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Alright, I'm on an Allegiant flight with no Wifi, I'm drinking Mich Ultra because this apparently passes for a quality beer on Allegiant and I have nothing better to do so here comes the final installment of the Wildwood report!


Obviously I can't post this from this plane, so if you're reading this it means we landed at some point (probably last week because it'll take me forever to post this). Hooray for us!!! We survived a flight on Allegiant Airlines. It's like the TPR Klassy Cruise, only in the sky with a much greater chance of death.


Anyway, on to Wildwood... we woke up on Sunday in our weird a** hotel and decided to take advantage of the late checkout time and hit the beach while we still had time to go back and shower off. Despite what I've heard about the Jersey Shore, the beach was very clean and we had a great morning swim. Given the fact that Wildwood's Beach is "yuge", you can walk out seemingly forever which was definitely a cool change from Rehoboth where (because of the steep drop off) you basically walk out to where you can comfortably stand and prepare to run towards large waves with reckless abandon if you don't intend to spend the next few seconds of your life getting your a** kicked. This felt more like a Carolina beach where waves broke way out in front of you and fizzled out way before they reached you. Very cool.



Great morning for a swim.

Once we got that out of our system, we went back to the hotel to shower, checked out and headed to the boardwalk where we dicked around in the arcade for a bit before meeting up with Boldikus for a few more rides and drinks.



Brit showing off her swag from the arcade during another Orange Crush pit stop.

After our crushes we decided to hit "It" and the Flume one last time before eventually saying goodbye to Boldikus, checking out a few gift shops and finally deciding to brave the Garden State Parkway and head back home.



This candy shop on Mariner's Pier may look normal, but those candy themed posts are actually supports for their Boomerang coaster. I love how they piled everything on top of each other and managed to make it look good.

We made our way back to the car and decided that since we were finally on the Jersey shore we needed to hit a few more shore parks on the way back. We knew none of them would be as good as Wildwood, but we were in the area so why not.



Next time maybe we'll stay at this hotel. Brit seemed to like it for some reason.

We though of hitting Atlantic City but we sort of liked being alive so we decided to skip it. Ocean City looked intriguing but with Gale Force being a f*cking turd we decided to pass that also.


We ventured further north in our search for a park to visit, passing park after park but we were running out of options. Scattered storms moved in and looking at the radar we assumed most parks had closed their rides. We had almost give up hope when suddenly... as if it were a sign from above... a slight aroma of hair gel and spray tan started to fill the air. A quick glance at the radar showed a clearing over Seaside heights and we knew it was finally time to break out the grenade whistles, polish our fist pumps and GTL our way over to the greatness that is... Seaside Heights.


lol.thumb.jpg.cfc3354e4e53a8afd8d7772aa1c427b5.jpgOH YEAH SEASIDE YEAH OH YEAH SEASIDE YEAH (taken at the Shore Store under the Jersey Shore house deck).


Okay, I admit it... I watched that show. I hate reality TV but this wasn't the typical fake, scripted reality TV crap, this show might as well have been a documentary about Seaside because it was EXACTLY the way it was portrayed in the show. Locals will say otherwise, but deep down they know I'm right.


shorehouse.thumb.jpg.5e38a6f75b6e196f5682b1521fa54e80.jpgOH YEAH SHORE HOUSE YEAH... our fist pump game is sh*t. I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing... I'm going with good.


Anyway, after checking out the Shore house we decided to head over to the pier.



On the Boardwalk.

Our visit was pre-Hydrus, but that doesn't mean you have to go sounding the grenade whistle because the pride and joy of Seaside was beckoning and we happily coughed up the ten bucks to ride (at the time) Seaside's only coaster... the Pirate Coaster!


Okay... real talk, wtf???? I firmly believe in my heart that Hurricane Sandy was punishment for Snookie reproducing but the final candle on the f*ck you cake was the fact that the hurricane destroyed an entire amusement park and every coaster in Seaside EXCEPT for this thing. Really? You couldn't have put it out of it's misery?


It's come to my attention that since our visit the park has placed the ride at the very end of the pier and honestly... thank god. Hopefully there's never another hurricane like Sandy but if there is Casino Pier has made absolutely sure that the his thing will finally collapse into the ocean and become a coral reef which would be a dramatic improvement.


Alright, let's get into all the reasons this coaster sucks.


#1 It's rough as sh*t


#2 The lap bar sucks, maybe it's there so that all the locals who skipped leg day to work on their sick f*cking chest pumps because they thought making sure the guns were hugging the sleeves was more important than a balanced workout would be punished with excruciating leg pain, I don't know.





Seriously... you go into a metal box, it beats the crap out of you and there isn't a single stuffed pirate, animatronic pirate, painting of a pirate, picture of a pirate, guy who looks like a pirate, guy who has an eye patch because he hurt himself getting black out drunk and falling off the deck at club Karma... nothing. After experiencing the amazing Pirate filled voyage on the high seas that is Pirates of Wildwood we were pissed. WTF Seaside?


After our Pirate Adventure where (to be fair) we were pillaged and looted for $5 which is at least sort of pirate-like, we decided to end on a high note and ride something that didn't suck.


In our mind, the absolute coolest thing about Seaside is the Casino Pier Sky Ride. For those unfamiliar, it's a sh*tty fixed grip, non Von roll imposter but it makes up for it by following the boardwalk and offering great views along the way.



Sky Coaster in mid-flight, the placement of that thing is awesome

The Sky Ride can actually be used as a method of transportation but for a few extra bucks you can ride it round trip and that's what we opted to do. We're traditionalists and if we were going to use any form of transportation to get around seaside we would call a cab, because yelling "CHAIRLIFT'S A HEA!!!" doesn't have the same ring to it.



I won't lie, this is super cool.

After we finally arrived back at the pier, we noticed that there were storms on the way and wanted to head over to Jenkinson's real quick and scoop up one more credit before heading home. We definitely had to rush to get there before the storm, but when it was so close by we had to give it a shot.



15 minutes? I think we can do this.

We arrived at Jenkinsons to see the rides still running despite the incoming storm. We pulled up to a meter right beside the Flitzer, purchased our tickets and got ready for our second Flitzer experience in as many days.



Flitzin' (is that a thing?)

Unlike the Wildwood Flitzer, this one was definitely a bit on the shady side. For one... it only had one seatbelt (instead of the "traditional" ten million that we had grown accustomed to in Wildwood). To make things even more strange, this one seemed to be missing the launch section and the seatbelt had to be worn over the shoulder like a car seatbelt. These guidos...


Anyway, the ride was a ton of fun (obviously, it's a Flitzer) and we were about to head out when we noticed a train full of full grown men riding the kiddy coaster. We rarely ride kids coasters, but since a bunch of dudes that looked like they could bench press a house and clearly GTL on the daily thought it was socially acceptable we figured we'd give it a go.



Here we are with our shameless credit.

The ride was surprisingly fun and after riding it we sort of understood why people didn't necessarily view it as a kids ride. It had some good laterals and was honestly a great time.


With credits in hand and a parking meter that was totally expired (but we got away with it... woohoo) we figured it was time to finally head home. Thanks again to Boldikus for convincing us to go and for showing us around. Wildwood was an absolute blast and I'd recommend it to anybody. The coasters themselves may not be amazing on paper, but the awesome flats, great food, great atmosphere and all around great vibe make Wildwood an awesome place.

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I was wondering where the heck the rest of your report was


I love reading your reports, and it always sounds like you have a blast.


at some point, we'll have to meet up at a park and hang!

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Nice trip report, Bill.


We watched that train wreck of a show, too. At first, we watched it out of sheer disgust. Then, it sucked us in. Ironically, the only time I ever see re-runs are when I'm working out at my department's gym. We're too cheap to pay $100/month for cable at home.

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We watched that train wreck of a show, too. At first, we watched it out of sheer disgust. Then, it sucked us in.


Same thing with us. It was all the buzz on social media when it first started and we planned to tune into a train wreck and of course got seriously hooked the very first episode. Watched it straight through to the very end religiously, and I hate to admit it, but all the spin offs, as well (gotta love Snooki and JWoww!).


It was certainly fun to watch.

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Our visit was pre-Hydrus, but that doesn't mean you have to go sounding the grenade whistle because the pride and joy of Seaside was beckoning and we happily coughed up the ten bucks to ride (at the time) Seaside's only coaster... the Pirate Coaster!


Lol I just watched a POV of that ride. What an absolute disaster of a rollercoaster!

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^^ Actually, that looks suspiciously like what the original Broadway Trip was.


I first saw it, and rode at age 9, on BT during the 1962 Seattle Worlds Fair midway.

Called GayWay too. Much fun!


I can't remember anything inside either. But much better ridden at night with no light in "the box".


By the way, awesome TR Bill!


On the right, in the photo. Broadway Trip = Pirates? And upper left, is my first Rotor and (house shaped) Haunted Swing, too!

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Nice end to your TR! That pirate coaster is something else... I definitely wasted 1 minute and 34 seconds watching the POV of that POS and feel sad that you paid actual money and wasted significantly more time riding it. Now, how long until we get something from your whirlwind FL trip?? Your fans are eagerly awaiting!

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I definitely wasted 1 minute and 34 seconds watching the POV of that POS and feel sad that you paid actual money and wasted significantly more time riding it.


Well, he did get a shiny new credit, and we all know that's all that matters anyway, right?

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Thanks everybody!


Nice end to your TR! That pirate coaster is something else... I definitely wasted 1 minute and 34 seconds watching the POV of that POS and feel sad that you paid actual money and wasted significantly more time riding it. Now, how long until we get something from your whirlwind FL trip?? Your fans are eagerly awaiting!


It'll be a little while but I'll get to it.


I don't want to do trip reports for all of our local park visits but for bigger trips I definitely will so my next order of business is our Memorial Day weekend road trip to Kings Island, Kentucky Kingdom, Holiday World, Coney Island and Cedar Point. I actually started it on the plane the other day, but knowing me it'll be awhile.

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I don't want to do trip reports for all of our local park visits but for bigger trips I definitely will so my next order of business is our Memorial Day weekend road trip to Kings Island, Kentucky Kingdom, Holiday World, Coney Island and Cedar Point. I actually started it on the plane the other day, but knowing me it'll be awhile.


Big trips need TRs so that's great news! I'll look for the Memorial Day trip to appear on the forum around October or November, then. LOL

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Okay everyone, brace yourselves… I’m about to do the unthinkable and actually write a trip report for a trip in the same year when the trip actually took place!


On our flight home from Florida I had had a few drinks and had started writing a Universal report with a DeLorean time machine joke that really tied the whole Universal thing together nicely before I came to the realization that I totally forgot that I needed to do a trip report from our Midwest road trip first so none of that sh*t would have made any sense so never mind. Now you’re getting a much less clever introduction.


I guess technically before I get into this I should mention that there are some trip reports that took place after our Wildwood trip that have already been posted elsewhere. If you want to follow along in order you should probably check them out, if you don’t care (and I assume you don’t, because I wouldn’t if I were you) then carry on.


Hersheypark with Boldikus and the gang from last October

Holiday in the Park with Boldikus from last December

(Boldikus is a recurring theme since I just let him write the reports since I’m a lazy a**. If left up to me they would have never got done).

Dollywood opening Day 2017 (I actually wrote this one… I couldn’t believe it either)

Six Flags Great Adventure Opening Day 2017

(after all that work I did on the Dollywood report I figured I’d take a much needed break and let Boldikus write this one too “for a change”. JRice, Lightnin Loops and nitoro make an appearance here too. It’s worth reading...


Anyway, I guess it’s time to actually get to the point (pun not intended, I really hate to be “that guy”)… our Memorial Day weekend Midwest trip 2017!



The plan... now watch me whip, now watch me backtrack.

I guess I should probably start out by saying that this trip almost didn’t happen. I normally hate to waste 3 day weekends by staying home but we had a Florida trip coming up 2 weeks later and were really on a tight budget. Luckily thanks to Choice Privileges we had just earned a ton of bonus points and realized we could easily do a 4 day / 4 night road trip without spending a dime on hotels.


In addition to this, since Brit has a Prius and we already had Cedar Fair passes we realized we wouldn’t need to spend much on gas or park admission either. After playing around with some ideas we came up with a plan that included Kings Island, Kentucky Kingdom, Holiday World, Coney Island and Cedar Point. Kentucky Kingdom, Holiday World and Coney Island were new to us, we had been to Kings Island but were itching to try out the new hotness and there was absolutely nothing new at Cedar Point but there’s no way in hell I’d ever visit the state of Ohio and not go there so we threw that in too. A few days before we were set to leave we finally pulled the trigger on the trip, booked the hotels and packed the car for our trip to the heartland.



Fueling up for another road trip. We need one of these for the kitchen STAT!

We both took Friday off so our journey began Thursday afternoon. We both cut out of work a little early, I picked her up at her office and we were on our way to Ohio!



Gotta love truck stops...


Welcome to Ohio...

Our drive was pretty uneventful and we got to our hotel (which was about an hour from the park) around 11:00. After a good night’s sleep we got up, grabbed some waffles from the hotel breakfast and were at the park in time for Passholder early entry on Mystic Timbers and Diamondback!


Since we had already been to the park and since we were on a budget we decided against Fastlane. The park was sort of crowded, but aside from Mystic Timbers we didn’t wait more than 30 minutes for anything (well… except food) until our Beast night ride so it really wasn’t too bad.


As tempting as it was to marathon Diamondback since nobody was headed there, we couldn’t turn down the new, mystical hotness so we headed to Mystic Timbers and were greeted with a station wait. The line for the front didn’t look too bad so we decided to hop in that line and as soon as we did the ride immediately went down for 30 minutes.


The breakdown was an odd one, apparently someone leaned on the gate so it couldn’t close properly and maintenance ended up going down below the station and banging on a bunch of sh*t in order to fix it. Eventually they got it working (to an eruption of cheers) and 5 minutes later we boarded the train.



Ready for the "mysticalness"

The journey up the lift hill was pretty cool as they had speakers everywhere warning you not to go in the shed with an ominous music bed in the background. The ride paused at the top for suspense and a few seconds later we were barreling down the drop on a mystical, timberous adventure.


I’ll save you the play-by-play of the ride but it’s a lot of fun. The location is great and the ride has that typical fast, out of control feeling with a smattering of floater airtime hills that we’ve come to expect from GCI. The tunnel on the turnaround is cool and that weird trick track section before the shed is a cool moment also.


As for the shed, I actually thought it was really cool because I had set my expectations accordingly but I think I’m in the minority on that. Brit thought it was dumb as hell, and the riders behind us could all be heard loudly voicing their disappointment on the way back into the station, usually with statements like “that was it?” or the more traditional… “what the f*ck was that sh*t?!?!?!?!”


As for the ride itself, it was a lot of fun. There was nothing mind blowing about it (I’d say it’s an average GCI) but it was an absolute laugh fest and it would be a great addition to any park’s lineup. I think I probably prefer Diamondback, Banshee, Bat and (if it’s night time) Beast but it’s definitely an upper tier ride for the park and most importantly it’s a LOT of fun. It does have the dumbest name of any coaster on earth though.



This ride is really hard to photograph from inside the park.

Since it was next door and had a 5 minute wait, our next stop was Diamondback. I’m pretty sure this is my favorite B&M hyper. It delivers really impressive air for a B&M and everything it does seems to be slightly more abrupt and forceful than most of it’s counterparts. I absolutely love this thing and highly recommend the very last row. Not only does it offer great airtime but you can extend your hand backwards during the splashdown and grab a handful of water to throw at your riding partner. That’s one of my favorite parts of the ride but I don’t know if Brit would agree.



SKLOOOOOOOOSH!!!!! Oh sorry, wrong park.


Following that we just sort of walked around with no real plan. We made our way over to Beast and snagged a quick ride in the back row. As always it provided a great ride. It seems to be running pretty smooth (by Beast standards) and I’ll never get tired of it’s weird a** layout. After our Beast ride, we finally decided to head up to Action zone (hitting Adventure Express on the way of course) to tackle Banshee and Bat.


I knew I liked Banshee but it was even better than I remembered it. I love that you can now pick your seat since it’s definitely a front seat ride and while the elements themselves are forceless and floaty (which isn’t a bad thing), I love how the low sections of the ride all seem to pull a ton of g forces as the ride transitions between the elements. I also love how the changes in elevation are so drastic that at certain points you actually experience noticeable temperature differences as you dive into the valleys. This ride is an absolute home run.



This is as "artsy" as I get. Take it or leave it...

Bat continues to be the most underrated ride in the park and probably our favorite ride at Kings Island aside from the 2 big B&M’s. We rode it a few times and it was absolutely flying every single time. God I love this thing.


At this point we were getting pretty hungry but it was becoming obvious that getting lunch would be quite an ordeal. Since it was the Friday of Memorial Day weekend the park was crowded, but they also had tons of staffing problems. To their credit, they did bring in food trucks to try to alleviate this problem but they could only do so much. The vast majority of food locations in the park were closed and every place that wasn’t had a line at least 30 people deep.



Either this chicken comes with a side of cocaine or the park is a "tad" understaffed today.

We figured since we had to wait anyway we might as well go to a food truck. Not only would the food likely be much better but they would also have much more efficient employees than Kings Island would and that turned out to be a good move. I don’t remember the name of the truck we went to, but we got pulled pork sandwiches and they were quite tasty.


I’ll be honest, I don’t really remember the order in which we rode everything after lunch. We really had a pretty laid back day and sort of just hit rides as we came to them or made spur of the moment decisions about what to ride. We skipped Flight of Fear and Backlot since we can ride them at Kings Dominion (even though we’re big fans of both). We skipped Firehawk because of it’s wait time and we skipped Racer (cry about it), the hang and bang boomerang train wreck and Vortex because we had no real desire to ride any of them. We did manage a ride on Adventure Express (which is as awesomely terrible as always) re-rides on Mystic Timbers and Diamondback and rides on some non-coaster rides like Windseeker, Boo Blasters, Drop Tower and Delirium.



Great ride! Diamondback is okay too...

By that point it was starting to get dark and we realized we needed to start planning out our night so we could get in line for the Beast at night and give ourselves a good chance for the front row.


We still had time for a few more rides, and while I’d managed to control myself for most of the day there was no way in hell we were going to spend a day at Kings Island without running for our lives with Charlie Brown so we headed over to the flume.


While I love this ride (as I love every Flume) this one was never one of my favorites. It spends most of it’s time aggressively banging into the trough and rolling down the track rather than floating. It’s also the most drenching flume this side of Ripsaw Falls. I guess when you’re racing for your life you don’t have time for floating when you can be hauling a** and slamming into sh*t so I’ll give it a pass.


All in all it was still a great ride despite my complaints, most of all I’m just thrilled that the park opted to keep it around since this time last year it’s future was very much in doubt.


Once we finished flumin’ it up we were up against the clock but we realized we had time for one more Banshee and Bat ride before heading over to the Beast so we headed towards Action Zone (noticing that the park was opening tons of additional food locations as more and more staff started to arrive late in the day) and had another great ride on each before heading back towards Beast.



Yeah, we're soaked... lol

One unfortunate thing about Kings Island in late May is that because it’s so far west it really doesn’t get completely dark until 10:00 so as much as we wanted night rides on Bat, Mystic Timbers and Banshee that really wasn’t to be. We got off of Bat at 9:15 PM and the sun hadn’t even completely set yet. Despite the fact that it wasn’t a night ride, it was still awesome so no complaints here.


After we got off Bat it was finally time to cap off our great day in the best way possible, with the best night ride in the world. We had been posting updates on Facebook all day long and had tons of messages telling us how we needed to ride Mystic Timbers at night but we only get to this park once every few years so we had absolutely ZERO interest in that stupid bullsh*t.


We got to Beast around 9:30 because we were hoping to get there early enough for a front seat ride. This is always a bit of a balancing act because on one hand you need to get there late enough that it’s dark when you get on the ride, but on the other hand you need to get there early enough that you can wait for the front since everyone else wants the same seat you do.


Our wait time was about 90 minutes since the ride suspends operation for about 30 minutes for the nightly fireworks show (which by the way was the most piss poor firework show I’ve ever seen in my life). Even without that the line was still the longest we saw all day. Everyone knows the Beast is the place to be at night.



Terrible fireworks from the Beast queue. Unlike the Beast, Windseeker likes to live dangerously...

As we were standing in the station, I kept seeing flashes in the sky. I kept rationalizing that they were camera flashes from nearby rides or something harmless but when we were about 3 trains away from boarding it started raining and the park’s PA system broke in with an announcement about severe weather, the national weather service, and some other ominous bullsh*t (we couldn’t make it all out from the Beast station).


We thought we were screwed, but the ride ops seemed absolutely determined to keep rolling trains and get everyone on the ride before they were forced to shut down. Security and a few higher ups were standing on the exit platform to sweep the park after the last train and we were worried that at any minute they would cut it off so we gave up on our front row ride (which wasn’t looking likely anyway) and headed for the back seat.


It’s hard to describe the relief we felt when our train rolled out of the station and we knew it was too late for them to let some trivial bullsh*t like common sense or some a**holes who don’t know sh*t about weather like the so called “National Weather Service” stop us from experiencing a Beast night ride.


It was lightly raining as we headed up the world’s slowest lift hill and we could see flashes in the sky but we were facing away from the approaching storm so it didn’t seem too bad. The anticipation built and built until finally we dropped off the lift and started our OMFG insane journey through the woods.


There’s nothing like the Beast at night, nothing. It sounds corny but this ride honestly feels like it’s alive at night. We spent most of the ride barreling through the woods unable to even see our hands in front of our faces but the occasional flash of lightning illuminated everything and served to make it even more awesome than it already was.


When we reached the second lift, we were facing the incoming storm and got to watch a REALLY impressive display of lightning on the way up. The entire thing was so surreal that I really don’t even know how to describe it but it perfectly set the tone for the amazing helix finale. I swear, that helix really feels like the ride is actively trying to rip itself apart. It’s an unbelievable end to an unbelievable coaster and as we pulled into the station the entire train was cheering like crazy. I think everyone was fully aware of how lucky we were to get a Beast night ride in a thunderstorm and I’m sure that’s not a ride that anyone on that train would soon forget.



Mystic what?

As we exited the train we were still riding high, but as we started down the ramp the park music cut off and was once again replaced with the National Weather Service announcement about 70 MPH winds, quarter sized hail and a category 5 sh*t storm.


We were quickly reminded of the fact that we were in the very back of the park and had to walk all the way to the front and then all the way to our car which was almost at the big Kings Island sign by the highway. It was raining, but not pouring yet so we absolutely threw out the Cedar Fair “no running” rule and booked it out of there. Honestly I think they would have happily made an exception in this scenario.


The rain picked up a little bit it still wasn’t too terrible until we were about 100 feet from the car when the sky opened up and entered into full SKLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH mode. We were THAT close to escaping relatively unscathed but by the time we got to the car we were dripping wet.


Honestly though, neither of us cared all that much. We only had a 20 minute ride to our hotel and it was more than worth it for the most unforgettable coaster ride of our lives…


Up next: Kentucky Kingdom, Holiday World and some more crazy weather that would make Bill Paxton sh*t himself in his grave. Gotta love the Midwest!

Edited by coasterbill
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"Either this chicken comes with a side of cocaine or the park is a "tad" understaffed today."


Comments like this make coasterbill's trip reports so entertaining for me. Just waiting for the next installment now. Always enjoy visiting KI and getting some Graeter's ice cream too.

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^ yay!


great update, and tho loving the rain/beast story (reminds me of when we ran to the car in pouring rain from BGT, and *then* remembered in the car that we both had ponchos in our back pockets (D'oh!)). . . not any alcohol consumed during the day?


not that y'all needed it, and I'm jealous as all hell that y'all are able to just book and go on short notice.


but I can't help but think a nice rum punch (or Midouri sour) would have made the day that much more special.






(and I like how you divide up your text w/ pictures. . . I don't seem to be able to do that. . my brain won't let me. . LOL. . so my reports always end up w/ big block of descriptive text, followed by pics).

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(and I like how you divide up your text w/ pictures. . . I don't seem to be able to do that. . my brain won't let me. . LOL. . so my reports always end up w/ big block of descriptive text, followed by pics).


I would really like to know how you did this, too. I've seen it done by others, including yourself, enjoy TRs a bit more that way (my own TRs are done like Bert's... text first, then the photos). So...Thanks In Advance!!!


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Thanks guys! You can do it with the "place inline" button once you upload an attachment. It takes longer, but I find that I prefer reading trip reports that are set up that way so I figured I'd do the same.


I'm jealous as all hell that y'all are able to just book and go on short notice.


Yeah, our trips are often really spontaneous. I know that's not for everyone but it works really well for us.


If you fly or use any mode of transportation besides a car you obviously can't be as spontaneous, though we're pretty spontaneous then too as evidenced by this actual conversation from last Monday where 5 minutes after receiving a random promotional email from Allegiant we had already booked another trip to visit Sea World and Busch Gardens in the fall...




But road trips by their very nature are designed to be spontaneous. We always wait and see what the weather is supposed to do before spending any money because honestly why wouldn't you? We booked most of our hotels either one day in advance or (on 2 occasions) I was just booking through the Choice app while in line for one of the rides at one of the parks.


There's virtually no benefit to booking hotels in advance unless you need a very specific room / hotel. It's incredibly rare that you ever arrive somewhere where every hotel is booked solid, even on a Holiday weekend. I don't book in advance because there's no reason to and that allows for a lot more flexibility.

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You haven't experienced this yet, but when you need to fit 2 adults and 3 kids into a single hotel room, you'd better book in advance. Often there are maybe a dozen hotels in even a big city that allow that, and a lot of them are expensive. For us with 3 kids, that's a big deal. A sh*tty hotel breakfast? Great, saves us $50. Kids, here's your bread, bread, and bread, with a side of bread.


Before we had kids, Julie and I did trips like you do. We even went to Canada once on a "we'll figure it out when we get there" trip. Just made sure we had passports, and that was the only preparation. That was back when a phone was just a phone too, because we're old, so we had to look at vacancy signs of hotels we were driving past.


Anyway, I'm enjoying the trip report in nearly real time!

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Awesome report, Bill!! Top quality as always, including the new classic:


It’s hard to describe the relief we felt when our train rolled out of the station and we knew it was too late for them to let some trivial bullsh*t like common sense or some a**holes who don’t know sh*t about weather like the so called “National Weather Service” stop us from experiencing a Beast night ride.


Man, and I thought I was lucky with a night ride in the front row with fog and rain. A friggin' thunderstorm with lightning? I can't imagine it getting any better than that.

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Great report as always! Glad to hear Mystic Timbers is a nice addition. I just hope it ages well.


Your thoughts on the flume are pretty similar to mine. I saved that unsuspecting little flume until the end of the day and couldn't believe how soaked it got me. The icing on the cake is how Snoopy blows that stream of water at you in the end. At that point, I was just in disbelief how wet I was.


I have to disagree on Diamondback as it's the worst of the B&M hypers I've been on (and that includes Raging Bull). The first three hills give great air and I love the ride's setting but that trim brake sapped all of the speed and air from the ride. I've only made one visit to Kings Island so I hope I just caught it on a bad day since it seems to universally be considered one of the best B&Ms.

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Gotta love truck stops...


Did you happen to get into any of the gift shops or pancake houses in Pigeon Forge? They're a mix of the shirts you featured with a ton of Jesus/God rip-off sh#t thrown in for good measure. Freaking hilarious to spend time gawking at just how seriously stupid the t-shirts are.


The night ride on Beast with a thunderstorm approaching would have been awesome - even better with a buzz, but yeah...I wouldn't have waited that long to get a beer either. That's why they need more beer cart vendors in parks so you can just walk up and get a (decent) beer just about anywhere in the park without waiting in some long-a$$ line.


That's why I love that CP has added more beer vendors in different areas of the park in recent years. If I recall, there were only a select few places to get beer at KI, but I admit that we did spend more time than we probably should have at the Bier Garten during our last couple of visits (including Banshee Bash).


Looking forward to the rest of the report!

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