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Photo TR: Virgin Visit to Virginia


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OK since you guys are chomping at the bit for this report (lol) and its dead at work today I whipped up a little something to wet your whistle. Not many pictures from this first part, but lots more coming.

 

My Virgin Visit to Virginia

or: How A Grizzly Took A Bite Out Of Me, But Not My Weekend

Part One

 

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I first met Coasterbill in person during our mutual visits to Cedar Point during Memorial Day weekend of 2015. We immediately hit it off and have met up a handful of times since, always resulting in really great times. He is just as much of a witty assh*le as his online persona suggests. I guess it was sometime during closing day of Holiday In The Park @ Great Adventure earlier this year when we discussed him scooping me up on his annual trip down to Kings Dominion in the fall. Kings has been in my top 3 buckletlist parks for a couple years now (the other two are Busch Tampa and Dollywood, in case you are wondering) - thanks mostly to the existence of I305, otherwise solid lineup, close-but-kinda-far proximity and mostly positive reviews. Of course I jumped on the opportunity and we started to solidify our plans when he and his missus Brittney came down to visit me in Wildwood this summer (still waiting on that report, Billy!)

 

Earlier this season I made a handful of trips over to Great Adv and also spent a day at Six Flags Over Georgia while visiting my sister in Athens, GA. Otherwise I spent the most of my summer in Wildwood since it was too hot to deal with the crowds at Great Adv, though I did manage two late-summer jaunts to Dorney and Great Adv in late August and early September, respectively. While I really enjoyed my summer of 2016, there is nothing like going to an unfamiliar park and riding coasters for the first time. By mid-September I was itching for that. Bad.

 

A few weeks ago we mutually agreed we had to figure out what weekend would work for all parties involved - and settled on the 1st of October. While I was visiting Wildwood two weeks ago for my last rides of 2016, we texted back and forth finalizing things, pulled the trigger on booking a hotel, and since I do not have Cedar Fair season passes like Bill & Brit, I found an excellent discount for admission and Fast Lane+, and for the hell of it, got all-day dining so I could eat as much as I wanted and spend the cash I'd have on hand on things like souvenirs... and beer. (Disclaimer: I always budget for but never buy any skip-the-line program in advance as the weather can and will dictate what crowds will be like and that is completely unpredictable, but the discount was so good I basically got in the park for less than half off, and I figured if it turned out to be a quiet day that I could use it to power-ride Volcano which I've only ever heard has terrible capacity and ridiculous waits. It turned out the weather cooperated and the FL+ was not totally needed since the crowds only got really heavy at night, but it did help us get a ton more riding in than I had even hoped for.)

 

When we first discussed this trip, it was planned to be a double date type of thing with an even four of us - Bill and Brit and me and my #1 lady, but as she is not as into going balls deep power-riding at parks like we are, she eventually decided to sit this one out. Unfortunate, and made me super bummed, but I wasn't going to let that stop me from visiting this bucketlist park. The original plan was to get rooms for Friday and Saturday night at Kings Quarters (located a short walk away, in the park's parking lot essentially) - we'd drive down Friday, spend all day Saturday, and head home Sunday. That quickly went out the door when we realized Kings Quarters was booked solid. We shopped around and decided to just be cheap asses and stay in nearby Ashland (one exit south on 95 from the park) at a Days Inn, literally at the bottom of the Ashland exit. Really it was a blessing in disguise as cheap ass hotel = more beer money!

 

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See? Super close to the park.

In the middle of the week leading up to the trip I got a very exciting text from Bill - that as a season passholder to SeaWorld/Busch parks, they had a BAFF I could use if I wanted to on Sunday pop down to Busch Gardens Williamsburg, a park I've been wanting to visit for basically my entire life. My initial reaction was "Ive heard such good things about Busch, I dont really know if a quick pop-in is how I first want to experience that park" but what I actually texted back to Bill was along the lines of "Hell yea I'm in!"

 

Of course all week the weather was teetering back and forth between crappy and nice and the Thursday and Friday of our trip was (at least in Philly) an autumn blast of cold rainy crap. I always have good luck with weather on park days - I've had brief short showers on occasion but literally have never experienced a total washout, luckily. *knocks on wood* I was ecstatic to wake up Friday morning and check the forecast for the Doswell and Williamsburg areas to see it had turned and would be a mix of clouds/sun with little-to-no rain.

 

I got a text at 3:15pm Friday that Bill had just picked up Brit at work and were on their way from New York down to Philly. Knowing he'd be coming into the city right at rush hour, and with a Phillies/Mets game starting at 7, texted him to "anticipate traffic". I worked til 5, rushed home to finish packing the last few things when I started getting texts from Bill about how they were 7 miles away but were in dead-stop traffic, just as I predicted. Luckily once we got him off 95 and into the hood for a stretch-the-legs/pee break before the 2nd leg of their epic journey to south of the Mason-Dixon line (I swear the southern accent starts as soon as you cross this thing), and back on the highway, the traffic had mostly cleared and we were on our way. The only other bits I think we hit were around DC of course. The only notable things about the drive was a brief monsoon we had to drive though in the middle of Virginia, and that Bill and I nerded out so hardcore that Brit quietly inserted her earbuds at one point.

 

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We have some backwards ass liquor laws in Pennsylvania, so it was a treat to walk into a Wawa in Virginia and find BEER!

Bill has done this drive a bunch so he was winging it but I was in the backseat using my phone to surf the net, and occasionally checking my GPS to see where we were/how much longer the drive was while texting my other half to let her know how our journey was going.

 

Around 11pm, we had finally made our way all the way down 95 South to Doswell, where I could see the fog and light pollution coming over the barrier of trees between us and the park. I asked Bill if I should keep an eye out for any tall rides we might be able to see, when he unexpectedly pulled off at the Doswell exit, Brit and I wondering what the hell he was up to. He passed the front of the park and even though it features many very tall rides, thanks to the parks Haunt fog combined with the already steamy night we could only really see a little bit of Dominator across the parking lot and the parks entrance sign along the road. Bill quietly explained "I'm looking for a little road up here..." and suddenly cut a quick right turn down a dark, shady back road. We drove through the darkness, Bill wondering aloud where we were in relation to rides inside the park. We slowly crawled up this dark, foggy, deserted back road with our windows down trying to see or hear anything but the forest was too thick... until suddenly an opening in the trees.

 

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There she is!

I305 has sat firmly at the top of my bucketlist since I fell back into this hobby just over three years ago, and here I am sitting in a car, on a creepy rural, Virginian road late at night, finally face to face with this monster of a machine. My hair stood on end - the moment was not very different from driving over Cedar Points causeway at night during our visit last year. We wondered if it was running when suddenly Brit pointed and exclaimed "Look there it goes!" and through the darkness and fog we could just barely make out the train being absolutely ripped up the lift... and over the crest... and down that ridiculous looking first drop. The silence was cut by the sound of screaming, falling riders, and the train disappeared beneath the tree line. "OK be quiet I want to hear this thing!" I said, and we listened as it zipped around its mostly low-to-the-ground course, completely out of our view. Jesus Christ, the freaking sound this thing makes! I have a weird fetish for coaster sounds - the B&M roar, the Intamin fart, LIMs firing up, accelerators launching, etc. I305 has a sort of menacing gurgle, I can't think of another way to describe it.

 

Bill joked that he wanted to go into the park for a quick ride, but as I am not a Cedar Fair passholder, that wasn't an option for me - my ticket was only good for Saturday. I did offer to sit in the lot if the two of them wanted to run in, but we agreed we should head to Ashland to get to our hotel and get some rest for a full day tomorrow.

 

Of course the night wouldn't end there. On and back off 95 in a few minutes we arrived in Ashland, VA, hungry after our long drive, to a mostly commercial stretch of hotels and restaurants, most of which looked closed. We talked about looking for fast food but then spotted what looked like a sports bar (lots of TV's) with a handful of people finishing up for the night. We quickly pulled up, ran through the rain to the entrance and were greeted by the weary eyed staff who informed us they were closing but if we wanted anything from their late night menu (aka "anything from the fryer") that we had to order right away. We split mozzarella sticks and their variation of crab fries - which were no Chickies, but they were great. Came out hot and fast. As we ate and had a few beers while the place cleared out, Ashland rolled out the welcome wagon for us in the form of the town drunk saddling up to the bar just in time for last call. We knew this because of the reaction of the staff who were obviously familiar with this guy, and also because he was completely sh*tfaced. He sat around the corner of the bar from us and proceeded to chew our ears off about everything and absolutely nothing at the same time, but after the long drive and with food and a few beers now in our bellies we were completely entertained.

 

We stumbled outside around 12:30 into the rain once again for a two minute drive around to our Days Inn to check in, and get some shut-eye. The hotel was nothing to rave about but fairly clean, no bugs, all around most definitely could have been worse. Amazingly after a full day of work followed by a five hour drive followed by food and beers, like a kid on Christmas, I still couldn't sleep. So I sat up on my phone/watching TV until dozing about 2:30am, with my alarm set for 7:30am.

 

More to come...

Edited by boldikus
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LOL The Ashland welcome wagon was hilarious. There was no better introduction to Ashland, Virginia than drinking terrible beer (hey locals, Center of the Universe Beer sucks ) and listening to this drunk guy with a thick southern accent ramble on about nothing and then invite us to some nonexistent party. I still think we should go BTW.

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LOL what did he invite us to? His sons wedding or something? I may be completely mixing up all the bullsh*t he was spewing... it's all a bit foggy to be honest.

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LOL what did he invite us to? His sons wedding or something? I may be completely mixing up all the bullsh*t he was spewing... it's all a bit foggy to be honest.

 

I have no idea.

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I have a weird fetish for coaster sounds

I'm right there with you. Occasionally I try to point out these awesome sounds to Emily while we're at the parks. Although she plays along and pretends to be interested, I know she's a little less sexually attracted to me every time I reveal these strange little joys of life to her.

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Awesome! Your Cedar Point trip report is one if the best, and this one is starting out pretty great. It's fun to go to places that enthusiasts love to hate on. Sometimes you find out that Magic Springs really does suck, and sometimes you find out that Valleyfair is really fun and these people are nuts for not having a great time there. It's all part of the fun of the craziest and best hobby there is. Looking forward to reading the rest!

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I'm not normally the kind of person to read trip reports, but this is fantastically well written. I honestly look forward to part 2.

 

See Boldikus, this is why I decided you should do this report while I sit back and continue to not do sh*t. You're just so good at it. My laziness may seem self serving but it's actually for the good of TPR.

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See Boldikus, this is why I decided you should do this report while I sit back and continue to not do sh*t. You're just so good at it. My laziness may seem self serving but it's actually for the good of TPR.

 

Your trip reports are awesome dude. I'm not gonna stop bugging you until you put up the Wildwood/Jersey Shore credit whore report.

 

Thanks for the positive comments, everyone! Nice to hear people think its well written, I find I enjoy reports more often that follow a story line, so I try to do the same. Good photos are great but giant blocks of only photos and brief hastily written reviews get kinda old quick and I lose interest. Hope to have part two up in the next day or so.

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LOL The Ashland welcome wagon was hilarious. There was no better introduction to Ashland, Virginia than drinking terrible beer (hey locals, Center of the Universe Beer sucks ) and listening to this drunk guy with a thick southern accent ramble on about nothing and then invite us to some nonexistent party. I still think we should go BTW.

 

I think Center of the Universe's Chin Music Amber Lager is OK (nothing special), but that's all that I've tried. There are better breweries in the state (such as Alewerks and Virginia Beer Company in Williamsburg).

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^ I liked the COTU beer we had. I don't know what the brew was, but it was very hoppy, which I do like on occasion (Bill does not seem to). I went for seconds and was feeling pretty nice after two quick ones before we headed to the hotel. Also I didn't mention the bar gave us each a free COTU pint glass which is awesome since I collect them.

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Great start to the TR! Kind of like Bill is saying about himself, I am pretty lazy when it comes to writing them out, as I still have an unwritten CP Trip from a month ago, and now a KI Haunt one as well. I will say, I have a feeling it'd be a blast to go to a park with you guys sometime! I know we talked about Morey's next year when I'm in Jersey, but maybe Bill could join us too! I'm also going to go to GAdv while there, and I still need initiation into the Skull Mountain Cult! Looking forward to the next part!

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^Loops and corkscrews are definitely not my thing but Anaconda's actually pretty great, IMO. It's above a lake which bumps its rating up a few notches for sure. No more excuses, get off 95 and enjoy the park!

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Part 2: The Grizzly Bites!

 

While on our way into Ashland on Friday night we couldn't help but notice the conveniently placed Waffle House a short walk from the Days Inn we were staying at. We quickly agreed it would be our breakfast in the morning. The alarm went off and while I had gotten about 5 hours of decent sleep save for being woken up at almost 4am to the sound of a downpour impersonating a freight train, I had no trouble at all getting up and out of bed for an anticipated first visit to this park. I briefly called the missus to check in and let her know we had made it down fine, and I hopped in the shower. We agreed to a 9am meeting for Waffle House deliciousness. I love these places because they are all business - seated quickly, orders taken, food out fast and hot.

 

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I got the All-Star! So much food. Eggs, bacon, toast, hashbrowns, coffee, OJ and waffle! Ate almost all of it.

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All business.

We aimed to arrive at the park at 10, and showed up right on time. We were still getting morning drizzle and lots of fog. Made for a very cool scene upon arrival, barely being able to see the tops of I305, Drop Tower, Windseeker, and the Eiffel Tower.

 

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Getting into the park was quick and easy, with little wait at the gates. I was directed by the attendant at the gate towards a few places directly inside where I could stop to redeem my pre-purchased Fast Lane+, when Bill decided to grab them for himself and Brit. It definitely didn't feel busy, but again, even if the crowds wound up being lighter, we could use it for things that would undoubtedly have longer waits, like Volcano and probably Delirium. The weather was supposed to turn, so we expected it to be at least mildly busy.

 

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A dream realized.

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We made it! (photo by Bill)

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I feel bad for people with legit arachnophobia

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We admired the parks Haunt decorations while we walked down International Street, and I was struck at how large the fountains are. They looked really awesome. The area was still quiet, and we all had a good chuckle at a supervisor yelling at her subordinate "Guuurrrl... you need to be up front guest relatin'!!!"

 

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Haunt decorations always look kinda dumb during the day but they looked awesome at night.

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RIP launch coaster I never got to ride.

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Fountains!

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Ive never done an inverting swinging ship, but we skipped Berserker for now. I've got coasters to ride.

Since we had fast lane, we threw out the golden rule at this park of running straight to Volcano, and cut a left toward Dominator instead. First ride of the trip.

 

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Foggy

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Dominator!

It looks enormous as you approach it and having to walk right under the drop and loop only amplifies that. We found a line already steadily building in the standby queue, and spotted the FL entrance, and headed up the steps and right into the station. We had a one train wait for the back row. Bill directed me to the far left seat.

 

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Great floater air right here

Holy sh*t this thing rips!!! I've been a huge champion of Bizarro at my home park as far as floorless B&Ms but with one lap on this thing Bizarro was quickly dethroned. The yank down the drop is fantastic, nice drawn out hang time through the massive vertical loop, but my favorite part might have been the two high speed turns that follow. It really flies through them, so much that I was then referring to it as the "worlds only floorless/hyper".

 

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Another great section is the sustained floater air off the midcourse, after which it hauls through the remainder of the course. I really enjoyed the hell out of this coaster. I knew going in people ranked it highly (Bill spoke especially high of it) but what a surprise!

 

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Moving on we cut around Woodstock Express, skipping it for later. We thought we'd check out the scene at Volcano, but it had yet to open and had already developed a decent line stretching from its entrance almost over to The Crypt. We watched that run for a minute and moved on to try to hit Flight of Fear and Intimidator.

 

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We were warned and aware of the fact that Flight of Fear would close in the evening since they use it queue for a Haunt trail, but upon approaching it we noticed the entrance was closed off with a handful of employees milling about. I figured I'd ask if they knew when it was going to open and of course they gave me a canned response more or less saying they didn't know.

 

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Well, Intimidator is right next door, and it was running, and had no wait in the standby queue at all. We decided that for my first ride since it was dead I should do the front since I knew as a backseat rider I'd wind up doing that a bunch later, not to mention the Fast Lane entrance dumps you right into the back row, so why not take advantage of the early quiet. We waited maybe 3-4 trains for the front.

 

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I had hyped this ride up so much in my head and here we are about to board, watching each train go tearing out of the station and up the lift to the repeated cry I am so familiar with from POVs "Gentleman!!! Start your engines!!!!" I was feeling truly intimidated - the first time before a ride since maybe Skyrush or Dragster.

 

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Simultaneously excited and nervous, and I rarely find myself afraid of any rides anymore. It's a good feeling to have again - the anticipation and adrenaline. Bill sat with me in the front with Brit waiting in row 2 for us to catch up to her as hers and most of the other rows were empty.

 

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By now the rain had mostly stopped, though it was still gray and foggy, and before long we were seated, checked and up we went... into a light drizzle. First ride on this beast and it's freaking raining. Nothing we could do at this point but grin and bear it. Thanks to its cable lift we were at the top and hanging over the massive first drop in seconds, and within a flash we were back on the ground, doing 90mph around that first turn, the rain like tiny little pins being shot into my face and hands. Almost hard to keep my eyes open. Hurts, but oh so good. The first ride was incredible but happened so quickly the first thing I said up when we hit the brakes was "Can we do it again? I gotta ride the back!!"

 

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So around we went for another lap, which turned into another. Instant love affair. It is less of a fun ride and definitely more of an endurance challenge as even with the soft shoulder restraints you are thrown around the transitions like a ragdoll. The airtime down the incredibly steep drop - even in the front row, is insane. Butt off of your seat the entire way down. In the back of the train its almost unspeakable. While the first of the twists is easily the craziest of them all, the very last twist right before the camera is almost equally intense and caught me off guard my first few rides. I thought it was hilarious they put the camera right there since I could tell when we passed the photo booth I wasn't the only one who was.

 

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After a few laps I found myself saying to Bill and Brit "I honestly can't believe this exists. I can't believe they actually built it." Its absolutely a world class ride that I recommend anyone into coasters to check out. It's only my second giga after Millennium Force, and whomever said its like taking Millenniums drop and putting Maverick on the back of it was 100% right. While I could have comfortably stayed at this ride for the remainder of the day we still had a huge park to check out, not to mention Bill had a flume to ride! We decided to head back toward Volcano when we discovered it was still closed with an even longer line, so we hit up Avalanche instead.

 

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I haven't ridden any sort of bobsled coaster since Sarajevo Bobsleds at Great Adventure when I was a really little kid and I don't even really remember it, so I was looking forward to this ride. We had a 1-2 train wait and Bill and Britt let me go for the front car.

 

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This ride definitely did not disappoint. It's nothing to rave about but some nice speedy parts mixed in with some mild sections. It felt worn in yet well taken care of and I love that this park still has a ride like this.

 

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Passing Volcano again we found it was still closed, and still about 100 people lined up at the entrance. We'd already worked up a bit of an appetite and it was noon and at that point I don't feel like as much of a alcoholic ordering a beer.

 

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Nope!

I needed to redeem my dining pass and checking the park map I saw the nearby Outer Hanks, which has menu items like fish+chips, hush puppies (yum!), chicken fingers, fries etc, was a spot that I could do it at and had beer and wine. It was pretty empty upon arrival so I got set up with my dining wristband while Bill and Brit ordered some food & drinks. When I then attempted to order a beer from the same girl, she carded me and wouldn't accept my state issued I.D. Now, its not a drivers license, and I have had this problem once or twice before (always out of state), but this was super annoying. She tried to come with some "It's Virginia law that we don't accept non-drivers license - must be a passport or drivers license." She had other employees and a supervisor come out and they all said the same thing. Ugh. Frustrated, I gave up and ordered food from another employee, hoping this wouldn't be an issue all over the park. I got the fish+chips and when I went to scan my dining pass wristband, it wouldnt work. WTF. After calling over the supervisor and a bit of back and forth, they were able to get it working. At this point Bill realized he was able to order two beers at once so he grabbed one for me while I took my food outside. I was happy to wait less than 2 minutes for my food to come out, and it was actually pretty good I have to admit. And I got my damn beer.

 

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After we sat for a while talking, eating, drinking and people watching, we decided to give Volcano one more shot before we headed elsewhere in the park. It still had the same line though now they were testing it. We posted up at the deserted fast land entrance and watched at first empty trains run the course, before a few launched with employees on them.

 

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We killed time waiting for Volcano watching the insane program they run on The Crypt.

A supervisor passed us and we asked nicely for an update when she told us it would be just a few minutes. Then we saw the standby queue open up and people started heading inside. No one was manning the fast lane entrance so we just walked up when an employee noticed us and checked our wristbands before opening the rest of our queue. We beat most of the standby line to get up to an almost empty station.

 

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It's finally open! Yay! (photo by Bill)

Bill and I ran for front row, with Brit behind us in row 2. The first train of the day with riders dispatched, with us next up. It disappeared down the launch track, and within 5 seconds the operator got on the mic to declare that "Volcano is having technical difficulties and will be closed indefinitely... you can leave the ride but you will lose your spot... blah blah blah". Wondering what the hell was going on we then witnessed the crew all heading into the launch track and maintenance showed up. The damn train rolled back. Can we catch a break with this thing?

 

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Not so fast. Launch fail. :( (photo by Bill)

I have to give credit where credit is due - the crew hustled and got the passengers off the train quickly and relaunched that train successfully. They sent two more empties. Success. We then had to wait for a handful of guests that were on the train that rolled back to jump on for a ride. They were now only loading the first few rows so we wound up having to wait another 2-3 trains. Thankfully, no more rollbacks, and finally we boarded and off we went.

 

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Success!!! (photo by Bill)

Love this ride!!! I am an Intamin junkie as I love just about every ride I've ever been on by them. They almost always manage to impress me so when I know I get to ride a new-to-me Intamin, especially one as unique as this, I look forward to it. And it did not disappoint. Those launches have some nice kick, especially the second one. Video does not do it justice. Killer Gs going up into that first inversion, and some awesome hangtime on the barrel rolls. Love the drop back down into the volcano at the end. Just an all around great ride, exceeded all expectations. Now that we got my Volcano credit, I asked if we could stop back at I305 for a few laps before heading to the other side of the park. I could really ride this thing all day. The park has a really impressive one-two punch in these Intamin coasters, I don't give a sh*t what the haters say.

 

On our way out of this area we stopped at Anaconda but since its not on FL, we headed up the standby queue. Bill had pointed out that it was only running one train and when we reached the end of the line he groaned how the wait would be a while. I was not in a hurry to ride this so we went to Backlot Stunt Coaster instead.

 

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I could never catch a train flying out of here.

Being a family coaster this had a nice long line but we had about a 10 minute wait including in the station. He raved about these coasters and I thought they looked like fun. We sat a few rows back from the front. The launches have some nice punch to them and that first helix is pretty forceful. None of the effects seemed to be working but I wouldn't have noticed, and still had a good time on this coaster.

 

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Around the corner we walked and came upon Drop Tower. They really put some thought into the name, didn't they? Another Intamin ride I was looking forward to. With FL we waited another 10 minutes for this, not too bad. My only issue was the restraint was really tight for me, but I'm a fatass so wasn't a total surprise. Had to happen sooner or later today. I still managed, and thought it was definitely a solid drop tower with some decent airtime and great views from the top.

 

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Sorry for the crappy picture, this is a screen shot from an Instagram video I took as I had no other pictures of it.

Bill had a flume boner by now so to Shenandoah Lumber Company we trekked. The temperature had warmed up a good bit by now, with the sun peaking out of the cloud cover so I was up for a little water ride. We boarded immediately through the FL queue, Bill and Brit up front, me in the rear, and all noticed our log tilting to one side.

 

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As I learned in Wildwood over the summer, Brit does not like when Bill and I rock the boats back and forth, which of course only encourages us to do it, and she was convinced we were responsible for tilting to the one side. No, we just had a hole in our log which became apparent as the bottom filled up with water immediately. On the first minuscule drop off the first lift we got hit with a tidal wave of water and the two of them got drenched. I got sprinkled but was mostly spared.

 

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We made our way around to the second lift and when the log tilted backwards as we ascended, all the water inside splashed to the back and went all up my back. Now I was soaked too.

 

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And here we have a Coasterbill in his natural habitat. (photo by Bill)

Down the final drop we all got completely drowned. Shoes, socks, everything. Soused. Thank god it was warm and sunny now, if it stayed cool and cloudy I would have been miserable.

 

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What better way to dry off? Flyers! I love a good set of flyers and this would be my first set of the non-Larson variety.

 

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In case you forgot what Bill and Brit look like.

Encouragingly we saw some snapping going on as we waited in the very brief FL queue, and the operator seemed to be allowing it. These were a lot of fun and run a really good longer cycle. All three of us had some minor success in snapping and had a great time.

 

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Time flies when you are having fun because it was now after 3pm already! Before heading out of this area I insisted we ride Grizzly. That's important to remember: I insisted we ride Grizzly. Out of the four woodies here I was looking forward to Grizzly as it seems to get good reviews for being older and I love a good fast ride through the woods. I'm not sure why they have the entrance hidden behind a gift shop but the station was dead and we had no wait at all. We boarded the back of the train, me on the left side of the train, in front of Bill and Britt. As we headed up the lift, excited, I said how I really wanted to come back at night and ride it in the dark. Bill agreed we should. Unfortunately that wouldn't happen because of what occurred next.

 

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Grrrrrrrr

I broke one of my golden rules of coastering: riding hands up on my first lap of an unfamiliar wooden coaster. So dumb. The first drop was great. Nice yank to it and great airtime in the back of the train. We hit the first turnaround and down the second drop. Spotting an airtime hill coming I went hands up again and just at the top, the train banked to right and my body flew to the left into the side of the train when I heard a CRACK and was suddenly in excruciating pain. I spent the rest of the ride hunched over holding my left side with my right hand and bracing myself with my left as each airtime hill or turn we hit caused me even more pain. "This ride officially sucks" I thought. When we hit the brakes I said to Bill and Brit "pretty sure I just cracked my rib".

 

We got off and I wondered how the rest of this whirlwind weekend was going to go. Should I even ride anything anymore? Do I go to medical/first aid? This suuuuuuccccks. We all whipped out our phones and looked up rib injuries and there's not a whole lot you can do. Seems most doctors would have wrapped me and told me to take it easy. Based on what we read I checked to see if I had any problems breathing (I didn't, but it wasn't exactly pain free if I took a full breath either), if I could twist back and forth (I could, easily, with little pain). The crack sound I heard convinced me I fractured my rib but sitting here almost pain free 6 days later with no medical attention I can say that its not. But I bruised the bloody hell out of it. It's still a *tiny* bit sore.

 

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Some Haunt decorations as we walked to find food.

Not only in pain I was now struggling with the reality I might not be able to ride anything and not only did we have a full day planned here but also a visit to Busch Gardens in the morning. I had so much more I wanted to do and I certainly didn't want to ruin Bill and Brit's weekend getaway. Trying to soldier on and not be a Debbie Downer I quickly agreed with their suggestion to take a break and eat something. I wasn't even particularly hungry at this point, I just needed to sit and figure out what I was going to do.

 

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I kinda felt a little like this guy.

We spotted the nearby Country Kitchen and I checked to make sure it was on the dining plan, and it was. We got huge heaping portions of food here - I got a pulled pork sandwich that had enough meat on it for two - I regret not taking a picture of it but I noticed at this point my phone had hardly a charge so I was avoiding using it except to text the missus that I might not be reachable and that I was hurt but alive. I sent her Bills number in case she needed me after my phone died. I picked at my food for a while - it was good, I just didn't have an appetite thanks to my throbbing ribs - and made the decision to try to keep riding. What else was I going to do? Sit on the sidelines and watch my friends have fun? Nope. Not me...

 

Stay tuned for Part 3!

Edited by boldikus
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Awesome trip report so far, very well written! I am now anxiously awaiting the next part to see how the rest of your day was.

 

Simultaneously excited and nervous, and I rarely find myself afraid of any rides anymore. It's a good feeling to have again - the anticipation and adrenaline.

 

I love that feeling of being nervous before a new ride. As you said, it doesn't happen very often any longer. I think the last ride to have me genuinely nervous before riding was Mechanica at Liseberg last year.

Edited by viking86
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We rode in the front seat of Grizzly this spring and it wasn't too bad...couple pops of air, but not awfully rough. Nothing to write home about although I wouldn't mind riding at night in the front seat after several body-numbing beers. Depending on where you ride those woodies though...they can get you when you least expect it.

 

A similar thing happened to me on Son Of Beast during Haunt the last year it was open. I swore that I either broke a rib or punctured a lung on that POS. It was very painful and one of those feelings where you thought to yourself: "Sh%t that really hurt - that was definitely NOT good". Luckily I had enough beers to kill any residual pain after that and was feeling fine for the rest of the evening as well as the next day.

 

Looking forward to the rest of the report!

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Awesome trip report so far, very well written! I am now anxiously awaiting the next part to see how the rest of your day was.

 

Simultaneously excited and nervous, and I rarely find myself afraid of any rides anymore. It's a good feeling to have again - the anticipation and adrenaline.

 

I love that feeling of being nervous before a new ride. As you said, it doesn't happen very often any longer. I think the last ride to have me genuinely nervous before riding was Mechanica at Liseberg last year.

I agree. It's a pretty great feeling of being nervous. For the most part, I know how a ride will be for me. I'm really looking forward to Lightning Rod and El Toro next year because I've been on similar rides and I've seen videos, so I can imagine what the experience is like. At WCB I got to go on X2, and that one was so far away from my experience that it was nerve-wracking approaching it. Intimidator305 looks fantastic, and I can definitely appreciate how...er...intimidating it must be in person.

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