remaining days. This is what we did when we drove from DC to Norfolk, and picked up our cheaper one week rental from Norfolk. The difference for a one week rental in DC vs. a one week rental in Norfolk was $1100 compared to $275. It was worth driving an hour out of our way.

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Coasterbill, I ALWAYS make time to read your funny, fun, and fact-filled trip reports. And kudos for holding up in the 'summer South" - though, heck, you two are still youngsters!! What a great trip. Thanks for sharing!


Alice (Heat is not my friend)

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Thanks so much for the comments guys!!! I know I don't respond to them individually but I definitely appreciate them and I'm glad people find this mindless sh*t entertaining.




... anyway so here I am minding my own business at work doing absolutely nothing because there's nobody here and I get a text from Boldikus;



Full disclosure, I have Photoshop and have an associates degree and a bachelors degree in graphic design. I just chose to use Paint anyway because Paint makes everything better... (Rip MS Paint: 1985-2017)

... so I guess it's time to get this party started.


As I mentioned in my last report we spent this past weekend "down the shore" (as they say in Philly while eating Wawa hoagies and downing Miller Lite and PBR). By the way what is it with people from Philly and Miller Lite? I've asked a ton of them and even they don't know why they like it so much. I mean... it's fine, but calm down.


What were we talking about? Oh, yeah.


Our itinerary was a little bit flexible. We planned to spend the entire day on Saturday in Wildwood drinking a ton of beer and riding a ton of rides. After playing around with our options we decided to visit Six Flags Great Adventure for a few hours on Friday since Clementon park had pieces of roller coasters falling from the sky and Hyrdrus was on the news because of a routine lift stop so that pretty much ruled out any other options. Following our day in Wildwood on Saturday we decided to head back up the Garden State and hit a bunch of small seaside parks on Sunday.


When I woke up Friday morning I saw a message from ytterbiumanalyst that he'd be spending the day at Great Adventure (we had already planned to meet him the next day in Wildwood) so we made plans to meet up with him that night for a bull ride. We had work on Friday and had a few hour drive to the park so by the time we got down there it was already about 7:30 with a 10:00 close. Brit wanted to check out the Justice League ride since it was new for us and I wanted to ride El Toro so we went in expecting to ride those 2 things and figured everything else would be a bonus.


Initially we planned on heading right to Justice League, but when we approached the gate we found people handing out free Takis (the official snack of Skull Mountain and Intensity in general) so we decided to change our plans and start out with a ride on the mythical mountain. Sadly for us the ride was posting a long wait (which makes sense because people apparently appreciate pure brilliance when they see it) so we settled for a quick picture out front because we thought it would be fun to see how much intensity could be packed into a single photo. Apparently it's quite a bit...



Look at that all that f*cking intensity... look

Next up was Justice League which was posting about a 45 minute wait. When we approached the area we couldn't help but be impressed. The observatory, theater, restrooms and nearby restaurants all received a fresh coat of paint, the area recieved a ton of new concrete and overall everything looked great. With so much fresh paint and a distinct lack of rust I almost forgot I was at Great Adventure for a minute.



With all of this fresh paint and nice landscaping I really felt like I was in a Cedar Fair park and not at Six Flags. The fact that Sky Screamer was stuck at the top with riders doing a full blown Windseeker impression in the background only added to the illusion.

As I mentioned earlier, this was our first Justice League ride. One thing I noticed right off the bat was that the ride's capacity was absolutely miserable. The queue line wasn't overly long, but it moved at an absolute snail's pace. Luckily once you got inside the building there was an entertaining video to watch and (by Six Flags standards) some nice theming to look at.


When we finally got up to the station we were greeted with a pretty awesome animatronic. While not exactly on the level of the modern Disney and Universal animatronics it was pretty mind blowing for a Six Flags park. Honestly this doesn't seem like it would be that out of place at a Disney park in one of their older attractions, for a Six Flags animatronic that's pretty high praise. I also like that it's right near the ride operators and loading area because otherwise I'm sure it would have already been vandalized because... you know... Great Adventure.



This animatronic is awesome, hurry up and get to Great Adventure soon so you can check it out before it breaks.

After what seemed like ages due to the ridiculously slow moving line our vehicle finally pulled up and we hopped in. The ride started out in a pretty "six flags" way with the guys on the screen referencing some green fog or something that never appeared but that would really be the only hiccup (that I noticed) throughout the entire ride.


I have to say, I seriously felt like once we went through that door I was transported to Universal Studios. This ride is insane and honestly doesn't belong at Six Flags. I'm really worried about their ability to properly maintain this thing, but as it stands right now it's an amazing attraction.


The shooting system is awesome where the screen displays a beam coming out of the gun which is not only a cool visual but also a great way to keep track of which shots are yours and what target you're locked onto. Aside from that, the physical sets are also tremendously impressive with fire, fog and a cool barrel effect that's extremely low tech but also extremely effective.


It was all kind of a blur and we only got one ride, but overall I was absolutely in love with the thing and got off shocked that this ride actually existed in a Six Flags park. The ride system is cool, the video quality is amazing, the sets are cool, everything looks awesome and most importantly I beat the living crap out of Brit despite an endless amount of sh*t talking. Aside from that first effect it seemed like everything was working properly too which was a nice bonus.


Well, okay... not everything...



I'm a top 40% player!!!! Not bad for my first ride, also check out my sweet beard and awesome tan. Our Jersey Shore weekend was just beginning and I already took care of the T portion of our GTL plans.


No seriously... Six Flags apparently thinks this is me.

After admiring my new beard for awhile (it's f*cking slick right?!) we finally exited the ride where ytterbiumanalyst was waiting for us. We only had an hour at that point so we decided to abandon any plans of hitting Kingda Ka or Batman (which we were sort of hoping to do at some point) and instead grab a quick ride on Six Flags' most explosive coaster before heading to the bull.



It honestly feels weird riding this thing when it's above 50 degrees outside.

Nitro's line was extending to the covered walkway right in front of the station which gave us some time to take in the brilliant theming and come down from the theming high that Justice League had given us. Yup... this is the Great Adventure we all know and love.


Thanks to the ride's great capacity combined with some of the fastest dispatches I've ever seen on this ride we were in the back row within 10 minutes and strapped in for a Nitro night ride. Once the train was checked and ready to go, the ops gave the thumbs up and we were all set for what was sure to be an awesome night ride.


Unfortunately that excitement was short lived when rather than responding with the traditional "All clear means you're out of here enjoy your ride on Nitrah Brah, Six Flag's rustiest and most explosive coaster" (or something like that). he said "hold" and the train refused to move.


Hold? WTF is that? Did we break it? It wouldn't be the first time, but that's a real bummer when we're so short on time.


Luckily our concerns were all for nothing because a few seconds later our train left the station, went through that cool swoopy thing and started up the lift. As we started up the lift I stared out at the lake and the rest of the ride and couldn't help but notice how cool of a visual it was watching the train head over the first camelback on it's way out to the hammerhead turn with the sun setting in the background. Honestly there have been so many times where I've been heading up the Nitro lift and wishing I had a camera and that photos were allowed. Obviously I have no intention of ever sneaking one on the ride, but the views from this thing when the sun is setting are breathtaking.


... wait, the train was heading over the first camelback?!?!?! So that "hold" was because the other train was still on the lift? What the hell Six Flags? Did Jim Reid-Anderson show up at the Cedar Point dorms one night with a knife and kidnap the Gatekeeper crew? I've probably ridden Nitro more than any other coaster and never once have I seen them send a train that quickly. Holy crap!


As for the ride itself, it was as amazing as ever. I know some people hate on B&M hypers but I absolutely love Nitro, especially at night and I could honestly ride this thing all day. It seemed like ytterbiumanalyst was just as hyped up as we were after the ride, but I guess you'll have to stay tuned for his trip report to find out his final thoughts on it. As for us, we loved it.



Sorry Batman, you'll have to wait

At that point we were short on time so we figured it was probably time to head over to El Toro. We were sort of just walking around in the dark, shooting the sh*t, ytterbiumanalyst was letting us sort of lead the way since he didn't really know the park layout that well and in all the confusion of it being dark and him letting me lead the way we must have gotten lost or something and accidentally ended up at the Skyway instead. Oops! Why does that always happen to me?


At that point we figured it was best to cut our losses and just take the Skyway over to El Toro instead of walking. I felt really bad about accidentally screwing up our walking plans (it sounds like it was going to be a great walk... the best walk, that I can tell you) but this is the cross that I bear.



That's what you get for letting me lead the way...

When we finally touched down on the fort side we only had about 20 minutes left before the park closed so we headed over to El Toro, threw our stuff in a locker and hopped in a short 15 minute line for the bull.


While in line, we so no less than 3 idiots pull out their phone and immediately get escorted out of the line by security. Personally while I DO find this policy mildly annoying it's really not the end of the world and I don't understand why people have such a hard time following the rules. There was also a log jam of at least 20 people at the front of the queue trying to get through because people felt like arguing with the greeter. People are the worst.


Anyway, we scored a ride in the back car, taking the first row with ytterbiumanalyst taking the magic seat. As always, the ride was absolute perfection and an awesome way to end the night. No pictures unfortunately since my phone takes awful pictures at night and was in a locker anyway.


After our amazing bull ride, we said goodbye to ytterbiumanalyst (planning to meet up with him the next day in Wildwood) and started our hour long drive along the back roads of New Jersey to our hotel outside of Atlantic City.


Our hotel that night was a Quality Inn, which (ironically) was a little lacking in the quality department. Unfortunately there wasn't much of a choice since we needed a hotel that was close enough to Wildwood so that we could get up early and beat the hordes of people who were headed to the beach on Saturday morning but far enough away that the room rate was semi reasonable (a bad hotel in Wildwood on a Saturday generally runs you about $250... as we learned last year). Unfortunately our options were pretty limited and what this quality inn lacked in quality (lol), it made up for with convenience. Not only was it located adjacent to the Garden State Parkway (so it wasn't really "in" Atlantic city which explains why I'm still alive) but it was located next to a Wawa (which we remembered from last year) so our dinner plans were petty much set.


As I mentioned in my Cedar Point report, I've noticed that when hotels see that you have a Choice Privileges card and pretty decent member status they try to upgrade you to their best available room but with these weird ass hotels sometimes I sincerely wish they wouldn't because they're often weird as sh*t. This was one of those times...


Walking through the exterior-corridor (klass) we eventually reached our room, put the key in the door, nervously opened the door and... WTF?



Oh god... note the mirrors on the ceiling

Now, I know there are plenty of hotel rooms that exist for one reason and one reason only. There are plenty of super-nice hotel rooms in expensive mountain hotels / tropical islands / popular honeymoon destinations that have hot tubs in the rooms, sometimes shaped like hearts or champagne glasses... whatever. This however was a piece of sh*t exterior-corridor Quality Inn outside of Atlantic City, New Jersey right off the f*cking Garden State that came complete with a Jacuzzi with a bunch of mirrors above it that (I'm sure) is rarely cleaned.



If she wasn't already feeling freaky by the fact that you opted to spend your Atlantic City vacation in a sh*tty Quality Inn and meth lab 20 minutes outside of the city since the real hotels were too expensive, perhaps this electric, remote controlled fireplace next to the jacuzzi will help set the mood?

While the room itself would have been perfectly acceptable if not for the fake fireplace and Jacuzzi, it was hard to sleep while trying to shake the creepy feeling that there was at least a 900% chance that we were sleeping in the same nasty Jersey Shore, trashy hotel that Snooki and most likely at least 5 other members of the Jersey Shore cast were conceived in. I have no proof to back up that claim, but I'm almost positive that it's true. yuck...


Up next, Wildwood!!!

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Great update! Too bad you couldn't get to Clementon before Hellcat started falling apart. I had money on the park closing before the coaster would fall apart.


I stayed at that exact hotel in June! Did you actually try to fill the jacuzzi? When I tried doing it, I only had drips come out so you'd have to stay in the room as a prisoner all day to use it. Otherwise it was fine and cheap.

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Great update! Too bad you couldn't get to Clementon before Hellcat started falling apart. I had money on the park closing before the coaster would fall apart.


I stayed at that exact hotel in June! Did you actually try to fill the jacuzzi? When I tried doing it, I only had drips come out so you'd have to stay in the room as a prisoner all day to use it. Otherwise it was fine and cheap.


No I didn't try to fill the f*cking jacuzzi. I honestly didn't. want to touch it (or even go near it). You're a braver man than me.


I did turn on the fireplace though.

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Great update! Too bad you couldn't get to Clementon before Hellcat started falling apart. I had money on the park closing before the coaster would fall apart.


I stayed at that exact hotel in June! Did you actually try to fill the jacuzzi? When I tried doing it, I only had drips come out so you'd have to stay in the room as a prisoner all day to use it. Otherwise it was fine and cheap.


No I didn't try to fill the f*cking jacuzzi. I honestly didn't. want to touch it (or even go near it). You're a braver man than me.


I did turn on the fireplace though.


You're a braver man than me. You're weren't afraid of burning the place down?

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If I ever make it to Great Adventure will you be my tour guide? I can't afford the DoinItForTheFame tour prices he pays but i can pay you in beer throughout the day!



If Bill turns down your request, I'll happily volunteer to be paid in beer. I'll show you all the shortcuts and magic seats.

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Ha! thanks. If it is any more comforting to you I have a huge pet peeve with people who show up first thing in the morning smelling of sh*t. I just don't understand how that happens.


One day I will do a Hershey park, Knoebles, Great Adventure trip. Just have to wait until these damn kids are a little older.

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What's funny is that when Andrew originally messaged me earlier in the year asking if we'd want to meet up when he was in town his first message was something along the lines of "And I swear I bathe regularly cause I know how you guys are!"

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