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Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Gillian's Wonderland Pier- The calm before the Gale Force

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not only is that an amazing TR from Knoebels. . it's really funny, since i started last night writing up my TPR Trip Report for Knoebels (I'll likely finish that up and post on Monday), and we commented on a lot of the exact same things!

 

in particular, is i typed about how tight the restraints were on 1001 Nachts (and even mentioned how rare it was that it was operating, so that's why we hopped on it).

 

LOL

 

great report, and just know ahead of time, i'm not copying you

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Great report! Like Bert, we focused on a lot of the same things, haha.

 

As far as the motorboats, they are really hard to control, but there's a trick to them. You have to sort of look under the "dashboard" and realize how the steering is constructed to "get" it. There's just a rope, wrapped around the boat in a big almost-complete circle, that connects to both sides of the rudder, and it's just stretched across a pulley on the steering shaft. Nothing is actually connected together. Turning the wheel just sort of slides the rope a bit, but it's slippery and very often a little too loose, so it kind of slips back towards the center on its own very quickly. It's a weird, very cobbled-together setup, and not intuitive to steer, but once you figure that out, and that you have to kind of keep turning it, at different speeds for different rudder angles, it's mostly controllable. Not great, but you can stay off the walls, anyway.

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Awesome photos of Knoebels! That place is truly wonderful.

 

Thanks! I don't know anyone who hasn't walked away from Knoebels thinking it's a gem.

 

Another excellent report! With every report I read from Knoebels, it gets higher and higher on my bucket list. It truly is a very unique park. Thanks for sharing!

 

Thanks! It definitely doesn't have the number of coasters of the US's other major thrill parks, but it's absolutely one of the best parks and unlike anything else you'll find over here.

 

not only is that an amazing TR from Knoebels. . it's really funny, since i started last night writing up my TPR Trip Report for Knoebels (I'll likely finish that up and post on Monday), and we commented on a lot of the exact same things!

 

in particular, is i typed about how tight the restraints were on 1001 Nachts (and even mentioned how rare it was that it was operating, so that's why we hopped on it).

 

LOL

 

great report, and just know ahead of time, i'm not copying you

 

Thanks! Good thing I got it out today so I don't get accused of plagiarizing. I look forward to reading your report when it comes out.

 

Great report! Like Bert, we focused on a lot of the same things, haha.

 

As far as the motorboats, they are really hard to control, but there's a trick to them. You have to sort of look under the "dashboard" and realize how the steering is constructed to "get" it. There's just a rope, wrapped around the boat in a big almost-complete circle, that connects to both sides of the rudder, and it's just stretched across a pulley on the steering shaft. Nothing is actually connected together. Turning the wheel just sort of slides the rope a bit, but it's slippery and very often a little too loose, so it kind of slips back towards the center on its own very quickly. It's a weird, very cobbled-together setup, and not intuitive to steer, but once you figure that out, and that you have to kind of keep turning it, at different speeds for different rudder angles, it's mostly controllable. Not great, but you can stay off the walls, anyway.

 

Thanks! We sort of realized constantly turning the wheel and perpetually correcting our course was the only option for us. We weren't sure if it was just us or our boat, so I'm glad others have struggled just as much.

 

Great report!

 

I’m glad you finally saw the light with he pirogies.

 

As for steering the boats, yeah...

 

 

Thanks! That's exactly how our ride went! I'd really love to see how someone really familiar with boating would do.

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Wow - it looks like Knoebels is The TPR Park of the Year, to me, with so many TRs including it, or of it recently!

 

It's still on my Bucket List. From long ago. Before social media, I knew it was a park to get to, in the future.

 

Thanks for your TR on it. EDIT: The perogies! How could I forget The Perogies????

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Used the term *girlfriend* 16 times...photos of girlfriend - 0!

 

Just making sure she's not actually a ride at Knoebels as we know that's possible!

 

Haha I don't blame you for being skeptical, especially with some of the creepy enthusiasts out there.

 

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I'm impressed I was able to get a night photo with both our faces and text visible.

 

Wow - it looks like Knoebels is The TPR Park of the Year, to me, with so many TRs including it, or of it recently!

 

It's still on my Bucket List. From long ago. Before social media, I knew it was a park to get to, in the future.

 

Thanks for your TR on it.

 

Thanks! As I wrote this, I realized there had been a ton of Knoebels TRs lately but you can never have too many of those.

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Used the term *girlfriend* 16 times...photos of girlfriend - 0!

 

Just making sure she's not actually a ride at Knoebels as we know that's possible!

 

Haha I don't blame you for being skeptical, especially with some of the creepy enthusiasts out there.

 

[attachment=0]IMG_20180811_221933.jpg[/attachment]

 

See! That was easy wasn't it!

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Water Wizz

 

Yes there actually is a water park called Water Wizz. Two to be precise. The Massachusetts location is the larger of the two and is most famous for being featured on Grown Ups, although it’s probably for the better if you’ve never seen that trainwreck of a movie. This summer I decided to whore out Rhode Island’s only permanent roller coaster and it just so happened the other Water Wizz location was literally across the street from Atlantic Beach Park.

 

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Yes, the place really is called Water Wizz.

 

Westerly is one of the oddest beaches I’ve ever seen. The area around the beach felt very empty. All of the hotels and touristy things were in small clusters, so you’d have half mile stretches of nothingness between them. There’s also a random hill along the beach and that just so happens to be where Water Wizz is located.

 

Water Wizz may be the smallest water park I’ve ever seen. It consists of just six slides, three splashdown pools, and a restroom. There are no swimming pools, sprayers, food stands, or anything else you’ll usually find at a park. For this reason, Water Wizz offers both an all-day and pay by the hour pricing scheme. I took advantage of the early morning special, which had the added benefit of minimal crowds.

 

All six slides use mats. I started with the serpentine slides. The outside slides were pretty tame, but the middle one caught me by surprise and I almost lost my mat on one of the tight turns. Still these were just the appetizer for the craziness of the other slides. 5 out of 10

 

The park also boasts two speed slides that tower over everything else in the town of Westerly. Both these slides feel completely out of control. For one, you’re absolutely flying down these slides since they forgo turns. Besides that, the slide has a pretty wide trough. For this reason, the mats have enough room to rotate and spin on the way down. Throw in a surprise airtime moment and you’ll hear a lot of expletives if you stand by these slides.

 

But the real thrill is the landing. Most mat slides gradually transition into a splashdown pool or have a runoff area. This slide has a 1-2 inch tall gap between the end of the slide and the pool. The result is that you and your mat will skid across the water until you realize you aren’t Jesus and crash land into the pool. Many of my splashdowns were of the booty over teakettle variety. The landings weren’t exactly comfortable, but they had a whole lot of character. 8 out of 10

 

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They don't make slides quite like this anymore.

 

Water Wizz definitely isn’t a place to go out of your way for. Atlantic Beach Park certainly isn’t worth going out of your way for either (even for credit whores as you’ll find in my next report). But if you’re in the area and enjoy wild water slides, those speed slides are (as we’d say in New England) “wicked pissah”.

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Thanks! I've been extremely fortunate with work travel this year and been able to tack trips onto the weekends before or after.

 

I am on Coaster-Count, but I probably update it every 3-4 months. I trust my handy dandy Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and that's what I keep most up-to-date. That way I can track only the rides I consider coasters (I had no clue some people considered Island of Adventure's High in the Sky Seuss Trolley monorail a coaster) and the stats that I want to track.

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Atlantic Beach Park

 

Rhode Island may be the country’s smallest state, but they certainly aren’t poor on beaches. For that reason, it’s astounding that Rhode Island’s amusement park offerings are as poor as they are. Today there’s only one remaining park and I honestly don’t know how it has survived after all these years. That park is Atlantic Beach Park.

 

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Ok here's the park. Now where's my credit?

 

The park’s primary claim to fame is the historic Flying Horses Carousel. That’s probably the only reason this place still exists. However, the main draw for me (as sad as it is) was the Dragon kiddie coaster. There was only one problem; it was no longer there.

 

RCDB said the coaster closed at the end of 2017. That should have been my first warning. However, in past years the park dismantled their outdoor rides and stored them during the winter. The website prominently features the Dragon Coaster and it was mentioned in a June 2018 trip report, so I figured it may be operating. Attempts to reach the park via phone and email failed, so I took a chance and only found a vacant plot of land where the Dragon once stood.

 

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The website seems to suggest the Dragon Coaster still being there. (Photo courtesy of Atlantic Beach Park's website)

 

The entire outside area was a ghost town. There were no operators in sight and just two lonely rides sitting there, a spinning barrels flat and a mini himalaya.

 

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No one was monkeying around on Monkey Mayhem.

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This Himalaya looks so sad and lonely.

 

Further down the midway (if you can call it that), there was a wide open garage. I was shocked the door was open and unattended, especially since the park has no real gate like many seaside parks. Maybe the Dragon Coaster was buried deep inside since I could clearly see their former Bumper Cars.

 

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There was some activity in the arcade (and remnants of the past in that garage).

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At least they still have a Ferris Wheel. And a musical one too.

 

The lone sign of activity was by the carousel and arcade. After coming all this way, I certainly wasn’t going to deny myself a ride on a classic carousel. One look at the Flying Horses Carousel, and this 1915 Herschell carousel’s age is readily apparent. All the horses are hand-carved, although they’re very creaky and have clearly seen better days.

 

They also had a beautiful band organ situated next to the ride. However, they instead used a recording of a band organ during the ride (and an awful one too that cut out at points). The cycle was incredibly long (probably approaching 4-5 minutes), so it was well worth the $2. 8 out of 10

 

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The Flying Horses Carousel was a beauty at least.

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If the wood carved horses didn't tell you this ride was old, the creaking sure did.

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You'd think the music would come from that band organ, but sadly it came from a boom box atop the balcony.

 

Unless you’re a die-hard carousel fan, I probably can’t recommend Atlantic Beach Park. It really isn’t much beyond an ok arcade and the carousel. Maybe the credit will return someday, but as of now, Rhode Island is one of the few states without a permanent roller coaster.

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Rhode Island may be the country’s smallest state, but they certainly aren’t poor on beaches. For that reason, it’s astounding that Rhode Island’s amusement park offerings are as poor as they are.

 

 

Rhode Island is too corrupt to keep a good park. Not even joking there; we used to have Rocky Point, which was a lovely little oceanside park, second oldest in the country after Lake Compounce. It closed down more than 20 years ago though after most of its board of directors embezzled all of its money away. They all set themselves up their own companies, made a few big "loans" from Rocky Point to themselves, declared their businesses bankrupt, then oops, Rocky Point was out of money, how did that happen, what a shame, guess they had to just walk away rich now.

 

Yeah, I'm still bitter two decades later. That place was my childhood.

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not gonna lie - I'd totally make that stop for the Carousel.

 

3 across with the raised tier for the galloping horses is kind of rare. . .and even if they weren't using the Organ, at least it was there!

 

typically, the organ housing is just empty, here at least it's sitting to the side (even if unused)

 

nice pics, thanks!

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Oh, on the Carousel...that's actually not the real Flying Horse carousel at all! I know, the building claims it is, but the real Flying Horses carousel is nearby and is actually a children's ride; the horses "fly" because they're suspended on chains.

 

https://westerlylife.com/watch-hill-flying-horse-carousel/

 

That Herschell Carousel is an interesting one on its own; it's a bit of a frankenstein's monster. The base of it is the old Grand Carousel from Rocky Point Park, but the horses had already been sold off before Atlantic Beach bought it. They originally replaced them with some rather cheap modern metal ones, which...was a travesty, really, but switched back to classic horses later. Some of them were, I believe, recovered from the original Rocky Point carousel, some were from the original Atlantic Beach carousel. I THINK that carousel organ is also the one from Rocky Point; it at least looks like the one I remember from there, but less sure on that part. The building was from the original Atlantic Beach carousel; the one that Rocky Point's carousel was originally in was torn down, sadly.

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Rhode Island may be the country’s smallest state, but they certainly aren’t poor on beaches. For that reason, it’s astounding that Rhode Island’s amusement park offerings are as poor as they are.

 

 

Rhode Island is too corrupt to keep a good park. Not even joking there; we used to have Rocky Point, which was a lovely little oceanside park, second oldest in the country after Lake Compounce. It closed down more than 20 years ago though after most of its board of directors embezzled all of its money away. They all set themselves up their own companies, made a few big "loans" from Rocky Point to themselves, declared their businesses bankrupt, then oops, Rocky Point was out of money, how did that happen, what a shame, guess they had to just walk away rich now.

 

Yeah, I'm still bitter two decades later. That place was my childhood.

 

I was too young to make it to Rocky Point before they closed, but that's a shame the park met its demise in that way.

 

not gonna lie - I'd totally make that stop for the Carousel.

 

3 across with the raised tier for the galloping horses is kind of rare. . .and even if they weren't using the Organ, at least it was there!

 

typically, the organ housing is just empty, here at least it's sitting to the side (even if unused)

 

nice pics, thanks!

 

Thanks! I'm not surprised a carousel lover like you would want to stop in. Maybe they'll get the organ running again someday.

 

Oh, on the Carousel...that's actually not the real Flying Horse carousel at all! I know, the building claims it is, but the real Flying Horses carousel is nearby and is actually a children's ride; the horses "fly" because they're suspended on chains.

 

https://westerlylife.com/watch-hill-flying-horse-carousel/

 

That Herschell Carousel is an interesting one on its own; it's a bit of a frankenstein's monster. The base of it is the old Grand Carousel from Rocky Point Park, but the horses had already been sold off before Atlantic Beach bought it. They originally replaced them with some rather cheap modern metal ones, which...was a travesty, really, but switched back to classic horses later. Some of them were, I believe, recovered from the original Rocky Point carousel, some were from the original Atlantic Beach carousel. I THINK that carousel organ is also the one from Rocky Point; it at least looks like the one I remember from there, but less sure on that part. The building was from the original Atlantic Beach carousel; the one that Rocky Point's carousel was originally in was torn down, sadly.

 

I almost rode that Watch Hill Flying Horses Carousel when I was younger, but I got carsick and we had to continue home. Even the Martha's Vineyard borrows the same name.

 

That makes sense that they switched out the horses. I noticed that the hooves of one of the horses was actually hitting the platform and leaving an indent. I thought that was a bit weird (and wish I took a photo of it), but now it all makes sense.

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Washington County Fair

 

Parking lot carnivals are hit-or-miss for me. They’re most appealing when the regional parks have yet to commence their annual operation. But I am a sucker for county fairs. Yes you have the same rides, but the atmosphere is tenfold better. You have pig races, tractor pulls, music, and food that will give both myself and my doctor a heart attack.

 

Usually I go to the Marshfield Fair or Topsfield Fair, but I decided to try Rhode Island’s Washington County Fair for a change. Firstly, the fairground is a massive plot of land. Having a large fair isn’t unheard of, but having enough space for a massive parking lot too was a shock. Plus parking was free! Usually these county fairs have local vendors foaming at the mouth as they plant their $5, $10, $15 parking signs along the road. In some ways, it’s refreshing as it’s the only time you don’t see the signs of politicians.

 

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Plus the Carousel was complimentary!

 

Rockwell Amusements provided the midway. I’ve been to a few of their carnivals over the years in Rhode Island and southeast Massachusetts. Since they were on the smaller side, the only Rockwell coaster I had ridden was a Dragon Wagon. I suspected the Washington County Fair would have a more expansive ride lineup and they certainly did. They had three new coasters waiting for me.

 

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The Washington County Fair was home to the finest from Rockwell Amusements.

 

The midway was set up pretty awkwardly. You had one area with most of the thrill rides, including the large coaster. Then you had “Kiddie Land” which had the two smaller coasters and all the kiddie rides. So far that makes sense. But the Kiddie Land also had the fair’s three tallest attractions, including an intense frisbee flat.

 

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Ah this is where the kiddie credits must be.

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Most of these rides make sense, but why is the fair's most intense ride hiding back there in Kiddie Land?

 

I’ll start with that frisbee. They call it Fly Surf and the fencing around the attraction promises that it’ll be “positive energy” and a “cocktail d’emotion” (WTF). On one hand, the ride’s placement in Kiddie Land made it a complete walk-on. On the other hand, it led to some issues since the operators refused to run the attraction until it was half full. I probably had to wait about 10 minutes, but eventually a clan of teenage girls came to my rescue.

 

They sat down, the restraints lowered, and we were off. Wait, where was the restraint check? I verified my restraint was locked and was treated to a powerful little frisbee. There were only two full swings, but these swings produced some strong and sustained floater air. When I’ve ridden Fly Surf at their other fairs, I remembered it having a longer cycle. Maybe they adjusted it for this fair or maybe I’m just spoiled by the 3 minute cycle on SFNE’s giant discovery. Still it’s a thrill, albeit a brief one. 8 out of 10

 

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A cocktail d'emotion.

 

My girlfriend thoroughly enjoyed herself watching me ride the Wacky Worm and Orient Express. Those photos will probably end up on Facebook at some point, so to spare additional embarrassment I’ll just give some generic off-ride shots of the target audience enjoying the coasters.

 

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The worm wasn't as wacky as a certain taxi in Pennsylvania.

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I've always loved the train design on the Orient Express coasters.

 

The star coaster at the fair was the Wild Cat, one of those Interpark galaxis/zyklons that have been spreading like wildfire. As we approached the coaster, there were two policies that shocked me. One, no single riders were allowed. I’ve never seen such a rule on any of the other galaxis I’ve ridden. Two, the height requirement was a stingy 55 inches. I can’t believe this little thing has a higher height requirement than a B&M.

 

The reason ended up being everyone’s favorite restraint to complain about, comfort collars. Even if you were above 55”, the operators would not allow you to ride unless the straps rested firmly on your shoulders. We saw one younger rider denied for this reason. The first two drops were quite steep and I reckon they would have offered air if not for the restraints. The rest of the ride was nothing to shout about, but it was smooth at least. 4 out of 10

 

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These Interpark coasters are popping up more and more and they're great fits for carnivals.

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Going all out with the cat theming.

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I find nothing comforting about comfort collars.

 

We spent the rest of the day watching a tractor pull, playing some games, and stuffing our faces with glorious fair food.

 

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I was really hoping I'd see a dude singing country wearing a 10 gallon hat. Turns out it was a junior football team.

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I'm sure they have the license for this.

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That's an interesting show of force, but I prefer extreme ejector air.

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I hope an event venue going for Mumford & Sons doesn't accidentally drop that last S.

 

The highlight was the mini donuts. These things are always addictive. I was extremely disappointed in the clam cakes though. For those unfamiliar (since they seem to be only a Rhode Island and southern Massachusetts thing), clam cakes are essentially deep fried clam chowder. When done properly they are absolutely scrumptious. These ones were not done well. They were just cakes. There wasn’t a single clam to be found inside.

 

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I bet you can't eat just one.

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Clam Cakes are a delicious staple of Rhode Island.

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Too bad these clam cakes were a sorry excuse. They were all cake and no clam.

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Here in Rhode Island, it's not fried dough. They're called dough boys. It sounds more menacing that way.

 

The Washington County Fair was a nice way to spend an afternoon. It has everything you could want from a county fair and it seemed slightly more affordable than the others I’ve been to in the past.

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Fun Spot Atlanta

 

When I visited this park last year, it was in the midst of a transition and an identity crisis. It had just recently been purchased by the Fun Spot Parks and the name varied depending whether you looked at the main entrance, receipt, or tickets. Fun Spot has since transformed the park in their image.

 

Anyone who has been to the Orlando or Kissimmee locations will notice the familiar logos, wristbands, and rides. The biggest difference is the size of the park. While everything is on top of each other in Florida, the Atlanta location has more land than it knows what to do with. I think the most ironic part is that at one point you walk across a perfectly paved parking lot in the center of the park while you actually park on a grassy field. Also as an aside, does anyone know why this one charges for parking when it's in a far less touristy area than the Florida locations?

 

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Seeing a common identity was already an improvement from last year.

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Fun Spot has plenty of land for expansion. Take this parking lot located in the center of the park.

 

While the Atlanta location lacks a signature wooden coaster, they do have a Miler. Normally that takes the form of a kiddie coaster for enthusiasts to shamefully ride, but Screaming Eagle is a legit coaster. Further, it's one of the most deceptively intense coasters out there.

 

Screaming Eagle gets wilder as the ride progresses. The first two drops don't offer more than a tummy tickling sensation in the back row. Then there's a double down that offers a bit of floater. But that's just a warm up for the final bunny hill which tries to launch riders into the parking lot. Not only does the coaster build up to that airtime moment, but the turns get progressively more intense. While the first few turns were on par with a wild mouse's hairpin turns, the final ones are taken significantly faster. It's completely screwed up that Miler put hairpin turns on this coaster with a full train and this type of speed, but that's exactly what they did. There was no way I was keeping my hands up for those turns; I was in a full on brace position.

 

It's definitely not a smooth coaster, but in a way that helps make Screaming Eagle. If the coaster were trimmed or conventionally designed, it'd be a garden variety family coaster. This coaster has some of the most powerful laterals out there plus an airtime moment that would make any coaster envious. Screaming Eagle is a little coaster that packs a serious punch. 7 out of 10

 

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Where's the operator? Fun Spot was sharing operators between rides.

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Don't be fooled, these turns are vicious.

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While I'd prefer to see a wooden coaster like the Florida locations, the Screaming Eagle is a decent alternative.

 

An old friend from the Orlando location was next door, the Paratrooper. The forward bit was just as fast as I remembered with a whole lot more swinging than usual. I was hopeful they'd still have the backwards portion and my prayers were answered. However, it was noticeably slower. Still going backwards on a paratrooper is pretty darn disorienting at any rate of speed. It was tamed slightly from Orlando, but it still boasts a cycle topping the other paratroopers still out there. 8 out of 10

 

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I'm thankful the Paratrooper still ran backwards like it did in Orlando.

 

Spider is another classic flat next door. I love riding spiders (wow that could be taken wrong if you think I'm into beastiality). I especially like them at smaller parks where the painstakingly slow loading procedure doesn't cripple the capacity. I got a ride with some pretty consistent spinning throughout and the continuous bobbing combined with nighttime lighting packages made for a very disorienting ride. 7 out of 10

 

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I'll always ride a Spider at a smaller park. I can't say the same at a larger park. That loading process is painful.

 

Their headlining new for 2018 attraction was the Samson go kart track. The Atlanta location already had a few go kart tracks. But Fun Spot deemed these tracks too conventional and erected a monstrous multi-level track that's basically a greatest hits of the Florida tracks. You have a tight spiral ascent, hairpin turns ripe for fishtailing, and a death drop where you feel your go kart bouncing down the asphalt. Some of the Florida tracks are more exciting, but this may be the longest track I've driven and it still has its fair share of thrills. 8 out of 10

 

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It wouldn't be a Fun Spot park without a crazy, multilevel go kart track.

 

The Screamin’ Swing is the park’s most imposing attraction. I guess Fun Spot Atlanta decided all their thrill rides needed to have screaming in the name This is a rare installation with just one arm, although most only run one side anyway. The cycle was as short as ever, but it did give 2-3 max swings with some copious floater air. I think others are more exciting because of how they fly over water or a busy midway, but it's still a fine ride swinging over an empty field and deserted parking lot. 7 out of 10

 

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The park's lighting made it incredibly challenging to take any good night photos.

 

The one obvious remnant of the park’s past is the moniker atop the drop tower. Drop Zone still says Dixieland Fun Park, which is now two names out of date. I took a whirl since I always find these mini Moser towers to provide better drops than you'd expect. The cycle consisted of 5 drops and they all gave a bit of a stomach dropping sensation. I really wish these small drop towers were around when I was a kid. 6 out of 10

 

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Poor Drop Zone still doesn't know what park it's at.

 

After a final ride on Screaming Eagle I was planning on leaving, but had a hunch the park’s slide would be really fast and slick considering how Fun Spot runs their go karts. That hypothesis (much like enthusiasts who armchair engineer whenever a ride is down for maintenance) was dead wrong. While I never got stuck, the mat was having a hard time overcoming the force of friction. 3 out of 10

 

The park still has a ways to go, but it least now has a coherent identity. They have plenty of land to expand and if all the 2018 additions are any indication, expansion will be on the way. Right now, it's a perfect pit stop if you have a few hours to kill before or after a flight.

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