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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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^Boulder Dash and Rampage are both fantastic coasters, so based on your descriptions this park seems to be worth the trek just for the two woodies alone. Now you got me thinking about Boulder Dash with topper track...

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Steel Pier I had tried going to Steel Pier once before in 2017, but the park closed shortly before I arrived.  This is one of those parks that has a rolling closure depending on attendance.  So t

While I'm not the biggest fan of the ride, I can't deny it was a great add for a lot of smaller parks once it was introduced so it's neat to say I rode the first.

Twisted Timbers is my new number one roller coaster     at the Land of Make Believe. Land of Make Believe The Land of Make Believe in Hope, New Jersey is a small park pr

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^ As long as Boulder Dash doesn't lose any speed from Topper Track, I'd be all for it if it makes the ride easier to maintain. That being said, I find Boulder Dash easy to marathon but know others that find it too rough now.

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Have a friend from college that lives in eastern ID and I asked him how far he is from Silverwood. He said its probably faster to drive from El Paso to Houston lol.

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YAAAAAAYYY!!!!!!! I'm glad the park is finally getting some attention! (The golden tickets failed once again in that respect). Thanks for the great report! And, for not mentioning the log flume...

 

On the ops, I think every Silverwood fan prays for the day that they add second trains... the ops have their good days and bad, but I still don't think they have to check the seat belt 50 times. On the plus side I can't remember the last time they had any major incident.

 

Don't feel too bad on the train, its a great ride but I think its been on the decline the last few years. Although it could be a side effect of me riding it so many times.

 

Its really a shame that the park gets over shadowed for enthusiasts, I think if the park added a solid/good steel coaster It would help a lot. But then again I could make a multi-page list of what (I think) the park needs to add...

 

Nice pics! And thanks again for such a great report!

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Thanks! If they could cut their dispatch speeds down by combining the seat belt and restraint checks, the lines would probably move fast enough that a second train isn't truly needed.

 

Doesn't the train have a hold-up scene?

 

Have a friend from college that lives in eastern ID and I asked him how far he is from Silverwood. He said its probably faster to drive from El Paso to Houston lol.

 

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^ As long as Boulder Dash doesn't lose any speed from Topper Track, I'd be all for it if it makes the ride easier to maintain. That being said, I find Boulder Dash easy to marathon but know others that find it too rough now.

 

that's a coaster I've always wanted to ride.. but never have been in the area to try it

 

at least not as of yet. . someday!

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I always enjoy reading reviews of this place. Everyone enjoys the woodies but there are so many different takes on which one they prefer and why. I went five years ago on a slow day with pouring rain and everything but Aftershock was open.

 

The giant Pacific Northwest raindrops hitting us in the face on Tremors were more painful than riding Millennium Force in the rain! Timber Terror was running backwards so it wasn't a problem there. Tremors lacked air on all but the first drop for me, while TT felt packed with it so I developed a slight preference for it. I agree with you about Tremors' layout. It's almost perfect, just needs to run 5-10% faster to really make use of it.

 

Another great TR!

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Thanks! I thought Tremors had plenty of airtime for me. It was a pretty hot day for me. Were you there on a cooler day since I know Timber Terror usually runs backwards for their haunt?

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Yes I went the week before Scarywood started and they had just turned the Timber Terror train backwards. It was cold and rainy. Weather made it kind of a miserable day honestly had we not liked the park so much! Riding TT forwards is a bucket list goal of mine now.

Edited by Condor
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I can definitely see how Tremors may not have the best airtime on a cooler day since the middle of the layout sapped quite a bit of its speed. But by my night rides, it was flying through this section.

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Thanks! If they could cut their dispatch speeds down by combining the seat belt and restraint checks, the lines would probably move fast enough that a second train isn't truly needed.

 

Doesn't the train have a hold-up scene?

 

 

Agreed.

 

There is a hold up/stunt show on the train and they donate any money collected to a local charity (can't remember which one). The lead up of the story to the show is pretty good with the buffalo and some relatively elaborate sets, but the second half after the show really gets me. It doesn't flow as well and it plays off the British Expedition theme they try and mix with the wild west and it just doesn't work for me.

 

It was better when they just turned on some music and let you enjoy the woods on the second half.

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PNE Playland

 

One of my biggest bucket list coasters has been Coaster at PNE Playland. Not many enthusiasts make it out to Vancouver, but those who do have nothing but rave reviews for this classic coaster.

 

Fortunately, I was in the Seattle area for work on Labor Day weekend. Unfortunately, this was the part of the year when Playland is absorbed into the PNE Fair. This means Playland gets absolutely slammed.

 

If you plan to visit the PNE, make sure you buy a Rapid Pass in advance online like I did. I cannot emphasize this enough. When I arrived in the early afternoon, they had already sold out and all major rides had queues of 1-1.5 hours. I wish there was an unlimited option, but I was grateful for anything they had.

 

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Casually parking on a horse racetrack.

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Tim Hortons Stage...I'm definitely in Canada.

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So many people. So much fried food.

 

Coaster was undoubtedly my first stop. Going in, I knew they were down to one train. So it wasn’t surprising to see the queue at the 1.5 hour mark all day. People kept asking why they only had one train going and the ops kept apologizing saying they weren’t allowed to run multiple.

 

Rapid Pass had me on the train in no time for my first ride, but I probably spent a total of 7 hours in that unshaded hellhole. It was one of the more miserable queues I’ve waited in due to the sheer length and lack of shade. But I had no regrets. Coaster was that good!

 

The trains 100% make this ride. No seat divers. No seat belts. And a single position lap bar. It’s a coaster enthusiast’s wet dream. The airtime and laterals on this thing are insane.

 

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Just look at the room between your lap and the bar.

 

The first drop gets things started with some good airtime. That’s followed by the first turnaround which finds front seat riders hovering against the lap bar. Then comes the second drop. Back seat riders are treated to some serious ejector air. From that point forward, I couldn’t keep my hands up.

 

Front seat riders get a taste of that terrifying ejector air on the third hill; back seat riders just get a weak pop. The second turnaround does nothing for the back, but front seat riders get some nice floater and insane laterals.

 

From this point forward, Coaster goes nuts. The drop off the (I think) mid-course is ridiculous. Imagine the intensity of Raven’s fifth drop or GhostRider’s MCBR drop with a freaking buzz bar and no seat belts. It was physically impossible not to stand up. Even Colin Kaepernick would be forced to stand.

 

The third turnaround then dishes out even crazier laterals. That’s followed by this twisted bunny hill. Front seat riders get a lethal combination of sustained floater and crazy laterals. Back seat riders just get another burst of ejector air. Turnaround 4 delivers the laterals of the prior turnaround, but this one is kinked entering and exiting so everyone gets strong pops of air as well.

 

Then comes the finale. I honestly don’t know how the next two bunny hills haven’t killed anyone. The airtime is so powerful and abrupt. It’s like the Phoenix’s finale on steroids. After another lateral-heavy turnaround, there are two little dips with quick pops of air before hitting the brakes.

 

Coaster is unbelievable. The airtime this coaster delivers with such a minimalistic restraint system is mind-blowing. And when you mix in laterals stronger than the Legend, you have one of the best and wildest coasters in the world. 10 out of 10

 

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This drop gives good air. And it isn't even the craziest part of the ride. Not even close.

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This is Phoenix on some Barry Bonds level steroids.

 

It was hard to pull myself away from Coaster, but there were other things at the park. With the crowds, even the junior coasters had sizable queues. I think I waited 20-30 minutes for both Kettle Creek Mine Ride and Bug Whirled. The wait was 100% due to crowds and not the fault of the operators.

 

Kettle Creek Mine Ride was an enjoyable kiddie coaster. It had some whip on the drop and it had arguably had the nicest landscaping in the entire park. 3 out of 10

 

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I really liked how this kiddie coaster fit into the park.

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These are about the extent of the trees on the midway.

 

Bug Whirled was a good SBF spinner. This one had a constant spin that was particularly forceful passing through the station. I think it only gave 4 laps, but it made sense given the crowds. 4 out of 10

 

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The SBF spinners have migrated across the border to Canada too.

 

I was also surprised to see Corkscrew still standing. RCDB lists the infamous Final Destination coaster as removed, but it’s still there rotting in the corner of the park. I guess Playland hasn’t found a buyer yet.

 

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The star of Final Destination 3 in the flesh.

 

With the coasters knocked out, I decided to utilize my Rapid Pass to knock out some of the park’s notable non-coasters. The top dog for me was Beast, an odd KMG frisbee. Not only is this one massive, but half the seats face inwards and half the seats face outwards.

 

I skipped a posted 90 minute wait and grabbed an outer facing seat. I expected your usual frisbee ride focused on airtime. But on this one, only the last swing gave any real airtime. Instead, I got some downright terrifying laterals on Beast.

 

Instead of forcing your body upwards, most max swings force you forwards into the restraint. It’s sort of unsettling because of the ride’s height and just how odd the sensation is. But I definitely enjoyed it. 8 out of 10

 

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This is about as high as Beast goes. So instead of airtime, you get these bizarre outward laterals.

 

Up next was Hellevator, which is one of my favorite ride names of all-time. I’m probably partial to it since Riverside (aka SFNE in a former life) also had a S&S turbo drop with the same name.

 

This one had your average drop, but the view of Vancouver was spectacular. I knew I’d see skyscrapers, but I had no idea the city had a mountainous backdrop as well. 7 out of 10

 

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I spy a helicopter.

 

That view is why I was eager to ride the star flyer, Atmosfear. However, there was a problem. The cycle was pitifully short. Immediately after we reached the top of the tower, we started descending. It was a buzzkill since the view was even more impressive.

 

With a longer cycle, this would be one of the world’s best star flyers. So I have a question for those who frequent the park. Is Atmosfear’s cycle always this short? I’m guessing it may have been modified due to the PNE’s crowds. 7 out of 10

 

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This has one of the best views of any star flyer.

 

I also took a lap on the Flume. I know it’s technically a custom layout, but it basically feels like the standard portable flume just stretched out a bit. And since the drops were nothing special, this flume is probably one of the poorer ones out there. 3 out of 10

 

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I know it's technically a custom layout, but it's basically the standard portable layout.

 

The ride lineup is bolstered for the PNE with a few traveling spinning rides, haunts, and fun houses. In the interest of time, I skipped most of these, but I did try the Stampede Fever fun house.

 

The fun house wasn’t the best to begin with. It just had some spinning discs, rollers, and vibrating floors. But it became downright unenjoyable since the narrow pathway turned into a conga line with all the people that were admitted at once. 2 out of 10

 

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In retrospect, this doesn't even look that great off-ride.

 

When the sun started to set, I returned to Coaster. I was determined to get as many rides as possible before the park closed. The line never died down, but at least I wasn’t baking in the sun.

 

With each ride, I loved Coaster more and more. I always thought Coaster was the west coast Phoenix. But I was wrong. The airtime and laterals on this thing are on another level. There’s no way this thing could exist in America.

 

I found the park’s closing procedure interesting. 15 minutes before closing, the park closed Coaster’s queue. At that point, the park exercised a staggered close on all other rides. It seemed like every other ride was timed perfectly to finish its last cycle with Coaster.

 

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I spent way too much time in line for this.

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Chaser lights are my weakness.

 

As a park, Playland was fine. It really did feel like a glorified carnival. It just happened to have a world-class coaster. For me, Coaster defines the place. It’s truly a destination coaster if you ask me.

 

If you’re a coaster enthusiast coming from a distance, I don’t recommend visiting during the PNE Fair. Yes the fair food is great and you do have some bonus rides, but if you want to maximize your rides on Coaster (and you absolutely will since that ride is amazing), visit during another time.

 

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Here are some of the bonus fair rides. Including this creepy looking thing.

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^ Great TR on your (of all weekends) Labor Day weekend visit to the PNE. Closing weekend. I was there for the Friday and the Monday of it, just to stroll around, drink beer, people watch, drink more beer. They had Happy Hour between 3 and 5 pm every day there, so it was nice to have that.

 

Well, you knew about Coaster and the one-train thing. They used to ALWAYS run two trains, of three, during the PNE. But on the first Monday of August (our stat BC Day) the purple train stopped dead on the curved track, above the station and before the straight-a-way. Only took the ride ops less than an hour to evac everybody from it, down the lift hill. And Coaster was down for nearly two weeks. They then re-opened with just the yellow train running. For the rest of the season, and the PNE.

 

But prior to this happening, they had (sniff) gotten rid of the red train, since they "never used all three trains".....ever. They even put one red seat in the middle of the purple train. Then this 'event' happened, they had to figure out what was wrong with the purple train, and that left only one train, the yellow one, for the entire season, including the PNE.

 

So honestly, they're telling people "not allowed to run multiple trains" was kind of a little white lie, since they only had one train to run, lol! I guess it's a better shorter excuse, than the real reason(s).

 

Glad you could make it to The Fair and the rides, if only at a really REALLY busy time. Getting the RapidPass for the big attractions is good advise, especially if one is only going to get there for one day's visit during The Fair.

 

P.S. As for AtmosFEAR's cycle time...yes it was a shorter cycle. When it first opened in 2011, it was a much longer time at the top, before descending. I'm not too great on heights, but I enjoyed the thrill and speed of it, way up there. When I rode it this past season, I was shocked how short a time we were at the top. Maybe somebody got too freeked out, and complained. Who knows the reason? Still a thrill when they run it, and it's a bit windy!

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Posted (edited)

^ Thanks again for warning me about how Coaster was down to one train and that the queue would be massive. It helped me mentally prepare.

 

I think a lot of the questions stemmed from the fact that the other train was sitting on the transfer track. You can see it in the station shot I have below. But based on what happened on BC Day, that makes sense why it wasn't running. I'm just glad they were able to reopen Coaster. I am interested to know if Coaster got new trains if they could keep the same restraints.

 

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For the Fair, Atmosfear's queue easily looked to be 60-90 minutes, so that makes sense why it was shortened for the event.

Edited by Canobie Coaster
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all 3 times I've been to Vancouver? Playland has not been open. . so haven't gotten the "Coaster" credit yet.

 

hopefully in 2020 or 2021

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...I'm just glad they were able to reopen Coaster. I am interested to know if Coaster got new trains if they could keep the same restraints.

 

What restraints?

 

The park re-opens on May 2nd. But I'm hoping to take at least a couple of trips out to the park, and circle it's easy perimeter, if I can see/photograph anything new there. Like new trains in the station, or the Corkscrew starting to be dismantled, or gone altogether. Or something totally NEW being built! That'd be a real nice unexpected surprise. Like the Sea-To-Sky Swinger was.

 

And "if" they get new trains, I hope to gawds they keep the same lap bar, and same nice, comfy seating in the cars that they had in the current trains.

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What was left of the red train, was put in the middle of the purple train. This is what we saw on PLayland's Opening Day last year.

Then they repainted over the red car, and I think it cursed the purple train = BC Day's 'event.' (o;

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Washington State Fair (Puyallup Fair)

 

European fair midways are awesome. You have insane flats operated by crazy carnies. Heck, you sometimes even have a portable 5 loop Schwarzkopf coaster.

 

Most US carnival midways are embarrassing. They’re a wasteland of Orient Expresses and Dragon Wagons. If you’re lucky they may even have a portable galaxy/zklon or one/two great flats. The Washington State Fair (Puyallup Fair) is an exception.

 

I actually split my visit over two days. After Wild Waves closed, the prudent decision was to start the drive to Silverwood. It was a good 5 hours away. But I couldn’t pass up the fair. I reserved a large chunk of time on Labor Day, but this gave me two shots to ride everything and a chance to see the fair at night.

 

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Welcome to the Washington State Fair.

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Is that bigfoot?

 

On the Friday night, ride lines were minimal to non-existent since there wasn’t a pay-one-price wristband offered. Compare this to Labor Day when the coasters had half hour waits.

 

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Friday night was pricier per ride, but it was like having a Fast Lane.

 

My priorities on Friday night were anything that was unique. So my first stop was the Classic Coaster. And I was ecstatic to see the same restraints as PNE Playland’s Coaster. No seat belts, no seat dividers, and a lap bar a good foot above my lap.

 

My ride up front was pretty tame. Half the hills had small pops of air. Half the hills did nothing. The only shock was when the second-to-last hill tried to launch me into orbit. That hill was great!

 

So I gave it another whirl in the back and noticed something interesting. This row had seatbelts. I figured there must be a reason and there sure was. The third drop is downright lethal! You get these wicked laterals combined with powerful ejector air. The fourth drop has similar airtime as well. Classic Coaster is undoubtedly a back row ride. Outside of those two hills, it’s a lot of weak pops of air.

 

Classic Coaster’s third and fourth drops are reasons to plan a visit to the Seattle area when the Washington State Fair is underway. This coaster is very smooth and contains some surprising OFMG moments. 8 out of 10

 

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What other fair has a wooden coaster?

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Just look how high the lap bar rests.

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Just look at the airtime on the 3rd drop.

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I love how each train has its own name.

 

Most enthusiasts prioritize the credits, but my next priorities were two flats- Inferno and Tango.

 

Inferno is a Zierer Hexentanz. If you don’t know it by that name, I didn’t either until a minute ago. This is the same ride as the former Tampico Tumblers at Knott’s Berry Farm and Mall of America. I thought this ride was extinct, so I lost it when I saw the Washington State Fair had one.

 

The movement is certainly peculiar and it results in countless near-misses. I was disappointed it didn’t result in any airtime though. It would have with some more speed though. In short, this ride isn’t a reason to book a trip to Washington. But it’s an enjoyable flat for its uniqueness. 7 out of 10

 

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It's so mesmerizing.

 

KMG Tangos exist to tease me. Canobie used to have one and it blew me away. All the degrees of freedom and range of motion resulted in a truly wild ride. It may also be the reason why they never run.

 

Equinox was at Canobie for parts of three years, but I only rode it once. Equinox was closed on all but one of my visits and even on the sole visit where it was open, it broke down constantly. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have ever ridden it.

 

I’d say the one at Canobie was damaged goods, but I’ve had no luck elsewhere. The one at Reithoffer Shows was closed a few years ago and the one at the Washington State Fair was down for maintenance both days I visited. I guess this is my new white whale.

 

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Sleeping at night.

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Still sleeping during the day.

 

Since I couldn’t exactly use my remaining ride tickets on Tango, I figured it would be a swell idea to finish the night with Rainier Rush. This is universally considered one of the worst coasters in existence and I had a morbid curiosity to see just how bad it really was.

 

Let’s talk about the trains. You’re head gets trapped between this minimally padded OSTR and your knees rest below a metal lap bar that’s too far away for any reasonably sized human being to grab.

 

As we crested the lift, the ride started with a literal bang. The ride kidney punched me in the back. And if I’ve learned one thing about riding coasters, it’s this. A coaster that screws up a lift hill or brake run is bound to screw up everything else.

 

The first drop and inclined loop were intense (definitely not 5.8Gs like they claim), but they’re filled with nonstop headbanging. But that isn’t even the worst part. About halfway through the ride, there’s this off-axis airtime hill. Now it admittedly gives great floater air. But remember how I said your knees are below a metal pair? I felt like I got a crow bar to the knee caps.

 

Folks, Rainier Rush is the real deal. This ride blows. 1 out of 10

 

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5.8 Gs. Yeah right...

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Unfortunately, the fireworks missed Rainier Rush.

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Just look at the profiling on this thing. It doesn't look right.

 

After two days passed, I returned to the Washington State Fair to reride Classic Coaster, knockout the remaining coasters, try some crappy dark rides, eat some artery clogging food, and give the one fingered salute to Rainier Rush.

 

I started with a reride on Classic Coaster. Despite every single switchback being full and the queue extending back to the ticket booth, the line was only 30-35 minutes thanks to insanely efficient operations.

 

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Even though the line stretched all the way back there, it was only a half hour.

 

Wildcat was a bit tricky to ride as the park has a ban on single riders. After hanging around the back of the queue for 10 minutes, I paired up with a father and his two sons. He just warned me his kids had one requirement, we had to ride in the Seattle Seahawks car.

 

For better or worse, Wildcats are basically jumbo galaxy coasters. The helices are forceless, but the second and third drops give quick pops of air. 5 out of 10

 

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No single riders :(

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The Seahawks car likes to get close to the red car. It's sort of like how the Seahawks like getting close to the goal line in the Super Bowl.

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I love the sign.

 

I then nondescriptly made my way into Sillyville to grab the kiddie credits. Dragon Wagon was off-limits to adults, but there was no such ban on Speedy Coaster or Tiger Express. I waited far too long for both coasters, but at least I can say I’ve ridden them.

 

Speedy Coaster was a wacky worm. It was slow and uneventful. But it was perfectly smooth. 2 out of 10

 

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I'm sure they have the rights to use Speedy Gonzalez.

 

Tiger Express was torture. After being stapled, I was treated to not one, not two, not three…but 13 freaking laps on this rattly dumpster fire of a coaster. 1 out of 10

 

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I'd say this isn't worth it, but I know that won't deter any of you.

 

I have a low bar when it comes to carnival dark rides, but the two at the Washington State Fair failed to meet that.

 

All the effects on Haunted Mansion were mistimed. That could have been forgivable had they not looked like trash and the ride been hotter than a furnace. At the time, I thought it was the worst dark ride I had ever ridden. 1 out of 10

 

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That ain't no mansion.

 

But the I rode Ghost Pirates. After hearing a loop of Pirates of the Caribbean’s theme in the station, you are treated to a ride that takes the term “dark ride” a little too seriously. It’s mostly an empty building. There were at least two spots with audio and no discernable visual effect.

 

If a long ride has two effects out-of-commission, there’s still enough there to compensate. But Ghost Pirates wasn’t even 30 seconds long! That meant those two effects were like half the ride. This ride is so bad that it may have beaten Rainier Rush as the fair's worst ride. 0 out of 10

 

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I don't think I've ever given a 0 before. Even that is too high for this ride.

 

Due to the lines on the coasters and dark rides (yes I actually waited for Ghost Pirates), I only rode one additional flat in El Nino. I believe this ride is known as a KMG spinout and it was a lot of fun.

 

When the ride transitions from rightside up to upside down, you are treated to a surprise pop of ejector air that morphs into sustained hangtime. And at the same time, you’re still getting high Gs from the spinning. It’s a work of art. It’s just a shame the ride is as short as Ghost Pirates. 8.5 out of 10

 

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I also took a roundtrip journey on the Skyride. The views of the midway were spectacular, but I really can’t share any since the windows were so dirty.

 

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All aboard.

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This was by far the best photo. And I know it looks like some awful Instagram filter.

 

Of the non-rides, the highlight was undoubtedly the pig exhibit. You had a litter of 9 piglets cuddling their mom. It was such a heartwarming scene. It makes you see pigs for more than bacon, but rest assured, they have a sign above the exhibit reminding you which section of the pig pork and bacon comes from.

 

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When I showed this to my girlfriend, she told me she wants a pig as a pet.

 

Last but not least, let’s talk about the food. I went with the tried and true fried dough and a unique chicken and waffle bowl, but they had some odd items here. The most notable was deep fried butter. Yuck!

 

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Look at all that food (and a per ride S&S tower).

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That seemed like too much butter.

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Ok maybe I'm being a bit hypocritical...

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Best dish at the fair by far!

 

I thoroughly enjoyed the Washington State Fair. While it can’t quite match the electric atmosphere of a European fair, the ride lineup is comparable and obliterates anything else you’ll find in the US.

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Epcot

 

It had been almost a decade since Emily had visited Disney World. That is simply too long! So we decided to spend a super long weekend at both Disney and Universal.

 

Where we'd start would come down to what FastPasses we could get last minute. Since our friend provided us with complimentary passes, we could only book things a few days out. That made it difficult for the attraction deprived parks.

 

Since JetBlue has free wifi, I spent my flight constantly refreshing the Disney app until I got a Fastpass to my liking. After a bazillion tries, a Test Track Fastpass appeared and you can bet I took it.

 

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The FastPass gods determined we'd start at Epcot.

 

Even better, we got an early Fastpass for Test Track. This ended up being a major blessing since Test Track had a lot of (predictable) downtime in the afternoon due to rain.

 

After designing a vehicle had could single-handedly cause global warming, we boarded Tron Test Track. And per usual it was great. The dark ride bit is enjoyable and the high-speed outdoor bit is exhilarating. 9.5 out of 10

 

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I was sort of disappointed we didn't score lower in efficiency.

 

We then used our second Fastpass to skip a 50 minute wait at Spaceship Earth. This is one ride we were sure to prioritize with the 2-year refurbishment on the horizon.

 

I’m sure this ride bores kids. In fact, I know it does. I was bored out of my mind on it when I was younger. But now, I enjoy the leisurely voyage through time. And I know it shouldn’t be the highlight, but I do love the cartoony future finale.

 

Usually it grabs your face and photoshops it onto these comical scenes. However, Spaceship Earth goofed and grabbed the face from my Slinky Dog hat. The end result was priceless. 8 out of 10

 

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I guess Emily is going to be marrying Slinky Dog someday.

 

Since we were visiting on a beautiful Saturday during Food and Wine, the park was slammed. This made standby waits prohibitively long. For reference, the Gran Fiesta Tour boat ride and Journey Into Imagination had half hour waits.

 

Thankfully, Epcot has World Showcase. You don’t even feel like you’re at an amusement park when you’re in this area. Emily and I went Around the World in 30 Minutes while we waited for our Via Napoli reservation.

 

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I never thought I'd see the day when Donald had a half hour wait.

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This felt exactly like Germany...except with more mouse ears.

 

Some will probably call me stupid for skipping the unique items of Food and Wine for this Epcot staple. But I simply love Via Napoli too much to visit Walt Disney World and not eat there.

 

The wood-fired pizza is orgasmic. I had some great pizza when I was in Italy, but Via Napoli trumps anything I ate over there. In fact, this may be my favorite pizza outside of a Lou Malnati’s deep dish or the original Pizzeria Regina in Boston.

 

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Mmmmm pizza.

 

We then braved the Frozen Ever After line. While the ride is probably not worth a 100 minute wait, it was a must since Emily loves Frozen. Plus it’s a fantastic ride. No one ever said that about Maelstrom.

 

The ride has some of the most impressive animatronics at the resort. The Olaf ones are particularly stunning. When you mix those animatronics with a beautiful soundtrack, you have a real winner. 9 out of 10

 

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I don't miss Maelstrom one bit.

 

We then used our final Fastpass to walk right onto the Orange side of Mission Space. I’m still stunned an attraction this forceful exists at a Disney park, but I am certainly not complaining.

 

I will complain about how autopilot won’t let me sabotage the mission. Thankfully, Disney saw the error in their ways and added a different motion simulator that can be sabotaged by a guest. But more on that later… 8 out of 10

 

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This is the most visually stunning pavilion if you ask me.

 

We then checked the remaining Fastpasses. One did pop up for Illuminations, which was very tempting considering it was the revered show’s final weekend. However, we found something much better- a Flight of Passage FastPass! Needless to say, we park-hopped over to Animal Kingdom.

 

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Oh, and sadly this shirt was only available in kid sizes. That mad me sad.

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