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Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's 2017 US Adventures


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Sandy Lake Amusement Park

Day 2 of my sudden Texas trip began was centered around Six Flags Over Texas. But before I made my way to the first park in the Six Flags chain, I planned to stop at Sandy Lake Amusement Park to try their classic dark ride (I swear that was the reason and not that they had 2 credits). The two parks were only a half hour apart and Sandy Lake opened a half hour before Six Flags so it seemed like a no-brainer to stop there.

 

Well I was a little tired on Saturday night after getting to the airport at 3 am the day before and then running around all day in the Texas heat. I left a little later than anticipated from my San Antonio area hotel (planned to leave at 6, didn't leave until 8:30) since I lost the battle with my alarm clock. But that was probably a good decision considering it was a 4 hour drive to Sandy Lake.

 

About 3 hours into my drive, I spied a Carl's Jr. on the side of the road and immediately pulled off. I loved that chain when I was in California for a summer and hadn't seen one outside of California before. As far as fast food burgers go, their thickburgers reign supreme. My stomach was happy and after another hour of driving, I reached Sandy Lake.

 

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I'm not in California and found a Carl's Jr. Today will be a great day.

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It's great being able to receive a patty this big and juicy from a fast food restaurant.

Despite being a tiny little park, they actually had really good signage off the highway. As I pulled into the lot, I learned Sandy Lake may have the record for the cheapest theme park admission in the country at $2 per person. After handing over two George Washingtons, I searched for a parking spot in the massive lot. While most parks have clearly marked parking spaces, this was a giant dirt lot with absolutely no markings. I figured as long as I didn't crash into one of the many picnic pavilions, I was all set. The parking lot and picnic pavilions probably take up about 80% of the park.

 

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I found Sandy Lake Amusement Park!

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Actually that sign probably just meant Sandy Lake since the amusement section is tiny compared to everything else there.

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Picnic pavilions everywhere.

I planned to go on four rides: the Pretzel dark ride, the rare Rock-O-Plane, and the two kiddie coasters (they were only $1.50 each and I was there anyway). Like the admission, tickets were cheap. It was $0.50 per ticket. The major rides were only 4-5 tickets, which was an incredible deal. The most expensive thing in the park was the mini golf course and even that was only 6 tickets. Compare that with the $7-10 rate at like any other mini golf course.

 

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I didn't see how much the real life pony ride cost. Only in Texas.

I began with the Rock-O-Plane since it was adjacent to the ticket booth. I could immediately tell that lines weren't an issue since operators would walk along the midway and then man a ride when someone got in line. I've only seen that on kiddie rides at FECs or carnivals, but never on major rides at an amusement park. Weird, but not a problem since the operators were plentiful and in full sight.

 

I had only been on one Rock-O-Plane before at Santa Cruz. It's a fun ride, but it's one heck of a work out. Because Sandy Lake ran a long cycle, I was huffing and puffing like an NFL lineman until I ran out of steam 2/3 of the way through the ride. I got a few full flips in, but I more got extreme rocking. Think of the Joker clones at the Six Flags parks. You want more flips, but really only get 2. 7 out of 10

 

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What a workout.

The park had a solid collection of older flats such as Bumper Cars, a Paratrooper, and even a rare Space Shuttle swinging ship. One other noteworthy attraction was a train. The station is smack dab in the middle of a parkway, but the course appears to leave the amusement area and circle the pavilions. But I was sticking to my agenda for the day and skipped all of these.

 

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So many older flats.

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This was an easy pass since there would have been no one else to bump.

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I've seen so many spider flats lately and that's fine by me.

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Every classic amusement park needs one of these.

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Something felt off with this station's placement.

Next was kiddie credit one, the Dragon Wagon. I hadn't been on one of these powered Dragon Wagons since I was a kid and it was socially acceptable to do so. The park does have a maximum height restriction on the ride, but it's a general blanket statement of "Adults may ride if they fit properly." After seeing that sign, I figured I would have to ride spread eagle and have my knees against the car. Nope, worse than that. I had only one butt cheek on the seat and had to tilt my legs sideways. But I was able to get the lap bar down so I was free to ride.

 

We got 5-6 laps and it was a pretty long ride. I remember being bored by the tiny Dragon Wagon at my local carnival when I was 4-5 and it was much of the same here. I'm just proud of myself for getting in and out of the car without getting stuck. 1 out of 10

 

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This was the tightest fit I've ever had on a coaster, but I had one butt cheek to spare.

Afterwards was the park's big coaster, the Little Dipper. Whenever a ride called the Little Dipper is the "big" coaster at a park, you know it's not exactly a thrill destination. I recruited the operator from Dragon Wagon to run the Little Dipper so he was probably wondering at this point what was wrong with me, which was a fair question. These vehicles were like riding on a private jet after riding in the Ryanair esque seats on Dragon Wagon.

 

I got two laps and I have to admit, it was a really fun kiddie coaster. The second hill gives a surprising pop of air and had a scary headchopper with a tree inches above my head. I'll throw my hands up on RMCs and Phantom's Revenge despite the tight clearances, but I genuinely think I could have hit the tree here since I probably wasn't in the targeted rider group when the coaster was designed. It was bumpy on the turns, but fun for what it was. 3 out of 10

 

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This one had room for both my butt cheeks on the seat.

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Look at that second hill. That's one heck of a scary headchopper.

I saved (what I thought would be) the best for last in the Pretzel. I remember learning about the ride on one of those amusement park shows and it looked like a wonderful classic dark ride. The ride's building looks like it was constructed of pretzel rods. I'm not sure if that was intentional or not, but it looked quirky and had that going for it. The monster with the bloodshot eyes over the ride's sign also looked fantastic.

 

But when I reached the station and saw hoses (yes green garden hoses) serving as the restraint bar on not just my car, but all of them, I was a little worried. On one hand, it's kind of awesome that they literally use a garden hose as a restraint. On the other hand, I questioned how much budget the park had available to maintain the ride's effects. Then again, the station had pretty good theming so I'm sure my concerns weren't warranted.

 

Now it wasn't 106 degrees out again, but it was still a steamy 95 out. Once the vehicle entered into the building, it felt like an oven that could light itself on fire at any moment. I was hoping for a series of classic effects to distract myself from hell's inferno, but I just had a ride through complete darkness. I believe there were effects since I'd hear a faint sound at most of the turns but couldn't see a dang thing. Did they not replace the ride's light bulbs or was I missing the point of the ride? On about a third of the turns I could barely see a monster, which was barely illuminated at all.

 

I think there could have been a good ride in there, but I just couldn't see it (literally). I hate to bash a classic ride at a small park like this, but in all honesty it wasn't good at all. The only good parts about the ride are the classic ride system and building exterior. I honestly had more fun eating a super pretzel at the park than riding the pretzel which is a shame. 2 out of 10

 

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This classic was supposed to be the highlight of the park. But it sadly wasn't good.

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The outside looked promising.

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The garden hose restraints were a sign of what was to come. Almost none of the effects were visible or there weren't even any there.

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Those really do look like pretzel rods.

I can't justify returning personally with their current ride collection and with how great the nearby Six Flags is, but if you're in the area and have some extra time, Sandy Lake is a step back in time and worth checking out for an hour since the prices are very reasonable. I really hope I just caught the Pretzel on a bad day since the ride was worse than most carnival dark rides. Yes those tacky dark rides. At least on those, I can actually see monsters (no matter how bad they look).

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That's a shame about the Pretzel. It was running well with all stunts in 2015. Another member said some of the stunts weren't working last year, I guess they have just let it slide a little more.

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Great report. Glad you liked Iron Rattler. It is one of my favorites.

 

Did you get a chance to ride their insane swing ride the Zumur? It is way more intense than it looks. Also, the ride op on the dark ride use to jump out at you when you exited the show building.

 

Here a video I shot of the swing ride. Not sure if it is still running that fast.

 

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The operator was a younger guy and he was staying in his chair running the ride.

 

I didn't see the swings run so I had no idea they ran that fast. They look about as fast as Lake Compounce's version. I wouldn't have expected a swinger that small to reach that speed.

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Nice to see that they have a Rock-O-Plane at that park. Most of the time it seems like you really have to try hard to flip, but when I rode the one at Coney Island (Ohio park near Kings Island, not in NY), it was running amazing. I barely had to pull the bar at all to stall the rocking to get endless flips! I wonder if that's how they were all able to run back in the old times, and Coney Island just took so much care of theirs.

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Six Flags Over Texas

 

I am going to begin this report by apologizing. This is going to be a super long report. Like 70+ photos, lots of descriptions kind of long.

 

Still with me? The end of my Texas park tour was Six Flags Over Texas. The first Six Flags park, SFOT had a real charm to it much like Fiesta Texas. It really must be something about Texas. They aren't just about cowboys and football; they know how to make a dang good amusement park.

 

Because I had no clue when I'd make it back to the park, I pre-reserved a Platinum Flash Pass online. Typically I max out at gold, but I saw the New Texas Giant was platinum only and I had every intention to maximize my rides on the first RMC. When I pulled into the parking lot and parked a solid 10-15 minute walk from the main entrance, it definitely seemed like the Flash Pass would be necessary. It was a beautiful 90 degree day with not a cloud in sight.

 

Turns out I didn't really need it. The only rides with any notable wait like Justice League and La Vibora had single rider lines. Everything else was a station wait. On the bright side, the Flash Pass definitely helped with re-rides. Instead of having to walk down the entire exit ramp (which were pretty long for most rides) and then go back through the long queue (again also very long), I could sneak back in via the Flash Pass entrance which was usually only a few feet down the exit ramp.

 

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Here I am at the first Six Flags. It actually felt a lot less "Six Flags-like" than most others.

Having played an unhealthy amount of Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 growing up, I was already pretty familiar with the park's layout. I walked right in and saw the familiar fountain and carousel. Off to the left, was the Spanish area where I always added a drop tower. I shudder to think how many hours I spent playing that game growing up (actually who am I kidding, I still play it since I have it on my phone), but it definitely came in handy on this day.

 

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Wow RCT2 did a really good job building the pavilion around this carousel.

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How to theme a ride to Spain- simply add "El" or "La" before a ride. See El Toro's area at GAdv for further examples.

The park definitely had a lot of character to it missing from the other Six Flags parks. Even the commonly seen areas such as Gotham City or Looney Tunes had superior theming and a greater attention to detail. I could still see the Six Flags in this park, but the charm was fighting to stay.

 

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Tell me another Six Flags park with a wild west show like this.

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I don't think the same is necessary with this game. I'm guessing this is a Six Flags staple now.

After grabbing my Flash Pass, I made my way into Spain and proudly whipped out my Flash Pass to board La Vibora. At this point, I still thought the Flash Pass was needed since it appeared I had just skipped an hour line. Granted there was a single rider line, but this was more satisfying. Turns out the long line at La Vibora was more a function of the ride's cruddy capacity rather than the overall crowds.

 

I was shocked to see the inline-style seating. Having ridden Great Escape's Alpine Bobsled and seen La Vibora in RCT2 (don't judge me on the last one), I was expecting 2 abreast seating. Nope this was an actual bobsled. The single rider line made more sense at this point. The restraints were surprisingly loose on this one as I had several inches above my lap and around me, but soon enough I was off along with a mother and her child. Interestingly enough, they actually let me ride alone in the back seat on this one...

 

La Vibora was definitely a fun coaster. A few of the turns are pretty wild (particularly after the large, twisting drop off the first MCBR) since you can feel the car momentarily lift off the track and then slam back down. It's a risk-reward there since the cage like seating configuration was a little uncomfortable at these points though. I think it would have been more enjoyable with the standard seating like Great Escape's bobsled. Also I want to add that I love the ride's paint scheme. It's refreshing to see a bobsled not themed to a snowy bobsled ride. 7 out of 10

 

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Nothing says a Spanish themed area like throwing El or La before everything.

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I was not prepared to see inline seating. RCT2 let me down there.

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The bobsled left the track momentarily on a few turns which is both awesome and terrifying at the same time.

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I really do love the unique theme for this bobsled coaster.

I was tempted to ride El Asseradero, but their no single rider policy and the fact that this was Flume Dog's old stomping grounds caused me to skip out on the world's first flume. It was a bummer to miss it, especially on a hot day, but I wasn't in the mood to recruit any friends after my lovely experience at Clementon with the wannabe rapper in June.

 

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Somewhere Flume Dog has a box of tissues ready.

No more messing around, it was time for the New Texas Giant. The ride simply looked massive compared to the other RMCs I've been on. The Flash Pass entrance was in a really weird spot down past some picnic pavilions, but it sure beat having to walk through the ride's ridiculously long queue line that is devoid of switchbacks. At this point, I realized the Flash Pass may not have been necessary as their marquee ride only had a station wait. The back row is my favorite seat on RMCs, so naturally I went there.

 

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This ride made Wicked Cyclone look like a dwarf.

However, when I went to board, I was told I couldn't ride alone. Does this ride really have a no single rider policy too? No even weirder. The park doesn't allow single riders in the back row, a policy I later found extended to all of their coasters. While no hard reason was given for this, I saw a few posts joking that it was to make sure everyone was accounted for if someone were to fall out. I pray that's not actually the reason, but I really couldn't think of any other reason why the back row specifically would be blocked to single riders.

 

I ended up getting the very back though since there was a father and daughter seated in front of me, but the daughter decided to back out of riding. The father eagerly hopped in the back while her daughter patiently watched from the Chicken Coop. Yes there is actually a Chicken Coop in the station complete with a cage and clucking rubber chickens. This would become the scene of something so Six Flags later in the night, but I'll save that for later.

 

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The Chicken Coop is some of the best theming I've ever seen at Six Flags.

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The rest of the station was just so Texas.

The first drop was amazing. Not quite as insane as Iron Rattler's (really no drop is) but it gave the trademark RMC first drop ejector air only this one was longer. The two hills before the first overbank and old MCBR gave really strong ejector air. The first few overbanks have no air but are quite fun, as it's a really cool view to go 90 degrees that high off the ground. The straight section by the old MCBR feels very weird on a RMC. I can't think of a section of straight track outside of this instance, but it's fine since the ride picks it back up afterwards.

 

The diving drop off the old MCBR gives really strong air and the following S-hill was weird for a RMC. It had air of course, but it was only a weak pop as opposed to the usual thigh-crushing ejector air on RMCs. Rest assured, the next hill returned to the standard RMC air with a surprisingly tall drop. I was worried the flying carpet return leg would peter out a bit like Wicked Cyclone. While the speed was definitely less than the first half, all the hills gave really strong air and the three tunnels were cool (even though the second one had another odd section of flat track).

 

I got a front seat ride immediately after and it was amazing as well, but I definitely still prefer the back for the more intense air on the drops.

 

The New Texas Giant was far longer than the other RMCs I've been on. As the oldest RMC, I could see it was less daring in some areas with respect to the outward banked hills and inversions, but it was still an absolutely amazing coaster littered with ejector air. Before we knew RMC became the new gods of coaster building, I can't imagine how shocked everyone was to ride this amazing creating. Honestly this just cemented my trip to Cedar Point next year. I'm assuming Mean Streak will be about as long as the New Texas Giant, but it will have RMC's newest and craziest elements lined up. 10 out of 10

 

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The first drop was absolutely amazing.

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Not quite Iron Rattler amazing though, but no ride is.

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Everyone's butt is definitely off their seat at this point.

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Lots of overbanks in the first half.

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A full train of happy riders.

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Even these tiny little hills try and send you into orbit.

Up next was Titan, once I could find it. You wouldn't think a 250 foot tall hyper coaster could be hard to find, but Titan was exactly that. Remember how I thought New Texas Giant had a weird Flash Pass entry location? Well turns out that was the path to get to Titan. There was also a random Scrambler down that way that I imagine doesn't see too many riders. Titan's queue line is massive and incredibly long. If that whole queue were ever filled, that would be one heck of a long wait.

 

For my first ride, I hopped in the front. I've been on the nearly identical Goliath at SFMM twice, and for both those rides I was in the back. Goliath was a fun coaster but I couldn't help but come off underwhelmed since it's not a very good layout for a hyper coaster. The views going up the lift are fantastic, as I was able to see both the Rangers and Cowboys stadium. It's kind of funny that you are still actually shorter than the latter when you're going up the lift of the hyper coaster, but that's just how massive Jerry World is.

 

The first half is outstanding. I love the drop and the weirdly out-of-place laterals on the nearly 200 foot turnaround afterwards. The ride's only airtime hill gives plenty of floater and then the helix of death lives up to its name and started to take some of my vision away. If Titan kept it up at this pace, the ride would be a home run. The front was definitely the place to be because you could really feel the speed. But alas the MCBR brings the train to a halt like a state trooper on a highway. The second half is quite a bit slower, but the Gs on those helices are still very impressive.

 

When I ride hypers, I want speed and airtime. Titan has plenty of speed for the first half, but trades it in for insane Gs in the second half. I can see how someone could really like Titan, but I will take any hyper over this any day of the week. Compared to other hypers, this is really a 6/10 but overall it's still a solid coaster that's better than a lot of the inverts out there. It just lags behind everything else in its class. 8 out of 10

 

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Titan simply looks massive.

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And then you see AT&T Stadium and learn the true meaning of massive.

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The top of this turnaround was weirdly unbanked and gave some great laterals.

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This is a true helix of death right here.

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Did the MCBR ever not bring the train to a complete halt?

When I was browsing the map, I noticed a ride called Yosemite Sam's Gold River Adventure. At first I figured it was just a kiddie train or kiddie boat ride type thing, but saw it wasn't in the kids area. I decided to check it out and much to my surprise it was a classic dark ride! I had no idea SFOT had one of these, but I eagerly boarded in the back of the boat...until I was told that I had to switch with the family in front of me. I really can't even get the back on a boat that doesn't even go 5 MPH?

 

The outside of the ride looked impressive and surprisingly enough, the inside was very well done as well. The animatronics were relatively simple, but there were plenty of them and they were in great shape. It also helps that I was a big Looney Tunes fan so I liked this over several of the Disney dark rides. 9 out of 10

 

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Either this is the world's most extravagantly themed kiddie ride or...

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Great Scott! They have a classic dark ride. And it was good too.

Up next was one of the indoor rides I had every intention of hitting when I walked through the gates, Runaway Mountain. Not on the Flash Pass, I wanted to knock this one out early in case it built up a line. It had one of the longest waits in the park, but it was only about 15 minutes and it was in AC which was fine by me. When I boarded in the second to back (I learned by this point) I immediately noticed how weird the restraints were. Instead of sitting on my lap, it pressed into my lower stomach. I'm not sure if this was only because Runaway Mountain was a Premier Rides knockoff (that sounds weird to say) of the Hurricane/Windstorm coasters, but do all of them have restraints like that?

 

Thankfully the ride was smooth. Otherwise those restraints would have knocked the wind out of me. The ride really took me by surprise. I was expecting a tame little coaster, but this one had some surprising drops (particularly the one off the MCBR) and really tight helixes. Also unlike everyone's beloved Skull Mountain, this mountain was actually in complete darkness though it was missing the heavy metal music. Guess that's a trade-off there and the price of quality music. 7 out of 10

 

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This may be the smallest and tiniest entrance sign I have ever seen. You could easily walk past this building and not realize there's a coaster in there.

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The lap bars were extremely weird but the ride was a ton of fun.

I then took an elevator to the top of the park's observation tower, Oil Derrick. This trip report should really be brought to you by Oil Derrick since all the aerial photos were made possibly by this observation tower. The views atop this tower were breathtaking. 360 degree views of the park, the sports stadiums, and even Dallas. I spent a good 15-20 minutes up there and could have easily spent more. 10 out of 10

 

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I'm indifferent to Takis but I hate Greyhound with a burning passion.

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Ah much better at night. I can't see the ad for the bus company with a 100% customer dissatisfaction guarantee.

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Yes it is. The photos are so much better.

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Just look at these views.

After Titan I had every intention of riding Shock Wave, but saw it was down on the Flash Pass. Thankfully I saw it had reopened while atop Oil Derrick. This classic Schwarzkopf looked like a fun coaster, but I was skeptical how good it could be. I did see it on the Golden Ticket Awards top 50 steel coasters a few times which I figured was another instance where that poll was highly inaccurate and skewed. Shock Wave actually was a fantastic coaster.

 

The three drops gave really extreme and surprising ejector air. I have been on other Schwarzkopf coasters like Sooperdooperlooper and Mind Bender, but none of them gave airtime even close to this. The 2 back to back vertical loops were as intense as the helices on Titan. The combination of intense air and positive Gs on the loops made me a believer in Shock Wave. I got three rides on this coaster and the back was by far the best seat, well second to back for me. 9 out of 10

 

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I'm still in shock just how good Shock Wave was.

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It looks so unassuming here.

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But all the drops have insane air in the back.

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I would be so distracted driving down this highway.

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One Schwarzkopf loop is intense. Back to back is otherworldly.

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Shock Wave looked fantastic from atop Oil Derrick.

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Honestly the air on these drops was as good as the air on New Texas Giant.

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Even that tiny little hump before the final turn had a pop of air.

Superman Tower of Power was up next and the combo tower simply looked massive. I actually skipped what looked to be a half hour line here, but like La Vibora it had a single rider line anyway. I loved how this one had one of the silent launches so I didn't see it coming, but the launch itself felt incredibly weak. How a launch atop a 300 foot tower has less punch than Canobie's little double shot beats me. The floater air at the top was pretty good though. However, the turbo drop portion was a major disappointment. The drop did absolutely nothing for me. The views at the top were nice, but I got those from Oil Derrick. 6 out of 10

 

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Superman was a perfect example of why size doesn't always matter.

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Oil Derrick gave the same views and was about as scary, which says a lot about Superman.

Up next was a classic, Runaway Mine Train. As the first mine train, I definitely wasn't expecting much. The portions after the first two lifts confirmed that. The ride had a great setting, but the layout really didn't do too much. Then we climbed the final lift. The theming on the inside of the saloon was amazing. How is that this Six Flags can actually theme things this well. While I got lost in the park's impressive theming, I was doubly surprised by a surprisingly tall drop that gave some great air in the back. 6 out of 10

 

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A true classic.

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90% of the ride was pretty tame, but the ending surprised me.

If one mine train wasn't enough, I went double down with the Mini Mine Train. If most kiddie coasters are Volkswagen Beetles, this is like a Mercedes Benz. The ride had a unique layout and was basically equivalent to the first portion of the Runaway Mine Train. This is one junior coaster I definitely didn't feel guilty about riding (that part came later). 4 out of 10

 

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What a perfect little kids coaster.

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Good layout and easy to fit in.

Whenever I go to a new park, I am always paranoid rides will go down for maintenance. The big 3 that I wanted to hit at SFOT were New Texas Giant, Shock Wave, and Mr. Freeze. I had gotten on two of them, so up next was Mr. Freeze. Batman and Robin is an absolute abomination of a movie (and that's putting it kindly), but I definitely appreciate how well themed Mr. Freeze's station was. Ironically the station was hotter than a furnace instead of being air conditioned, but with Flash Pass I didn't need to stay in there for long.

 

As you may have guessed, things didn't go as planned. As I was next to board, Mr. Freeze had technical difficulties. After 5 minutes, the sliding station (very cool unlike the station temperature) moved into action and a test train shot out of the station like a rocket. The train returned and I figured all was rosy. Then they announced the delay would be significant. Well that's a buzzkill.

 

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I love Mr. Freeze's queue building.

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I guess the test run didn't go as planned since the ride went down afterwards.

As a consolation prize, I decided to hop on the most annoying name ever, Riddler Revenge. Seriously why couldn't they make it possessive? Even the employees were calling it Riddler's Revenge and I'm pretty sure they have no idea the one in California exists. I was really looking forward to seeing how the Giant Discovery compared to the Huss Giant Frisbees since Kennywood's was down for maintenance while I was there in June. As I was next to board, the dreaded "This ride is having technical difficulties" spiel came over the airwaves. This afternoon took a turn for the worse.

 

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Riddle me this, riddle me that, why does every ride I get in line for break down?

After back to back ride closures, I figured I shouldn't triffle with the free fly just yet so I went for the ever reliable B&M, Batman the Ride. The Flash Pass queue was really weird and I thought I had taken a wrong turn. You walk down what seems like a maintenance access rode, pass a backstage area, and then are led to door with no windows. I thought for sure this would be the maintenance bay, but nope, it led right into the station. I waited an extra 2 turns for the front row and received the usual awesome ride. Plenty of Gs on a ride that's supposed to give Gs like that unlike a certain hyper coaster across the park. 8.5 out of 10

 

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The park's entire Gotham area looks really nice.

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Same old Batman, which certainly isn't a bad thing.

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Of the three Batman clones I rode this trip, oddly enough this was the first one named Batman the Ride.

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At this point I couldn't feel my legs. Sign of an old school B&M invert.

Ok now that I finally got on a ride, I felt safe enough to queue up for the Joker. Despite having the Flash Pass, there was still a 20 minute, slow moving queue after the merge point. I was hopeful this one would be as insane as the version at Fiesta Texas (maybe people in Texas have a greater affinity for flipping), but nope it ran similarly to the ones at SFNE and SFGAdv. It's still a very fun coaster with some chaotic rocking, but I only got 2 full flips right at the start of the ride. Still I can't help but get off these free flies laughing because of the unique experience they provide. 8 out of 10

 

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They seem to be the butt of many jokes among coaster enthusiasts, but I actually really like these free flies.

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I only got 2 flips, which was in line with the models at SFNE and SFGAdv.

While waiting for Joker, I saw Riddler Revenge testing so I went over there afterwards. I was happy to see that the ride had the newer style Zamperla restraints as opposed to the bulkier ones on the Power Surge rides. The ride slowly built up to the full swings. I was nervous until the ride hit the crescendo as I hadn't gotten any of the air I heard about, but the payoff was fantastic as the four full swings gave major sustained floater air. The Gs on the downswings were very powerful as well. Like the free flies, if this ride gets cloned across Six Flags parks that is fine by me. 9 out of 10

 

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The ride started slow, but the full swings had absolutely amazing airtime.

Catwoman Whip (again why no possessive) was probably the most disappointing ride of the day for me. I'm a big fan of the old Enterpise flats like most of us, so I was interested to try Zamperla's refresh. The ride was definitely forceful, possibly more forceful than the original Enterprise rides, but it got to the point of discomfort. While the old Enterprise flats pin you comfortably against the back of the car and have your legs free, Catwoman Whip forced the back of my knee against the seat which became very uncomfortable by the end of the ride. 5 out of 10

 

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My first Zamperla Endeavor.

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A cool revival of a classic flat, but the seats became uncomfortable by the end of the ride.

Up next was the massive Texas SkyScreamer. I've ridden SFNE's 400 footer as well and the cycle was identical. The biggest difference was the views. While SFNE is located near Springfield which is a complete and total dump that should be avoided at all costs, this SkyScreamer is located near the Texas Rangers and Dallas Cowboys stadiums in Arlington while also giving breathtaking views of Dallas and the rest of the park. 10 out of 10

 

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They say things are bigger in Texas, but SFNE wins by 10 feet here.

While I was admiring the views atop the SkyScreamer, I noticed a line of people forming in front of Mr. Freeze. Usually that only happens if they're cycling trains and/or about to reopen, so I went over after my ride. About a minute later, the employee stepped aside and let everyone inside the queue. I chose the second to back (the back when traveling forwards for clarity) since I was all too familiar with the park's policy by this point and was on after a one train wait. The launch had no countdown or anything and launching in reverse was a pretty cool experience.

 

Then I felt some pain in my lower back. The transition into the inverted top hat seemed smooth, but for whatever reason it bothered my back. And for reference, I am someone who has never had back problems. The inverted top hat itself was a really disorienting inversion. The following overbank was ok, but the really awesome and freaky part was the vertical spike. I hadn't watched the ride run too closely, so I had no idea about the second "launch" on the spike. It felt entirely unnatural, but the hang-time and resulting drop in the very back was outstanding. Going forwards was a pretty similar experience, down to the pain in my back entering and exiting out of the inverted top hat again.

 

Since it wasn't crippling pain, I hopped back in line for a ride in the front (things that would probably make a chiropractor cringe). Oddly enough, they actually let me ride in the very front alone even though it's technically in the back for half the ride. The forwards portion was nicer in this direction because of the breeze, but I still preferred the back because of how I got to experience the full spike. The inverted top hat transition gave another jolt to my lower back though which still left me perplexed.

 

My back was sore, but I was still able to walk around and ride everything else without an issue thankfully. I'm not sure what was up with that transition in particular and why it gave me an issue. I tried reading some reviews online and read a tip to really force my back against the seat back and tried that on one later ride and it definitely helped me enjoy the ride without adding any more pain. Has anyone else had this issue? After learning to ride it completely pain-free, I was able to say I loved Mr. Freeze quite a bit. 8.5 out of 10

 

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It was ice that it reopened. It would have been very uncool missing this ride.

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The inverted top hat itself was disorienting and awesome. The transition at the bottom did a number on my back though.

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I had no clue about the second launch on the spike and it was definitely a mind warp.

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Hang-time galore.

I was a little nervous to go on Judge Roy Scream after having my back readjusted on my first two Mr. Freeze rides, but like I said it was something specific to that one part on Mr. Freeze that caused me pain. I rode Judge Roy Scream twice, once in the very front and another time in the second to back. The ride definitely wasn't the smoothest wooden coaster, but 3 or so hills had nice airtime. Also I always remembered this ride having a really odd placement in Roller Coaster Tycoon 2. And it's even odder when you see where it is inside the park. You have to go below a road to reach the ride and it's barely visible from the midway. 6 out of 10

 

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Judge Roy Scream is in a pretty weird location.

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The ride sure does look great though. Oil Derrick was the only place to see it outside of the queue.

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A little rough, but the ride did have a few hills with nice air.

 

Pandemonium was a clone of the version at Fiesta Texas and essentially SFNE, but it was still a very fun ride. Not quite as unbalanced as my ride on the one the day before at Fiesta Texas, but I still really love these spinners. I'm a sucker for any backwards drop and the helices pull some surprising Gs. 7 out of 10

 

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Any backwards drop is a win in my book.

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I honestly thought SFNE's was a custom one because of how tight the fit was there, so it's weird seeing it have plenty of space at SFOT.

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The finale is the ride's best part by far.

The last major ride I planned to hit was Justice League. This was one of the few rides that appeared to have a sizable wait, which doesn't surprise me with the ride's capacity. I really enjoyed the one I rode at Great America, but the ride had some technical difficulties towards the end that ruined the flow of the ride. Not here. The ride went without a hitch and did a great job mixing the physical sets with the 3D screens. Some of the action is difficult to pick up at the end and it's truly chaotic to see what you're shooting, but it's still miles ahead of what kind of dark ride I thought I'd see at a Six Flags. 8 out of 10

 

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This is one of those rides I don't mind seeing Six Flags clone.

And of course I made time for the kiddie credit after getting on everything else. The park had a really large Looney Tunes area compared to the others I've visited in pursuit of kiddie credits. SFOT's kiddie credit was a Chance Big Dipper for a change and as far as kiddie coasters go, it's a pretty solid model. Pretty smooth and comfortable for adults. 2 out of 10

 

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The Looney Tunes area was by far the largest I've seen at any Six Flags park.

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I didn't feel too guilty riding this one.

I planned to finish my night with a few rides on New Texas Giant. I was able to get two, though I almost missed out on the last ride. As I was waiting for the third to back, two 10-11 year old girls in the row in front of me asked if their friend could cut me to ride with them. I told them I was a single rider, so they could ride with me and the girl said as snobbishly as possible "Well I want to ride alone". 9 times out of 10, most people don't mind if you ride with them, but I always ask just to be sure. And I am the same. However, I sure as heck wasn't willing to give in to the little brat's request.

 

When I told her no, they were pretty pissed that I didn't let her cut me. I'm sure they were about to start an argument (one that I was fully intending to walk away from by boarding the train), but then I heard screaming from the queue line. I'm sure it was just some rowdy teens as usual. Nope it was much worse than that. Two women (25-30ish) stormed up the ramp screaming "He touched me!" Well that doesn't sound good. The guy stormed up and had to be restrained since he was saying some not so Christian things about the two women.

 

The employees were kind of shocked as to what to do, so they called security and opened the air gates to let the two women find refuge in the Chicken Coop. We then lost all sympathy for the women since they started making some pretty vulgar comments towards the guy. Meanwhile, the operator opened the air gates and started boarding the next train. As bratty as those girls were I didn't think they should be anywhere near the station as this shouting match went down so I let her get on the ride. As she boarded, she just looked back at me and smirked.

 

Joke was on her since she got stuck on the brake run for a bit while they sorted the situation out. It sounds like the women threw their water or soda onto the guy and then somehow from that the women said that he touched them. A few people in the queue stepped forward to the guy's defense simply by calling the women some words that aren't appropriate for this forum. After security came up, the two women ran down the exit ramp and everyone in the station applauded like we were at a Broadway show. Not quite sure what I saw, but it was a reminder that I was in fact at a Six Flags.

 

Anyway, night rides on New Texas Giant are fantastic and even better than those during the day, which is the case with most coasters. I was a little disappointed the tunnels were pitch black instead of having the rainbow lighting I saw in older POVs, but having total darkness isn't a bad alternative.

 

Overall Six Flags Over Texas is among the best Six Flags parks I've been to. They have a diverse and large coaster collection with a major home run in New Texas Giant. They also have a top notch flat ride collection, a surprise dark ride, and charm that is missing from the other Six Flags parks. The only area where the park seemed to be lacking was in the food department. The food seemed no different than the rest of the chain.

 

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Still a better pretzel than Sandy Lake's. Sad but true.

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Wooo this trip report keeps on going!

 

What's awesome is that we share the same "surprises" even though my visit was in 2009 and yours was 2017.

 

Shockwave's insane ejector air

The "hidden" launch on Mr. Freeze

Single row seating on Vibora

The weird restraints on Runaway Mtn.

 

I really want to revisit this park as it's got a charm to it, a great collection of coasters, and flat rides. This park has really made an argument for being best in the chain.

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Wooo this trip report keeps on going!

 

What's awesome is that we share the same "surprises" even though my visit was in 2009 and yours was 2017.

 

Shockwave's insane ejector air

The "hidden" launch on Mr. Freeze

Single row seating on Vibora

The weird restraints on Runaway Mtn.

 

I really want to revisit this park as it's got a charm to it, a great collection of coasters, and flat rides. This park has really made an argument for being best in the chain.

 

I think the awesomeness of New Texas Giant will keep those surprises hidden since most TRs focus on that ride (and rightfully so).

 

No single riders in backseats? What kind of policy is that and why?

 

Anyway a really fun to read report! Didn't get bored reading and lots of insight on what the park is like.

 

Thanks! I was as shocked at the policy as you. At least the second to back is nearly as good on all the other rides. I just would love to hear the rationale.

 

Awesome report! Looks like a great park that I knew very little about. Might try to make a Texas trip next year...

 

It was already one of the better US coaster trips and that was before Fiesta Texas announced the Raptor. I highly recommend it!

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No single riders in the last loaded seat was a requirement when I worked at the park in the mid-'90's and it went away some time in the late-'90's or early '00's. It was explained to us an insurance requirement that allowed for the possibility of 2 people to see all of the loaded seats on a train in the event of an accident. The had a similar requirement for at least 2 riders on every flat ride. The rule came back after the NTAG accident.

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No single riders in the last loaded seat was a requirement when I worked at the park in the mid-'90's and it went away some time in the late-'90's or early '00's. It was explained to us an insurance requirement that allowed for the possibility of 2 people to see all of the loaded seats on a train in the event of an accident. The had a similar requirement for at least 2 riders on every flat ride. The rule came back after the NTAG accident.

 

Thanks for explaining. Still a weird policy. I'm just glad the other Texas parks don't have it.

 

Great report of SFOT! I really need to make this park a priority next year. It's only about 7 hours away, and as many times as I've been to Dallas, I still haven't been to the park yet.

 

It was torture when I was sent to Dallas for work last year since it was a beautiful 70 degree day yet the park was closed. Definitely glad to get to visit this time.

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As for superman tower of power, It used to have a lot more power to the launch, A former mechanic at the park "retired" and good personal freind told me after I asked him the year it changed "2012 - 2013 i think" why it had lost its pop that they were no longer running the full allotment of air compressors to operate the ride to save on energy costs and dropped the operating PSI to match the reduced generating capacity. As for the Texas giant the no single rider in the back policy was instated after the indecent in which a woman fell from the ride.

Yosemite Sam on the other hand has that policy to dissuade goofy teens from exiting the boats and vandalizing up the animations.

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Canobie Lake Park, Visit 2

 

I had plans fall through on a Friday afternoon. Since it was a gorgeous 80 degree day, I decided to go 5 miles north on the highway to Canobie for my second visit of the year. I fully expected the park to be more crowded than my first visit this year on a dreary day, and I was right about that, but that only resulted in a max wait of 30 minutes for the Yankee Cannonball.

 

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Canobie, the happiest place in New Hampshire.

This visit would also let me test out my new phone's camera. This is something that has been a year in the making. Last year, Storm Chaser annihilated my phone case. In the time I had my phone out of the case, my frame bent so I knew I'd have to replace it someday. My phone lasted a year, but it was dealt a near fatal blow by another RMC down in Texas. My phone was still functional, but the frame bend became more pronounced and it started to overheat pretty quickly.

 

The employee parking lot runs next to the Yankee Cannonball, so I began my visit standing at the edge of this parking lot testing out my phone's camera. I had an employee watching me confused as I did it, but he didn't say anything since I stayed in the public lot. I guess if you spend 40 hours working at the park, the Yankee Cannonball doesn't look quite as fun. Overall I think the camera did pretty well. The max zoom wasn't as good as my digital camera, but it's at least passable and the standard photos may be better.

 

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For a camera phone, the zoom is pretty good.

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This camera will do nicely.

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This hill probably has the best air on the ride.

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GCI ruined the air off this turn, but the ride is still glass smooth at least.

Since it was a relatively warm day, I decided to start off with the Boston Tea Party. I hadn't ridden this in years since a majority of my visits have been in the evening, but I was in the mood to get soaked from head to toe on this day. It's still one of the best themed shoot the chute rides out there. While it seems a lot of parks are removing their versions, I see Canobie keeping this one around for a very long time. It's still one of the park's marquee rides and has an entire area themed to it.

 

The ride itself gives a great view of Canobie Lake (the lake, not the park) and I definitely prefer the Hopkins versions over the Intamin ones. The Hopkins ones have better drops and far larger splashes. If I'm going on a shoot the chutes ride, I am expecting to get soaked so the massive wave is part of the experience. I rode it twice since it was a walk-on.

 

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How many parks theme an entire area for a shoot the chutes ride?

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They're still dry...for now.

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And there it goes.

I spent the first 2 hours riding a lot of flats. I rode the Turkish Twist twice. After the first run, I was still damp from the Boston Tea Party so I needed to go back in the dryer. I also rode Star Blaster and the queue moved much more slowly than I anticipated due to only one worker checking the restraints (usually they have 2). I ended up waiting a half hour, which is double what I usually wait, but the airtime at the top of the tower made up for it.

 

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After the Boston Tea Party, I felt like a piece of wet laundry.

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Blasting towards the stars (and not the eclipse).

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The flying cocks.

Two flats I did not get on were the Matterhorn and Xtreme Frisbee. The former has been gone for over 10 years at this point. In that time it has been replaced with a hot dog stand, the amazing Equinox, and then the hot dog stand again. That pad really needs a ride there and there may be movement on that front. I made sure to take a peek during the day after not seeing much at night in my last visit. It's hard to say what's coming, but I'm optimistic after years of not receiving a new ride. Then the Xtreme Frisbee has been down for a year at this point and it's not even on the park's website anymore.

 

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Please be for a new ride. I'm sick of that hot dog stand being here.

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I am seriously wondering if the Frisbee will ever run again at this point.

I had planned to ride the Corkscrew once. As I walked up, I saw a group of people waiting behind the railroad tracks. I didn't see a train coming so I was wondering why the land of jaywalking had a group of people sitting there like a herd of sheep. Much to my amazement, the line extended beyond the tracks. I had never seen the queue that long before so Corkscrew was dropped from my plans. The kiddie coaster didn't have a wait on the way by, but I decided to move onto bigger and better things.

 

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When the kiddie coaster is pulling a line, you know it's a busier day at the park.

And the better things were the park's two major coasters, Untamed and Yankee Cannonball. I started with Untamed since I wanted to save the latter for night. Untamed appeared to have a 15-20 minute wait, but I was able to skip that using the ride's somewhat hidden single rider line. I got two rides in a 10 minute stretch. I really wish this thing had lap bars like Hydrus, but it's still a very enjoyable coaster as long as you brace yourself for the changes of direction.

 

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I don't know what area looks better, Boston or Big Bear Plaza.

It was about 8:30 so I decided to head over to the Yankee Cannonball. It had a full queue, which equates to just over a half hour wait. I knew I'd be able to get at least 2 rides in, but I was hoping to get 3. The park routinely closes the Yankee Cannonball's line down around 9:30 (something that has burned me many times in the past), so I was hoping I'd get off my second ride before the cutoff.

 

I only got two rides as the wait was closer to 35 minutes that 30 minutes (in this case, every minute counted), but on the bright side I got the very back for my last ride. As I said in my last Canobie report, the back is by far the best seat on the Yankee Cannonball. There's a major difference between that seat and even the second to back. My last ride in the darkness was fantastic. Plenty of great air on the larger drops and even some surprise pops on the return leg which is usually air free.

 

With the queue line for the Yankee Cannonball closed, I decided to finish up with the Log Flume. I was able to get 3 rides in. After the Yankee Cannonball, this is definitely my favorite ride in the park. I rarely ever ride this during the daytime since I know I can get on with no line at the end of the day and there's something peaceful riding through the woods in the evening.

 

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When the Yankee Cannonball's queue line closes, this is the best backup plan.

Overall it was a quick impromptu visit, but I had a great day as usual at Canobie. It was the perfect excuse to test out my new phone's camera and ride a few of my favorites at the park. I really do hope they have a new ride coming next year since it has been several years, but regardless I will definitely be sneaking up there at least once or twice after a day of work.

 

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My phone handled the light package of the Ferris Wheel pretty well outside of the double effect.

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York's Wild Kingdom

 

On a beautiful Saturday afternoon, we decided to make a quick trip up to Funtown to take advantage of their crazy cheap twilight ticket where you can get in for $13. I'd pay that alone for a few rides on Excalibur let alone the other rides in the park. We had a few hours to kill before that deal kicked in. Traffic on I-95 burned one of those tickets thanks to all the Massachusetts idiots going to Hampton Beach (there are seriously much nicer beaches in Mass- Nantasket, Cape Cod, Rockport, etc).

 

After crawling across the Maine line, we decided to make a pit stop in York. For most people, that's to visit the big lighthouse and the beach. Privy enthusiasts know that there's a little zoo with an even smaller credit known as York's Wild Kingdom.

 

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You'd think it was only a zoo based on this sign.

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But not based off of this entrance. The Ferris Wheel is run very fast and gives some great views of York.

They used to have a respectable credit with a Flitzer until the late 1990s, but they decided to remove it for batting cages the same year that Funtown opened Excalibur. A few years back they re-entered into the coaster scene with the Wacky Mouse. You may think this would be a wild mouse style coaster, but instead it's an ever popular wacky worm. I didn't ride it. Not because I'm above credit whoring, but because I already had the credit from my trip last year.

 

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Credit whores take note.

The park's main draw is the zoo. I probably haven't been to the zoo side in 10 years at this point, but remember it being solid. The ride side has 2 good fun houses, a scrambler, a round-up, go karts, and kiddie rides. They used to have a great set of bumper cars, but the old pavilion was torn down and they got a set of modern cars that move so painstakingly slow that it's simply not a fun ride. The park also has a great Ferris Wheel that is run much faster than most parks.

 

We actually passed right through the park (that says a lot about the park) to tour downtown York. The water was frigid so we didn't really go on the beach, but we walked through downtown York for a bit passing the homemade candy shop and eventually popping in the old arcade, Fun-o-Rama. They had an excellent section of older games, highlighted by 2 rows of pinball machines. Pinball is still the best arcade game.

 

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Like most New England beaches, the water was frigid.

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I could watch this machine all day.

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It's refreshing seeing an arcade without the initials D&B.

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Fun o Rama had a great selection of pinball machines. They got more money from me than York's Wild Kingdom.

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Funtown U.S.A.

 

Funtown is a park that I almost bought a season pass for the past two years. They have a good wooden roller coaster, some nice flats, a fun log flume, and a great water park. They are also only an 1-1.5 hours from me. So what's stopping me? The value. While a season pass costs over $100, Funtown offers one of the best deals on twilight tickets in the industry at $10-$13. That's an amazing deal! Since I definitely wouldn't make it to the park over 10 times per year, the twilight ticket is the way to go.

 

For a 10 pm closing, the super discounted twilight ticket begins at 6 pm. With the low crowds Funtown gets, 4 hours is more than enough to hit the major attractions and get several rerides on Excalibur. They also have another twilight ticket starting at 3 pm that's $20. For that reason, I don't feel the need to get there at opening and pay almost $40. I made sure to visit on a Saturday when the park was open until 10 to get some night rides on Excalibur.

 

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I'll pay for four hours at an amusement park any day of the week.

We started off with the Grand Prix Racers go karts. Unlike most parks that have go karts as an upcharge attraction, Funtown includes them with park admission, no strings attached. Well actually there are strings attached; you only get two rides, but honestly one is sufficient. In a world when FECs charge ~$6 for go karts, I'll happily pay double that to also get rides on everything else at Funtown. As far as go karts go, these ones are just average, but they are just gravy on top of everything else the park has to offer. 6 out of 10

 

After some disappointing S&S towers down in Texas, I was afraid I had built up an immunity to turbo drops. Dragon's Descent quelled those fears. While not an Intamin or ARM/Larson tower, this is the strongest drop on any of the S&S towers I've been on. That's combined with the breathtaking views at the top (make sure you face the entrance so you can see the Atlantic Ocean) and how awesome the theming is around the ride. The dragon at the main entrance looks like something worthy of a Disney parade and the control tower/compressor building look fantastic. 8 out of 10

 

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Dragon's Descent rides as well as it looks.

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If I'm at Funtown USA, why is one of the park's largest areas themed to China?

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It really towers over everything else in the park.

It was at this point I had a realization about the park's "theme". Why does a park called Funtown U.S.A. have sections themed to China (Dragon's Descent), Europe (Excalibur's area), and Mexico (the big restaurant across from the Antique Cars) yet nothing themed to the US? The park looks great, but it was just a weird observation I made during my most recent visit.

 

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I guess the park wanted to represent the diversity of the US with the theme?

Up next was the park's flume. One of the better ones out there, Thunder Falls has a pretty long layout and occupies a large chunk of the park's used land. The ride only features one drop, but it's a very good one. It's quite tall and you are pretty much guaranteed to get soaked. Not from the splashdown, but from water cannons. The park has 6 of them and you are pretty much guaranteed to see a line of rapid New Englanders with quarters in-hand and the focus only a Dunkin Donuts coffee can give them. 9 out of 10

 

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It looks dry now, but it's anything but that when you give a New Englander a quarter.

Enough foreplay, it was time for Excalibur. This CCI creation is the coaster that really put Funtown on the map. At one point, Excalibur was my favorite coaster. The ride hasn't gotten any worse, I have just been on over 400 other coasters since I first rode Excalibur. It's still a good coaster and in the top third of the woodies I've been on since the park has maintained it well.

 

Like Dragon's Descent, the park did a great job theming Excalibur. The Camelot theming is a very nice touch, but the best part about Excalibur is its setting. It is located entirely in the woods, which conceals the layout for first time riders and creates one heck of a memorable night ride when the sun sets. For that reason, I strongly recommend visiting Funtown on a day when it is open until 10 so you can maximize night rides on Excalibur.

 

Despite only running one train, crowds weren't an issue as it was only a 2-3 train wait for the front or back seats. It's a toss up which seat I prefer, so I distributed my rides equally. RMC and Intamin have since surpassed Excalibur in this area, but at one point Excalibur had one of the steepest drops on any wooden coaster. The first drop still packs a mighty punch in the back seat.

 

The first half of the ride has some amazing speed and air. The first turnaround gives a major pop of ejector air combined with some laterals. The next turn is probably the roughest point on the ride, but it's still completely tolerable. It's a lightly banked turn with some great laterals. The next bunny hill is puny which gives airtime that is anything but puny. The subsequent turnaround is much like the first one with some fantastic air and laterals.

 

Unfortunately Excalibur does peter out in the second half. There is another pop of air and some decent laterals, but the speed and breakneck pacing of the first half disappeared like the sun did on Monday. If Excalibur had a better second half, I honestly think this ride could have been as good as Holiday World's Raven with the setting and pacing of the first half. 8 out of 10

 

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Still one of my favorite coasters to ride at night. The setting in the woods is perfect.

I had every intention of returning to Excalibur at the end of the night, but first we had to hit some other rides towards the front of the park. Up next was the park's smaller coaster, the Wild Mouse. A Mauer Sohne version, this one is barely braked and is up there with Hershey's for my favorite standard mouse coaster. 6.5 out of 10

 

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Definitely one of the wilder wild mice.

Along with Dragon's Descent, Funtown has two other great flats in Atsrosphere and their Bumper Cars. Astrosphere is an amazing indoor scrambler that's more like a rave than a spinning ride. The park employees pride themselves in putting on crazy shows with lasers, fog, and projections all while ELO's Fire on High (an amazing song for a ride) is blasted. 10 out of 10

 

Funtown also has a very underrated set of bumper cars. With old classic cars, no divider, and a very long ride time, Funtown's Bumper Cars are among the best I've been on. While most parks are openly against head-on collisions (even without the divider), Funtown couldn't care less which gives you the perfect opportunity to ram full speed into your friends and absolutely launch them. 9 out of 10

 

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No divider and a blind eye to head on collisions, yes please.

With a half hour left, we returned back to Excalibur to finish the night. We got a ride in the back and it was even better at night. The entire layout was pitch black outside of the lift hill and the ride felt so much faster.

 

Since it was a complete walk-on at this point, the park was more than willing to save you a trip down the long exit ramp. They had you exit the train and herded everyone just beyond the exit gate. After they opened and closed the air gates, it was the running of the bulls for any open seat. Since we didn't want to elbow anyone for the best seats, we instead chose to walk around to get one last ride in the front row.

 

We re-entered the queue around 9:55 and were next in line for the front. Two 20-something year olds entered the queue line behind us. The ride ops came over and said the next ride would be the last of the night. Sweet! We got in line just in time. The ops asked the two behind us to switch to another row. 95 times out of 100, people may be disappointed but they will move. These two dug their feet in the sand.

 

"We had our hearts set on the front seat. We didn't drive 50 minutes to be denied the front. This will run our whole visit." Eventually the employee said they could run another train. On one hand, that was great since we would get one extra ride on Excalibur (albeit probably in the middle with the stampede for the seats). On the other hand, I wish the employees hadn't caved into them.

 

As we boarded our train, we heard the two behind us saying, "Those people [us] look like they have their hearts set on the front seat too. If they weren't selfish and moved back a row, the employees could have made this the last train of the night." I had to try so hard not to make a scene, but I'm sorry that we're being selfish for not giving up our spot in line for two people who didn't want to wait an extra 5-10 minutes earlier in the day to ride in the front row.

 

We got back and those two sat down in the front row. We let the masses choose their seats and then ended up in the 3rd to back, which was a great choice all things considered. It was another great ride. As we returned to the station, the two in front started a "One more time" chant. Again, we were being the selfish ones.

 

Funtown may not be as good as Canobie or Lake Compounce, but it's another smaller park that serves as an alternate to Six Flags New England. I can safely say that I'll be making at least 1-2 visits up to the park per year for the foreseeable future as long as they keep that great twilight ticket going.

 

Afterwards, we stopped at Old Orchard Beach to get some greasy goodness at Pier French Fries. A staple of OOB, the pier fries are crispy crinkle fries that will certainly clog your arteries. But they are so good we quite frankly don't care. The place is directly across from Palace Playland, OOB's beachfront amusement park.

 

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Think of Nathan's fries. Except imagine them good. That's Pier French Fries.

It really has the feel of a permanent carnival rather than a theme park so we didn't stop in, especially since it has been quite some time since they added anything new. I'm hoping they replace the Galaxi with a new coaster in the near future, but honestly I wonder if the park will be sticking around after so many other New England beach parks closed. I mean this is the one that lasted?

 

The weird thing I observed about the park's closing is that it occurred in phases. The back half of the park closed at 11. The front left closed at 11:15. And the final quadrant closed close to midnight. It was pretty weird seeing them keep a Yo-Yo, 40 ft tall drop tower, and Troika open over everything else, but they still had riders so I don't blame them.

 

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That clown is pretty creepy.

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