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Photo TR: Credit Run in the Northeast


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They then proceeded to thoroughly search my entire trunk, which of course had my gym bag, work bag, travel bag, and a shovel (you can never be too prepared in New England)

 

I love that the thought of anyone actually wanting to go to La Ronde was so suspicious that they searched the trunk. Did they pull you over to the side parking area? If so that makes this story ten times better.

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Montréal is by far my most favorite city that I have been to. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to go there three times with my college band. We went over Columbus Day weekend to perform at the Alouettes (Canadian football team) game.

 

We would usually only arrive Saturday evening, do the game Sunday, then leave, so Saturday was the only free time we had. Despite such a short amount of free time, it was still amazing and there is always something different to do because the city has so much to offer. I usually took the Metro to get around which seemed to do a good job. I did go to the "La Ronde" island and look at the park, but didn't go in.

 

One of the funniest memories I have is that there was some sort of water fountain show near in a plaza near UQAM (Université du Québec à Montréal). There was some guy riding his bike around while looking at the fountains and a policeman kept trying to get his attention because he was riding around right over some fountains that happened to be off at the time. The policeman got him to move just before he got soaked or possibly even rocketed into the air on his bike (soaked is more likely)! It was unfortunate that he moved out of the way, because I really wanted to see what would happen, and it was so close!

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I wouldn't read too far into that, it sounds like it came down to whichever park spammed the link on it's Facebook page the most.

 

My opinion of that ride is that it's perfectly mediocre. Aside from the ugly ass low capacity trains that look like they got run over by a dump truck and the miserable operations there's nothing that makes the ride noteworthy, but it's not really all that bad either (though it's also far from good). If not for the atrocious operations, the fact that they usually run 1 train per side, the fact that the ride opens 2 hours late for no reason and the fact that they close the line super early to compensate for their hilariously miserable dispatch times the experience of riding it wouldn't be all that bad.

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I figured it was a Facebook popularity contest as well but I don't understand why the park would encourage people to vote for Monstre over Goliath.

 

Monstre and all of the rides (that were actually open) operated right up to closing, so maybe I just got lucky.

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Killington Resort

 

After a slow time crossing the border the night before (apparently a day trip to La Ronde looks odd), I spent the night at a hotel in Vermont and began the journey home. My journey home conveniently added Vermont's two mountain coasters. The first stop was the Killington Resort to ride the Beast Mountain Coaster.

 

Killington is a pretty popular ski resort in New England and the entire town was filled with ski shops and small restaurants. Finally I made it to Killington. Along with the mountain coaster, there were some other attractions such as bungee trampolines and dry sledding, but I was only there for the mountain coaster.

 

The Beast definitely was worth the visit. An Aquatic creation, the Beast is an above average mountain coaster. The lift hill traveled along side an open hill, but the downhill course was well covered in the woods. The descent lasted longer than several other mountain coasters and built up some pretty good speed, especially on a fairly large (for a mountain coaster) drop midway through the course. I think the larger drops are why I tend to prefer the Aquatic mountain coasters to the Wiegand ones.

 

Onto the photos!

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My chariot awaits.

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The Beast's station.

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Welcome to Killington!

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An overview of Killington's other offerings.

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This looked weird and claustrophobic.

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As you can see, the place was booming when I visited.

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Ah the Beast of the East. Once we get a little better at skiing we need to head up there in June to ski Superstar and ride the Mountain Coaster. This place is famous for making an ungodly amount of snow on one trail (Superstar), including a massive stockpile up top known as Superstar glacier, so they can try to stay open until June and win a dick waving contest with the other eastern ski resorts. They're always the first to open and last to close in the east and they're on my bucket list simply because of their arrogance. It's wonderful. Last year they were skiing superstar on 90 degree days.

 

Generally be the end of this the trail looks like this, but they ski it anyway.

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I think the larger drops are why I tend to prefer the Aquatic mountain coasters to the Wiegand ones.

 

I didn't notice it on my first Aquatic ride (it was very cold), but I agree now.

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^ I still need to try one of these in the winter. The coldest I've been on was the Berkshire Thunderbolt one at the end of October and it was 40ish out.

 

Ah the Beast of the East. Once we get a little better at skiing we need to head up there in June to ski Superstar and ride the Mountain Coaster. This place is famous for making an ungodly amount of snow on one trail (Superstar), including a massive stockpile up top known as Superstar glacier, so they can try to stay open until June and win a dick waving contest with the other eastern ski resorts. They're always the first to open and last to close in the east and they're on my bucket list simply because of their arrogance. It's wonderful. Last year they were skiing superstar on 90 degree days.

 

I didn't realize Killington did that, but it makes sense now. A few coworkers went there a few weeks ago after we had our first (and very small) snowfall. I've never skiied, but if I did a course that crazy would be at the top of my list. I wonder how close that is to the Beast coaster.

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Okemo Mountain Resort

 

About a half hour down the road from Killington is another mountain resort, Okemo. Killington seems more well known in the area for the skiing, but Okemo had a larger assortment of summer activities highlighted by the Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster. Okemo also had a ropes/adventure course, bungee jumping tower, air bag jump tower, mini golfing, and a few other activities. Finding the Adventure Zone area was a little challenging since the area is hidden from the parking lot, so be warned if you try and grab one of Vermont's only two credits.

 

The Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster is superior to its brother down the street. A Wiegand model, the Timber Ripper felt quite a bit taller than many of the other ones I've been on. The lift hill lasted an eternity like usual, but I definitely noticed the lift being steeper. Once the train crested the lift, the cart absolutely hauls it down the mountain through the first half. The turns have some really powerful laterals if you don't brake (and if you're on this site, I'm assuming you don't). However, there is then this long, straight flat section where the cart loses a lot of speed. The cart thankfully picks it back up for the end, but I just wish it didn't have that lull. It's still in the top third of mountain coasters I've been on, but it had the potential to be the top one without that section. I should also note, that this review covers my second ride. My first ride was ruined by an incredibly slow cart that was braking the whole way down. When the staff noticed this, they gave me a second lap for free which was much appreciated.

 

I also decided to try the Big Air Bag jump. They didn't really go over the proper form for jumping. They used to have an older airbag where form was critical, but the new one made it safe to land either back or feet first. I have to say, despite only being 20 feet up, this was a heck of a lot scarier than a roller coaster. The jump was definitely a rush and I'm glad they have the new air bag since I completely butchered my form and landed feet first.

 

Onto the photos!

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Okemo Resort! The Adventure Zone is hidden behind that lodge.

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The absolutely terrifying air bag jump. I have lots of respect for movie stunt men.

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Mountain coasters are an absolute pain to photograph. But like most of them, this one had a really nice setting.

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Obligatory station shot.

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Okemo's summer area was larger than Killington. In the top left you can see the Timber Ripper coaster, which is one of the best mountain coasters I've come across.

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Gunstock Mountain Resort

 

I actually visited this one before my trip to Canada, but forgot to post it. Gunstock just opened a mountain coaster (like a lot of the northeast ski resorts) in mid-August. I made it up within a week of the ride's opening to try it out. I had never been to Gunstock before, but it's a really nice resort with the aforementioned mountain coaster, an insane air bag ride, and a super long zipline.

 

Named the Mountain Coaster, Gunstock's model is another Wiegand and it's pretty average as far as mountain coasters go. The ride has a great setting, a few small dips that come close to giving airtime, and some decent laterals. But there's nothing that really makes it stand out from other mountain coasters. It is the closest one to me though and Gunstock has something that other resorts can't offer, the Bigairbag.

 

Gunstock is home to something that seemingly belongs in the "Never in America" category, but amazingly they have it. Named the Bigairbag, this isn't like a stunt man's jump onto an airbag (though they do have one of those). No, this is so much better. The park slicks up a downhill ramp with water, you board an inner tube, and then you fly down the hill and off a jump. You get a few seconds of air and then crash into the air bag. The park did an excellent job explaining how to ride safely (both from the operator and the waiver), so I really enjoyed the ride. It's a really unique rush that feels a lot rawer and freer than most rides out there. Definitely look up a video of this if you've never seen it before.

 

The resort also has a super fast zipline running from the summit of the mountain to the base where they boast riders can reach speeds of 70 mph. This was a pretty expensive zipline, so I skipped it but it may be something I'll try in the future.

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Some more activities in the adventure park.

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I grabbed a tube and held on for my life since they really slicked that track. You hang in the air for a few seconds before landing on the bag.

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This is the Big Air Bag, something that I thought belonged in the "Never in America" category.

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The coaster had a nice setting as usual.

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Newly opened, the Mountain Coaster was pretty average for this type of coaster.

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The real reason I'm here.

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The park boasts that this zipline can reach 70 mph. I'll have to try it sometime!

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I didn't realize Killington did that, but it makes sense now. A few coworkers went there a few weeks ago after we had our first (and very small) snowfall. I've never skiied, but if I did a course that crazy would be at the top of my list. I wonder how close that is to the Beast coaster.

 

That doesn't surprise me, this year they opened in October, almost a full month before any other ski area in the East. Last year they were the first ski area open in North America. Superstar isn't really all that close to the Beast Coaster. Killington has a lot of bike parks and summer activities and they keep them away from Superstar because (aside from the Mountain Coaster), the fact that they're skiing Superstar for 9 months out of the year would really put a damper on those things.

 

A lot of Ski areas have conflicts of interest with summer activities (like Camelback for example which has a water park in the ski area) and that can play a role in opening and closing dates. Killington keeps these things away from Superstar so they can be ready to light it up with snow guns at a moment's notice as soon as they see a snow making window. They also keep skiing on it way later than normal people would.

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Ah the Beast of the East. Once we get a little better at skiing we need to head up there in June to ski Superstar and ride the Mountain Coaster. This place is famous for making an ungodly amount of snow on one trail (Superstar), including a massive stockpile up top known as Superstar glacier, so they can try to stay open until June and win a dick waving contest with the other eastern ski resorts. They're always the first to open and last to close in the east and they're on my bucket list simply because of their arrogance. It's wonderful. Last year they were skiing superstar on 90 degree days.

 

Generally be the end of this the trail looks like this, but they ski it anyway.

 

I'll have to find my photos, but a few years back the superstar trail had so much snow made on it, that while skiing you were higher up than the lift at one point of the trail near the top.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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A lot of Ski areas have conflicts of interest with summer activities (like Camelback for example which has a water park in the ski area) and that can play a role in opening and closing dates. Killington keeps these things away from Superstar so they can be ready to light it up with snow guns at a moment's notice as soon as they see a snow making window. They also keep skiing on it way later than normal people would.

 

I can't believe they saw the snow stop and just kept going down the muddy/dirty hill.

 

Ah the Beast of the East. Once we get a little better at skiing we need to head up there in June to ski Superstar and ride the Mountain Coaster. This place is famous for making an ungodly amount of snow on one trail (Superstar), including a massive stockpile up top known as Superstar glacier, so they can try to stay open until June and win a dick waving contest with the other eastern ski resorts. They're always the first to open and last to close in the east and they're on my bucket list simply because of their arrogance. It's wonderful. Last year they were skiing superstar on 90 degree days.

 

Generally be the end of this the trail looks like this, but they ski it anyway.

 

I'll have to find my photos, but a few years back the superstar trail had so much snow made on it, that while skiing you were higher up than the lift at one point of the trail near the top.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

 

That sounds both awesome and questionable in terms of safety.

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Adventureland

 

After visiting a friend in Connecticut and dropping them off Sunday morning, I had an ambitious plan- hit five new parks in one day (Adventureland, Bowcraft, Land of Make Believe, Camelback Resort, and Party Zone U.S.A.). Originally I was only going to hit Adventureland and Boomers, but news broke that Bowcraft was closing (thanks TPR Forum) so I modified my plans. Boomers didn't survive, but Adventureland did and I'm glad I visited this compact park.

 

Adventureland really packs a lot into a small space while still having very nice landscaping around rides such as the flume, Antique Cars, and Ladybug Coaster. I had heard the park was small, but I didn't realize just how narrow the park was.

 

The real reason for my visit was to try their new Mack spinning coaster Turbulence. Prior to riding the Knott's Berry Farm's Sierra Sidewinder was my favorite spinner since it was the most forceful and spinniest of them. Turbulence was just a hair better than Sierra Sidewinder. After hearing the ridiculous Turbulence song going up the lift, the coaster is non-stop spinning and directional changes. Considering how compact the layout is, more parks really need to add coasters like this. It was glass smooth and I would have loved to ride it more if time permitted.

 

I also took rides on the Ladybug Coaster (nice theming, but pretty meh coaster), Crocodile Run (weird water whip ride, pretty fun but I drove careful to stay dry), and the Drop n Twist tower (tilting was interesting off ride, but not super noticeable on ride).

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Unfortunately the nice looking log flume was closed with it being September.

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There's also a nice set of Antique Cars.

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Yet the whip on water was open.

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Frisbee was arguably the park's most thrilling ride.

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I really wish a second rider wasn't needed; I've heard this ride was awesomely bad.

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Oh yeah there's also a very nicely landscaped junior coaster next door.

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So many flats packed into a small area.

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Welcome to Adventureland, the world's narrowest amusement park. Props to the park for fitting so many rides in.

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And Stinky Feet.

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Every park should add one of these Mack spinners.

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I couldn't help but laugh cresting the hill as "Turbulence" was blasted over speakers. Oh the music of the 2010's.

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Turbulence was amazing. Fast, great layout, and non-stop spinning.

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Bowcraft Amusement Park

 

This trip report is bittersweet, as it may be the last ever one of Bowcraft Amusement Park. Bowcraft was one of those parks I had planned to visit for a few years, but never got around to it (mainly because of Six Flags Great Adventure, blame El Toro). Once I heard Bowcraft was closing, I finally made my way to the park. Bowcraft was the perfect family park. Basically all of the rides were kid-friendly, the park was clean, and the operations (albeit with low crowds) were fast.

 

Crossbow was my primary reason for visiting and it was a solid coaster. The trains were extremely comfortable and open, the latter being something pretty weird but cool for a family coaster. The ride had some moderately forceful turns and decent speed, but there was some vibrating throughout the lower turns. I took a few laps on Crossbow and really wish someone can save it since it's better than your average roller skater or galaxi coaster.

 

The rest of the park had an interesting mix of rides. There were some rides with relatively large footprints considering the park's small size such as the Speedway car ride and the Train. Then there was a mix of classic flats such as the Paratrooper or Tilt-a-Whirl and newer flats like the Swinger and Drop Zone. They also had a kiddie coaster, which I of course rode.

 

As a roller coaster enthusiast, I'm sad to see any park go, but this honestly wasn't a park I would have made plans to return to in the near future due to its lack of thrill rides. But for what Bowcraft was (a nice family park), it succeeded and will be missed by its targeted audience.

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And the even more creatively named Balloons.

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Big Bertha, I'll throw balls in your mouth any day.

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My first and last ever visit to Bowcraft.

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Look at those twisties.

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The trains were pretty sweet.

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Crossbow was a solid family coaster. Nothing too wild, but better than a clone.

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I don't know what's worse- riding a kiddie coaster with kids or all alone.

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With these crowds, alone was what I did.

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For those graduating the Frog Hopper, there's the Drop Zone. Over twice as tall!

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Doesn't that look fun?

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Bowcraft was a nice little park highlighted by that coaster in the back.

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I miss Canobie's Paratrooper.

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At least the bumper cars have a creative name.

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More animals and a Red Coat soldier. That's a better story than Adventure Express.

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There are animals.

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The park also has/had an elaborately themed car ride, Speedway.

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And the creatively named Swinger.

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And several flats scattered throughout like the Tilt-a-Whirl.

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Despite the park's small size, they had some rides that took up a lot of space like the Train.

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Camelback Mountain Resort

 

After leaving Bowcraft, I planned to hit Land of Make Believe. When I pulled up to the park, I was greeted with a sign saying they were closed for the season. Upon double checking the website, I realized I completely missed the line stating their final operating day of the 2016 season. My bad. Thankfully, there was a mountain coaster not too far down the road at the Camelback Mountain Resort waiting for me.

 

The Appalachian Express Mountain Coaster is another Aquatic Development creation. The park was completely empty and I was able to board right away. The ride was an above average mountain coaster. The ride was pretty long. The car built up its top speed fairly quickly and there were some bumps on the way down that gave quick pops of air.

 

The park had an alpine slide under construction and there was an adjacent outdoor water park that was closed during my summer visit. The indoor water park looked amazing with the drop pod slides, master blaster slide, and a few others, but the price wasn't great for non-resort guests.

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Alpine Slide coming soon.

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At least I could get the amazing segment from the brake run to the loading platform.

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Same old same old. Great setting, difficult to photograph.

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I see you, bowl slide.

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Party Zone USA

 

Party Zone USA is the ultimate credit whore stop and I took the bait. The park is located less than a minute or so off the highway in Middletown, NY and is attached to a Golden Corral. I had eyed this park for a while, but my travels hadn't brought me down the section of I-84 in New York until my return trip from Camelback Resort.

 

Party Zone basically felt like an upscale Chuck E Cheese's. There were several arcade games, some inflatables, and lots of kids screaming and blindly running around. Most importantly, they also had some amusement rides highlighted by the Python Roller Coaster. The Python coaster brings you mere feet from the roof of the building (and mere feet off the ground) but as far as a kiddie coasters, it's a pretty smooth ride and gave 3 laps if I remember correctly.

 

They also had a mechanical bull. I had never tried one before, but I quickly learned that they are quite hard to ride and can throw you pretty far despite looking slow and unassuming before boarding. It also may have been that it was running much tamer for the kids going before me than they'd set it for an adult...

 

I did feel quite awkward there without a kid, but it was totally worth it for the credit.

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The park also had the cutest little drop tower ever.

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It's a credit whore party in there.

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There were plenty of inflatables.

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And the mechanical bull that totally kicked my butt. Wow.

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And a small little himalaya.

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Check out that theming.

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Python comes mere feet from the roof of the building or rises mere feet off the ground. Take your pick if you're a glass half full or half empty kind of guy.

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As far as kiddie coasters go, this one was pretty smooth and gave 3 laps.

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Big E

 

The Big E (officially the Eastern States Exposition) is a massive county fair held in late September/early October in Springfield, MA. The Big E is New England's biggest fair and has everything you could wish for in a county fair- insane flat rides, a full-size roller coaster, kiddie coaster credits, artery clogging fried food, animals, artsy exhibits, and shops.

 

The Midway is the most impressive I've been to outside of the Alameda County Fair out in California. North American Amusements has multiple pendulum rides, a full-sized coaster, kiddie coasters, and cheesy dark rides. I would highly recommend visiting on a weekday since they have a wristband. Otherwise, each ride could set you back something in the ballpark of $3-6. Some highlights on the ride side:

 

Blitzer- Blitzer is lone major coaster and it's better than it looks. A galaxi-style coaster, the Blitzer has two very steep drops that give good air at the beginning. The helices are nothing to write home about, but for a carnival coaster it's a winner.

 

Speed- A KMG Speed ride, this was the most visually stunning and thrilling ride at the fair. Unfortunately, everyone else thought that too and it had an hour wait since it seated so few people. Speed was outstanding and felt like a zipper cage fastened to an oversized pendulum. The ride was extremely disorienting and forceful. I just wish I could have gotten more rides.

 

Pendulum Rides- The fair had a KMG Freak Out which swung the highest and gave the longest sustained air of any ride at the fair. The Feuerball appeared to be a KMG Fireball, which was different from Freak Out since it spun faster and provided briefer, more powerful pops of air. The Sky Master was a Fabbri Kamikaze with a very long cycle. Then there was the 1001 Nachts flying carpet which gave some solid floater air going over the top.

 

Mouse Trap- This is an undeniably cheesy, gravity-powered dark ride that some would count as a credit. The drop is actually quite zippy thanks to the weight of the cars and the inside portion is laughably bad theming wise and with how small the clearance envelopes are. It really needs to be experienced and I guarantee you'd leave the ride with a smile if you like bad dark rides.

 

Kiddie Coasters- Credit whores rejoice. The fair had a Go Gator (kids only), Orient Express (adults allowed, I passed), and Wacky Worm (I couldn't resist this one though).

 

For food, the fair had some interesting items. I loved the clam cakes (deep fried clam chowder) from the Rhode Island Pavilion. I also tried the Deep Fried Shepherd's Pie which was interesting. The freshly made donuts throughout the fair are another highlight of mine. If you ever leave the fair without raising your cholesterol, you're doing it wrong. Onto the photos, which sadly are lacking any food.

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And they have one larger coaster in the Blitzer. The first two drops give some really nice air.

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Concerts too! This year's headliner was Elle King, aka Miss Exes and Ohs.

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They have a few kiddie coasters- Go Gator, Orient Express, and Wacky Worm.

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This sign is true.

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Outside of fried food and rides, the fair also has several animal exhibits.

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The Big E has the most impressive midway of the New England carnivals.

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And then there's this awesomely ghetto, gravity powered drop ride. It's so cheesy that it's funny.

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There are also awesome flats like Power Surge.

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Or Speed which was included with the wristband. It was outstanding but unfortunately it had almost an hour wait due to its capacity.

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The best ride after you eat those foot long corn dogs and deep fried shepherd pies.

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Vertigo was child's play considering SFNE's 400 footer is just down the road.

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Words to live by. Yes I love weenie dogs. Deal with it.

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I live about 15 minutes from Middletown but have never visited that park because for some reason I still have a shred of dignity. I won't judge though.

 

As for Camelback, I enjoyed that mountain coaster immensely even though it was -2 degrees (F) for our ride and we were being pelted with snow drifts all the way up the lift (it was so windy that day that the upper ski lifts (Sullivan and Stevenson Express Quads) were on a wind hold.

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