Jump to content
  TPR Home | Parks | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube | Instagram 

[Photo TR] Nathan's Summer Adventures 2017


Recommended Posts

Nathan's Summer Adventures

This is a photo trip report of some of what I have done this summer. It will recount my move across the country, local exploration, a cruise, family fun, and of course some roller coaster and theme parks. I'll keep this first post updated with an index of all the new posts.

 

Index:

Move p1: Cliff's Amusement Park [scroll down]

Move p2: Wonderland [Link]

 

Cliff's Amusement Park: The Move Part 1

 

In the beginning of May, I graduated from college! I graduated from Arizona State University with a BSE in Materials Science and Engineering. Luckily I do not have to face the real world of adulthood and get a job just yet, as I am going to starting grad school in the fall. I will be going for a PhD in Materials Science at Cornell University! That means that I had to move from Phoenix all the way to upstate New York. I will definitely be in for quite a change, going to a school about one fourth the size of ASU, actually having to experience weather (Arizona doesn't have that, it is either HOT or not quite as hot), and a completely different culture, but I am super excited for it.

 

Now, moving across the country is no simple task. My mom and I decided to drive it so that I would have my car there, and ended up making it into a road trip. The total journey was close to 2500 miles, and we stopped at 4 different parks and spent of couple days with my sister who lives in Ohio. Now looking at the route we took, I think many people can see a few parks that would have made sense to hit as well. I was wanting to go to Frontier City, but the since we were doing this trip the week before Labor Day, there was not a way to add the park in to fit the schedule of when we needed to be in New York since most of the parks were not open daily yet. We also skipped out on Six Flags St Louis (and also could have gone a little out of the way for Kings Island) because I had already had plans to go there later in the summer. Even though I will be doing Silver Dollar City again, I decided to do it on this trip because my mom has really been wanting to go to Dollywood, and while not the same, the parks do have the same feel to them.

 

Now onto the park this update is about- Cliff's. We made our first stop in Albuquerque, New Mexico to visit this fairly small park. I enjoyed the park quite a bit. Everything was kept up fairly well, there was a decent collection of rides, but the clientele definitely seems to be largely local kids/teenagers. The operations were a little slow (mostly because of the need to scan wristbands) but that didn't take away from my enjoyment. Plus, I've seen way worse operations at some other parks *cough* Six Flags Great America *cough*. Overall it's a nice park for a local crowd. If I was ever in the area again I would stop by and get a few rides at least of the Rattler, but I wouldn't go out of my way just for this park.

 

Now picture time (My camera was dead and I didn't have a way to charge it until part way through this trip as the USB slot on it just stopped working so these are all from my phone and I didn't get that many anyways):

 

Capture.thumb.PNG.32aaad25983adc7c2fe939ba6811c67c.PNG

This will not be a short journey at all

Cliff_01.thumb.png.4d006124cc2376afa11de910edccb847.png

My eye was immediately drawn to the park's sky screamer-type ride, Wind Rider. While it was only 115 feet tall, it was still more exciting than a windseeker imo

Cliff_02.thumb.png.79005e417b325c403c0fbc0c5bf35a0a.png

Who doesn't love a classic Galaxi coaster

Cliff_03.thumb.png.44b3d6eb2d03956755ef92b94fb20651.png

The helixes did pick up a bit of speed and were quite fun

Cliff_04.thumb.png.8e8a0c209df466f55e48c80447da9f29.png

Going down the drop

Cliff_05.thumb.png.cdac266739a87b5a96cd911234693720.png

The parks newest coaster Spin-O-Rama. It is one of the family figure-8 coasters that have been shown off at IAAPA

Cliff_06.thumb.png.6469e7b590aff0e330b555d98ad313d9.png

Most of the ride it felt more like turning than spinning, but the kids really seemed to enjoy it

Cliff_07.thumb.png.f5ce85d4e6afed69c02c4dcf9a3f9b6c.png

The New Mexico Rattler is the parks signature attraction, and it the layout covers nearly half the park. The ride picks up quite a bit of speed, is quite intense in some sections, and has a little bit of airtime thrown in for good measure

Cliff_08.thumb.png.eb32517a4efa1db8f0d9e5994b2edc29.png

A roller coaster, not a roller coaster, and a carousel

Cliff_09.thumb.png.e9229ce5aafc96d6a89c1ae2de1a8522.png

The coaster has a turn around above the kiddie section

Cliff_10.thumb.png.0d8668654afcf2f287dfdc8293c15ca4.png

Going up...

Cliff_11.thumb.png.961b16ebb178c90ef2d622029c6a2564.png

And going down

Cliff_12.thumb.png.57f5d7689b2155c59d0773bccbb3c305.png

I love a going drop tower, and this one looks like it takes you straight to heaven

Cliff_13.thumb.png.03ba283b60a53480893f331a3f5803e9.png

The Rattler's final helix circles around the drop tower. It also circles around the Wind Rider with a few tunnels underneath the walkways

Cliff_14.thumb.png.c22415f9534f74ef156fa8e37433a6fb.png

Log at the top of the drop

Cliff_15.thumb.png.257381589bd60e653b0360d587472650.png

Log at the bottom of the drop

Cliff_16.thumb.png.7f4c8b34eb0aa13ca43ba4dc729a4d65.png

Log disappearing behind a wave of exceedingly blue water

Cliff_17.thumb.png.ec2361a107eb7e8086ab408c6cb6c1bb.png

I got really excited at first when I saw this, but alas there was only ice cream and funnel cakes, but I guess that isn't a huge disappointment

 

Next update, we see what north Texas has to offer.

Thanks for reading, and feel free to leave a comment

Edited by Blue Turbo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 12
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Congrats on Cornell! It's a great campus, and Ithaca is a very nice town. If you're into classic rides and parks, there are some amazing spots in the general vicinity. The old pretzel ride at Sylvan Beach is amazing, and Seabreeze is a great little spot as well with a must-try log flume and a killer old bobsled coaster.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great report of a rarely covered park. Cliff's has always looked intriguing to me, but I can't see myself in New Mexico anytime soon.

 

Glad to hear New Mexico Rattler is still running well after all these years. That Galaxi looks extra good since it has the two car trains. The one at Palace Playland always gives good air in the back row while the one car galaxis I rode at Canobie and Funtown growing up moved noticeably slower. I also don't get all the hate for Windseekers. I really enjoy those rides and honestly would take them over a star flyer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Very cool trip. Cliff's looks a lot improved since the only time I was there (2002, when New Mexico Rattler was new). Can't wait for more!
Very cool trip. Cliff's looks a lot improved since the only time I was there (2002, when New Mexico Rattler was new). Can't wait for more!

Thanks, I should have the next update up later this week

Congrats on Cornell! It's a great campus, and Ithaca is a very nice town. If you're into classic rides and parks, there are some amazing spots in the general vicinity. The old pretzel ride at Sylvan Beach is amazing, and Seabreeze is a great little spot as well with a must-try log flume and a killer old bobsled coaster.

Thank you. I haven't gotten to do much exploring of the area around here since I've been quite busy this summer, but I'll be here for several years so I'll have time to check everything out

Great report of a rarely covered park. Cliff's has always looked intriguing to me, but I can't see myself in New Mexico anytime soon.

 

Glad to hear New Mexico Rattler is still running well after all these years. That Galaxi looks extra good since it has the two car trains. The one at Palace Playland always gives good air in the back row while the one car galaxis I rode at Canobie and Funtown growing up moved noticeably slower. I also don't get all the hate for Windseekers. I really enjoy those rides and honestly would take them over a star flyer.

I don't particularly dislike windseekers and I will still go on them, but I don't find them all that exciting. The best ride I've had on one was when I was with someone who was scared of heights and was freaking out the whole time. I really liked that the star flyer wasn't as rigid since the seats can turn and move around like on a regular chair swing

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great trip report, it's nice to read about a park that's a little off-the-radar. Six Flags Great America from 2013 is still my benchmark of how bad operations can get at a major theme park. Can't wait to read the rest!

 

Edit: I just saw your comment about windseekers. Was it really THAT entertaining?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great first post and looks like you made the most out of a long trip -- nice to hit a few smaller parks that might not be on a typical theme park agenda!

 

Log disappearing behind a wave of exceedingly blue water

 

I'm asking myself would I really want to get splashed by that?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Great first post and looks like you made the most out of a long trip -- nice to hit a few smaller parks that might not be on a typical theme park agenda!

 

Log disappearing behind a wave of exceedingly blue water

 

I'm asking myself would I really want to get splashed by that?

Thanks Andy, and just you wait for this one

Great trip report, it's nice to read about a park that's a little off-the-radar. Six Flags Great America from 2013 is still my benchmark of how bad operations can get at a major theme park. Can't wait to read the rest!

 

Edit: I just saw your comment about windseekers. Was it really THAT entertaining?

Haha, yes it was. But I have to say the best was your reaction (lots of swearing) on Lex Luthor. I was surprised by how much more subdued you were on Zumanjaro.

 

Moving on to the next update...

 

Wonderland Amusement Park: The Move Part 2

 

The next stop on the journey was Amarillo, Texas, home of Wonderland Amusement Park. It is a smaller park, maybe a little bit larger than cliff's, but it's a little hard to tell since the layout of the park is essentially one long midway with a hook on the end. I'm not sure how to give a review of this park because the timing of my visit wasn't the most ideal. I went on a Sunday, the weekend before Memorial Day, right at park opening. Now this sounds like it would be great since the park wouldn't be all the busy, but because of the wind and operation requirement, all of the roller coasters (minus the wild mouse) were requiring a minimum number of riders to run. The issue with that is because people are either not patient enough or smart enough to just wait in the line for more people to show up, so it was hard to get enough people.

 

I was able to get on all of the coasters and a couple of the other rides in my short visit, so that is a plus. The staff were all quite friendly and the park looked fairly well taken care of, especially for being a smaller park. Overall, just like with Cliff's, it's a nice park with a decent collection of rides, but nothing to go out of your way to visit. If you happen to be in the area, stop on by, but I would recommend going at a slightly busier time so you don't have the same troubles as me.

 

On to the pictures:

WL01.thumb.jpg.6a296413e9032a43c0b1699627364f7b.jpg

We have made it to Texas...yay?!?

WL02.thumb.jpg.313922460c9cc0262f329e4f45f87246.jpg

Near the front of the park is the log flume with the sky ride overhead

WL03.thumb.jpg.c40b4c735c8ce096ba76120a084335b2.jpg

Splash! It's hard to tell in this picture, while not fake blue, the water was quite brown, so I skipped this one

 

The first coaster of the day was the slightly strange looking wild mouse, Cyclone. The right was pretty average for a wild mouse, but it did have a longer layout than most. It was smooth which is always a plus. The most interesting part was the cars, as you sat with your legs straight out in front of you resulting in you feeling very low the the track. Also the the wheel base sat fairly far back so you always felt like you were going a little too far before each of the hairpin turns.

WL04.thumb.jpg.2bf3dc186e0e16235c620b63737ce9d4.jpg

Just in case you forgot which ride you are on

WL05.thumb.jpg.d4ba037323a0ea93889e2561cdd18081.jpg

Up and over the hill of strange looking track

 

The next up was Mouse Trap, a Pinfari zyklon, that seems to have the wrong name . Again another average coaster, but it does get a good amount of speed because of the three-car trains.

WL06.thumb.jpg.abf03d77b41d1f35e0d059674cb915a1.jpg

Drop. Side-note: I bet this ride looks nice at night with all of the lights along the track

WL07.thumb.jpg.4629c9a9b7bcb2d3af2771f70b74839f.jpg

Helix #1

WL08.thumb.jpg.21d5487532f5ce741ba3fa1a25cf9bc6.jpg

Helix #2. I don't know what else to say about it

WL09.thumb.jpg.49fc5f52747ceb84c6cb5a002d428c51.jpg

The drop ride looked interesting (I don't know who made it), but maintenance was doing work on it so I couldn't get a ride

 

The smallest coaster in the park is The Hornet, which is apparently a Vekoma MK-700 built in 2009 if you wanted to know the nerdy details. The ride itself is nothing special, it's essentially a kiddie coaster, so what can you expect. The trains are quite interesting. They look almost roller skatery (yes I will make up words) but they have really strange restraints that you have to accordion out when you pull them down so that it reached your lap.

WL10.thumb.jpg.de8f1991bc794635082724a90239873e.jpg

Smoothest non-Disney Vekoma I've been on, but that's not saying much now is it

WL11.thumb.jpg.17c8e525057129a415664f16ab706748.jpg

I'm not sure what drugs that hornet is on, but I want some??? Also you can sort of see the strange restraints the ride has

WL12.thumb.jpg.6a5392df4265d99c44f192b24b6ac6ef.jpg

A colorful wet/dry slide with emphasis on the wet part (I was not prepared for that much water)

WL13.thumb.jpg.62442aea04757943ad50e3d001eaf39e.jpg

This looked like some sort of dinghy drag race, I'm not really sure though, but "the time has come for you to lip-sync FOR YOUR LIFE"

WL14.thumb.jpg.a891768febaf5f82af811e67a142d198.jpg

I decided to take a ride on the sky ride for some aerial views of the front half of the park

WL15.thumb.jpg.0d27e61fa22013e16c530ca17abd0f75.jpg

Fantastic Journey is an old school haunted house dark ride. While not quite the same level as the one at Knoebels, still worth a ride

WL16.thumb.jpg.c13d85814e8192b2200a3b5a35e7afd3.jpg

Overview of Cyclone and an empty log going down the drop

WL17.thumb.jpg.d74f8b021e734a58eb4970fe898df8e4.jpg

A look towards the entrance as well as the ferris wheel and weird monorail ride

WL18.thumb.jpg.f620741d53015bec0c6f4585a581f1cb.jpg

I was under the impression that Texas wasn't a huge fan of rainbows

WL19.thumb.jpg.0186d6f31e862a65c39c8c6d52b7c3b2.jpg

The park also has a mini golf course for people who are into that

WL20.thumb.jpg.0f7a1145a313c0971f0ec9b78080b326.jpg

Is it a real amusement park without a scrambler?

 

The last coaster, the star of the park, Texas Tornado. It is a Hopkins coaster, the second one I have been on with the other being at my former home park. Hopkins coasters are basically knock off Schwarzkopf's, and they ride like it. While they are in no way terrible rides, they just are as well designed (as you will see). I was surprised at how smooth the ride was, but the forces are a bit sudden, ruining the experience a little.

 

This was the ride that was the hardest for me to get on. It needed 10 people for it to be able to operate, which immediately turned people away from waiting. I decided to give it another try as I was leaving and there was a couple who decided to stick it out with me. After another couple showed up, a worker who was checking on something with the ride op went around to other employees to try and get them to ride. We were able to get enough people and we got two laps in without getting off!

WL21.thumb.jpg.d57ed86160c1123705cebbb5fd20a9e4.jpg

Is this the right ride, the sign says Exas Tornado

WL22.thumb.jpg.d9c2f0f5940c7f24196b30268781c276.jpg

That is a slightly weird shape for a loop, but I guess it's fine...

WL23.thumb.jpg.1e9094ac8a3f09252bce23f3fc3ca6eb.jpg

but I think someone screwed up here

WL24.thumb.jpg.3fe1bf5d1d31b328214afeec58352b9e.jpg

And these trains sure are something, they look suspiciously like PTC's, but they were actually quite comfy

WL25.thumb.jpg.9928e728ba047ae3f20b76349f00bb0b.jpg

I end this update with a look at the brake run with some of the layout visible in the background. There is also a rapids ride that I decided against since I didn't want to get soaked and then sit in a car for several hours

 

Again, thanks for reading and be sure to leave a comment!

 

Next time...The Ozarks and amphibious vehicles

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The hornet coaster was originally built at Boblo island amusement park on the Detroit river. It was an indoor coaster that went by the name "nightmare".When that park closed, it was bought by six flags and rebuilt at astroworld. Once astroworld closed, it was bought by its current owner.

 

I was one of the first people to ride it at Boblo island.

nmareblo.jpg.2bddae471a12c917fdcdf7366e691672.jpg

scannedimage__medium__5.jpg.dc999503f11408b38477d493a79fd90d.jpg

images-35.jpg.77f8c20cdf05345387328770da3ad8ea.jpg

13725518_166770923748201_321140410_n.jpg.0df140a70d2fcb955ba1d200f745d522.jpg

It was located inside this building.(top picture)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

^ Lucky you. Last time I was at Boblo, Screamer was the new hotness. Nightmare and Mayan were probably a lot of fun in the dark. Funny, how when an indoor coaster is "exposed" it doesn't seem as intense. Glad to see it has survived though. And "Nathan", I am loving your TR on these off the beaten path parks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

Terms of Use https://themeparkreview.com/forum/topic/116-terms-of-service-please-read/