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Hello! You may have noticed that I had a 2017 PTR thread that kind of suddenly came to an end. Or maybe you didn’t notice. Well, it came to a somewhat abrupt end due to the fact that I was using an iPhone 5 to hold myself over between a deceased 7 and waiting for the X. Well, said device crapped out and lost the remainder of my pictures.

 

Well, those problems are now a thing of the past. I can happily report that I have an iPhone X now and that I’ve now joined the (non-Florida) theme park season as well as the 21st century. My friends and I took a quick weekend trip to Hersheypark and Kings Dominion. Why these two parks together? My friends had never been to the former and it’d been a 5 year gap for me. And the latter did some new roller coaster thing recently, you might have heard about it.

 

So, Hersheypark . A park that somehow manages to consistently add world-class rides every couple of years that rival the major theme park chains. A park that is of a pretty good size and is (hopefully) about to get bigger and (hopefully) add yet another world-class coaster we’ll all collectively jizz over, especially as they’ve had a particular affinity for Intamin rides over the years. It’s pretty, landscaped, retains a lot of classic attractions like Comet, Sooperdooperlooper, and even an old-school whip, fitting it all in among said world-class attractions.

 

Despite all the cutting-edge modern sh*t, Hersheypark still feels like the park from your childhood. It gives classic theme park vibes, especially when the sun goes down and you see the light bulb running lights on Lightning Racer, the smell of BBQ cooking underneath Storm Runner, the sound of Sooperdooperlooper and Great Bear duking it out for audible supremacy between classic Schwarzkopf trash-can-off-building noise and pre-sand-silenced B&M roar. It’s all very…Pennsylvania. It’s honestly one of the best parks in America, in my humble opinion.

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So the night before, we were driving to our hotel and being a bunch of coaster nerds, we collectively yelled OMFG SKYRUSH as we noticed it, hastily almost crashed the car, then ran onto what was likely private property to take blurry photos of Skyrush at night. Sad!

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What exactly happens when you get an 80-degree Saturday in April and Hersheypark is open for the season? The Pennsylvanians come out of the woodwork and make this clusterf*ck to get into the park at opening. Yikes.

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Many, many moons later, we arrived at the entrance ready to take this picture and have our anuses prodded before going into the park. Can I say anuses on TPR? Anus.

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Milton Hershey says "Now, everybody descend at once upon Comet Hollow or whatever it's called nowadays"

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Is that an Intamin coaster in the morning or are you just happy to see me?

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Shake that laffy taffy...that laffy taffy...shake that laffy taffy...that laffy taffy.

 

Laff Trakk was a new credit for me. A standard Maurer spinner, essentially Steel Dragon from Waldameer in a box with some effects.

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The queue has funhouse mirrors that just beg you to take oblong selfies

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"Laffing Sal's House of Fun and Occasional Rape"

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Roller coaster FACT. There are two cobra rolls at Hersheypark

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Some beautiful orange Intamin track against a perfectly blue sky that morning.

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"Hey, can you guys get another roll of paper towels?"

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Great Bear and it's super random track design crisscrosses The Hollow. It's a fun inverted coaster, not trying to de-throne Raptor or Montu, but living it's own life and doing it's own thing. It's special.

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Always nice to see a classic Schwarzkopf coaster. This one is kind of like a "mine train" version, but still fun, scenic, and that loop!

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I'm happy to say that The Comet is the best wood coaster at Hersheypark. One of not many surviving Herbert Schmeck wood coasters built by PTC, it's sort of a sister to greats like Comet at Great Escape and Phoenix at Knoebel's.

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What's better than buzz bars and wooden airtime goodness? A modern Intamin coaster to stand over it and give some thigh-destroying modern airtime!

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Great Bear doing it's zero-gee thingy

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Great Bear, Spring Creek, and the famous "funky supports", which I fully uhh...support

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For lunch, we went to Moe's. They have a pretty much full-scale menu complete with Moe's queso, free chips, and free salsa.

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A shot of some of the menu's offerings.

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Everybody else went to Moe's for lunch, too. This whole area, which was full of eateries, was jam-packed. Every food-serving location in the park was totally insane for lunch. Maybe Hersheypark should make some further investments into expanding the size of existing food venues or adding even more. This particular line took about 30 minutes. I really think the park is losing some business, because we saw and heard quite a few people mentioning going to get food outside the park instead due to the lines. More to come!

Edited by xVicesAndVirtues
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I would have definitely skipped those lines and went to Troegs Brewing, which is is right down the street. While we only sampled the popcorn (which was really good, I might add), I would like to go back to try out some of the other food offerings that they offer.

 

The poutine sounds wonderful!

 

Thanks for the report - I need to get back to Hershey soon!

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Great report, as usual. You should do more of them!

 

I love Hershey so much, you got a lot of great photos. Looking forward to more.

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Thanks for all the comments guys! Now, more

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Hersheypark also features a heavily-sponsored open-air monorail experience that takes you around the park and even outside it a little.

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You also get some pretty cool views of Storm Runner that you can't get from on the ground in the park.

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You thought that the only consequence of using 8cars per trainer in RCT2 was black hole tiles in the grid?! Think again. It had real-world consequences and now one of Hersheypark's drop towers has the wrong ride vehicle and runs in a mode not designed for it in the game.

 

"23 guests were killed in an accident on New Drop Tower 2"

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Some railroad tracks, smoke stacks, and an old factory are more views the Capital Blue Cross Monorail provides

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From the monorail, we headed down to Spring Creek and took some photos from under ThighCrush

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Some artsy, sky-backed Intamin track again.

 

Skyrush is a really incredible ride. It would probably be right near my top favorites of steel coasters, but it can be a little too much. The speed, forces, and airtime are incredible and some of the highest-caliber Intamin has given us. But after a few rides, you find yourself 1/2 way through the course wishing it would end.

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Coal Cracker features one of those roundtable stations

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Some coaster nerds about to enjoy a log flume.

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You also get a few outside-park views from Coal Cracker. I love me a good log flume! I'm not partial to getting wet whatsoever, but I just really enjoy these rides.

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Sun starting to set, on a log flume, nice side views of Great Bear.

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Ok!

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One thing about Coal Cracker is the fact that it has this little airtime "bump" at the bottom of the drop. I always kind of try and jump a bit to avoid getting wet, and I was almost ejected by this thing.

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Storm Runner is seriously underrated as a coaster. The launch is incredibly strong, the drops are good, and the inversions are super fast. It's a short ride, but packs a huge punch!

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Hersheypark says "look how many of you dropped your iPhone 3Gs and Motorola Razrs on Storm Runner yesterday!"

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As the sun goes down and the park lights up, you really start to get that nostalgic theme park vibe

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The only shot I got of Lightning Racer's lights. These coasters get beautiful at night. While not super thrilling or anything, Lightning Racer is a fun way to zip around on a pretty smooth wood coaster track. With 4 of us in our group, we split into pairs, went to the back row, and "raced". Also, the fact that these coasters never seem to have any line whatsoever is awesome!

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A loop up Skyrush's skirt at night time

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Milton Hershey says "Y'all go back to where you came from, now"

 

Thanks for reading! Kings Dominion to come soon

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Glad you got to ride the monorail and Coal Cracker. Those are fond memories from my trip. Great rides, and I think they get overlooked for the really great coasters. I also agree that Comet is fantastic; I was not expecting to love that one as much as I do.

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Great pics of your day at HP! It really is a fantastic park and has something for everyone in the family. You can go and ride your tail off on all the coasters or take it easy on the monorail and flat rides, see some shows, just hang out and enjoy the scenery of beautiful flowers, lakes, ducks, and plenty of shaded benches. Their food lines always seem to be long but I appreciate that they have many areas around the park to eat in... including some good "special people" food options as well as Subway. I'll be making my yearly trip up there in 3 weeks! Looking forward to your Kings Dominion report!

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I love that "display case" of damaged phones !!I think every major park-especially the SF ones-should have one and make people look at it before people enter the park.

Kings Island has one in the Diamondback line, mostly consisting of phones from the late 2000s

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Looking at that case of phones, and I haven't visited this park before, I thought you had to store loose items in there, I was like "That's so bad, you're items could get easily stolen!"

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Playland here in Vancouver had one of those, posted at the entrance queue to Coaster. I loved it!

But it only lasted a couple of seasons, then they took it down.

 

Or it got stolen, lol.

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I agree that Hershey is both "old school" and a bit "cutting edge." That's part of a its appeal.

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Great report! Coal Cracker is awesome. I've never gotten even remotely wet on it but it's a super fun ride... definitely one of my favorite rides at Hershey.

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So the next place we went to was Kings Dominion

 

I know you're probably sick of reading reports from here since everybody and their brother went for the Twisted Timbers opening, so I'm going to keep this one a little short. I was a week or two late to the party, but better late than never.

 

I'm quite fond of Kings Dominion. The (formerly) Kings Entertainment and Paramount Parks properties in the Cedar Fair portfolio really are gems and the Kings Entertainment properties have quite the storied herstory. The former owner did the cool Eiffel Tower replicas, shrouded by remarkably impressive entrance midways, in addition to some rides that the two share in common. The latter owner brought in some attempts at Universal-quality attractions. They missed the mark a little on that, but that's really not the point. They didn't do Six Flags cardboard cutouts, either. And while some of the names had to become generic af to meet the Cedar Fair mantra of calling everything "___hawk" or noun-itized verbs like Dominator, the themed attractions are more than skin-deep and carry some unique appearances and theme.

 

In short, Kings Dominion isn't the best park in the universe, but you aren't stuck riding another mind-numbing B&M hyper where you could be blindfolded and not know whether you were on Mako or Behemoth or Nitro or whatever. No, for some reason KD has always been endowed with completely random but cool sh*t that makes their line-up unique. Drop in a B&M invert, though, I won't complain.

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As we arrived at the park right at opening, we were apprehensive about how this day was going to go. There were storms scheduled to roll in starting at 1PM and lasting through the whole afternoon. We gamed it out beforehand; Twisted Timbers twice then i305 until they shut the park down. Annnnnd go.

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Put your f*cking children on a leash and get out of the way so I can take a picture of the sign. lol jk

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I immediately surrendered to the temptation of Starbucks being in front of my face. My friends bee-lined to Twisted Timbers, but I really wasn't starting my day out without something to eat and cold brew in my veins. Sorry not sorry.

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Weeeee and down the upside-downsy drop on Twisted Timbers

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Because this is a site filled with rabid coaster enthusiasts ranking every wacky worm against the next, high off PCP and the recent results of the first legit coaster poll in years, I guess I'll say some things about Twisted Timbers.

 

Just don't ask me to "rank" it, please. RMC is in a groove with their design abilities and ways to make magic out of little airtime "bumps" like these. As a result, this is somewhere in the upper echelon of the steel RMCs with something like Wicked Cyclone or Storm Chaser for me. It's kind of like Storm Chaser in that they have the twisty drop and a crap ton of intense airtime all over the layout, but I found this one a little more bearable, as Storm Chaser has some moments where you're holding on for dear life. It's awesome, you'll like it. There's this one little turn thing that you go around at a speed that should be illegal. Somebody is going to get a bloody nose from their riding partner having their hands up in that spot.

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Part of the theme of Twisted Timbers. It's like some kind of apocalyptic apple orchard tornado or some sh*t, idk. It doesn't really need a theme, but it looks good.

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An obligatory Cedar Fair trash can next to a landscape that isn't very Cedar Fair. This beautiful park is the product of multiple owners, making for a unique park that I absolutely love to visit.

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Look who decided to show up to the party this year.

 

We actually had to make a Volcano pit stop before i305 because my friends hadn't been on it yet and had to ride it.

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I f*cking adore the theme of this coaster, it's genius! Somebody came to a board meeting high one day and said "Yo, let's like make an attraction where we build a huge paper mache mountain and theme it to a volcano, then have it launch you up and out the center of where the magma would all jizz out of", and the rest of the board said a collective "f*ck yeah!" and green lit the thing.

 

It's not super thrilling or anything but the launches are cool. Admit it, it's awesome!

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I have two theories. One is that "avalanche" is the volcano erupting and turning all the snow to an ashy, muddy mess and running it off the side of the mountain. The second theory is that "avalanche" is actually a reference to the "snow", aka cocaine, that the guy at the Volcano meeting was snorting right beforehand.

 

What's that, did you say that Avalanche opened before Volcano? Of course you did, you're a coaster enthusiast and you rank Avalanche against the one at Europa Park very carefully.

 

Both of my theories are wrong, as it turns out.

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Jesus this thing is so awesome.

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We arrived at i305 to find that there was absolutely no wait, the one train on the track was going out with a few empty rows each cycle.

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Here's a ranking for you. In my very humble and probably provably-wrong opinion, I think i305 is probably the best steel coaster in the US.

 

The coaster is totally nuts. It's just barely between the line of re-ride the f*ck out of it and "if I ride one more time I'm going to die", depending on how much water you drank that day.

 

The G-forces are seriously ridiculous, the drop is incredible, the transitions want to snap your neck like Michael Myers on Halloween night. You NEED those shoulder straps to keep your life held together.

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Am I trying to pass a kidney stone or bear the G forces?

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Lollllllll not riding Anaconda any time soon. The tunnel feature is cool but if it were torn down tomorrow I'd celebrate.

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Where the coaster enthusiast buffet can be found ;) And why B&Ms ship with the big boy seats!

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Ugh, I'm going to get off my high horse for a second and admit that I'm a stupid b*tch who rode this thing for the credit. "I did it because sometimes these have cool pops of air", I tell myself to make myself feel better.

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I always had a hardon for Batman Knight Flight for some reason when it was new and I was a kid. I just thought it looked super cool, and I'm pleased to say that it is.

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Coaster enthusiasts be like, "#2 because strong airtime, but the same model at Wherever Park has stronger air so it's my #1!"

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This is that aforementioned Eiffel Tower. However, it would not be gracing us with good views high above KD on this visit.

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We wanted a fast lunch due to still being unsure about the future forecast, so we grabbed some Panda Express real quick. However, they annoyingly didn't have Chicken Teriyaki. Blast!

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We enjoyed our lack of chicken teriyaki *glare* while sitting next to the pretty fountains featured in the plaza leading up to the Eiffel Tower

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Dominator was next, with it's big yellow loop.

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It was so busy that day, the line was like 3 hours long.

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Some subs happily being dominated.

 

I'm definitely a fan of being Dominated myself. The drop is super fast, then you take the on-the-ground turns at breakneck speed! I think Coasterbill or Bodikus or one of you guys said it's like a "hyper floorless", and it really is. It's like the Kumba of floorless coasters or something. It's super fast and has some good forces. I think people that prefer Kraken or Medusa are drunk.

 

So, I lied and this report is going to take a second post after all. Sorry bout it.

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I know you're talking about TT theming. . but all I see is APPLE ZAPPLE

 

and it makes me go WOWIE ZOWIE

 

 

 

oh, and don't apologize for Woodstock. . we liked it so much we got a picture:

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  • 1 month later...

Next up on the itinerary for the summer brought me to...

 

Six Flags New England

 

I kind of have an affinity for this park. Since I grew up in neighboring upstate New York, it was the nearest park to have some bigger coasters, particularly with Superman being my first "big coaster", having been lucky enough to ride it quite a lot back in it's original un-adulterated state. So, I may be a little biased, but

 

I freaking love Six Flags New England. I really think it's one of the better parks in the chain. The park is one of the smaller Six Flags parks for sure, but it's got a great atmosphere, packs a crap ton of rides into a small area, typically has decent operations, and they always seem to add something new. They really have a kick-ass top two rides with Superman and Wicked Cyclone. They even have a free waterpark with one of those water coasters we all collectively lose our sh!t over!

 

So anyways, here are some pictures of the place, along with a few words.

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First, you must cross the M&Ms bridge from the faraway parking lot, to the very stately, New Englandish entrance

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Well, that's a bit embarrassing.

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Adopted a QBot for the day, immediately made a reservation. Moderate crowds on this day with Superman waits around 30-40 minutes and Wicked Cyclone around 45 to an hour.

 

I know there are some raspberry-blowing naysayers out there about skip-the-line systems, but I'll pretty much pick one of these up any time lines are more than 10-15 minutes for things.

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Superman was running two trains all day with fast, consistent operations. For the most part, the train would be leaving the station just as the one before it was pulling into the brakes.

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Superman...the Ride. I guess it makes it easier to look up on RCDB, but "Ride of Steel" was a much cooler name. I mean I guess it presents a clean break from Bizarro and all that. I don't really care.

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The stairway to everything orgasmic about year-2000 Intamin coasters.

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...but only after some greasy, lubed-up chain action.

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Then you fly through some cool S-shields and sh!t

 

But for real, in case you were wondering, Superman is still awesome. It's one of the best-drawn layouts in my really not all that humble opinion. The tunnels are cool, the airtime is excellent, and it's a fun coaster you could ride all day...

 

...however, if we want to live in a fantasy world where all faults are corrected, please throw away the trains with the shitty thigh-resting restraints and replace them with originals that Intamin will clearly still make for you (see Darien Lake). They aren't Skyrush-killer, but they're incredibly awkward and can cause airtime to be painful. What's more, the trains really do take away a little bit from the ride experience. I'm no engineer, but they seem to track awkwardly, at times kind of like a Morgan coaster train turning a parabolic hill into one that suddenly has 2 sharp angles at the top which you crash into.

 

Sooooo...Superman is still awesome* but had you ridden it 15 years ago, it was like 10% more awesome and 100% more comfortable and never awkward. Fix it for us Six Flags, we'll even let you call it a "BRAND NEW COASTER" and everyone will go along with it.

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They have some S&S towers and such, which are always nice to have. What's more, Six Flags was kindly running 2 of them in "combo" mode, so everyone is happy with both their space shot and their turbo drop. But hell will absolutely freeze over before they run that 3rd tower.

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So, I thought I was going to have a nice day at Six Flags, until my friend told me that we needed to go on this, at which time my anxiety level shot through the roof, and probably more than just 425 feet in the air. So I swallowed my pride, grit my teeth, and took it.

 

I can review it for you easily. Every second of it is f*cking terrifying. I kinda sorta got to look at Wicked Cyclone or something, but you're hanging from a chain being twirled around a 425-foot tower. There are no substances on earth that can make me prepared for this.

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Amazed that I survived, an airbag saved my life.

 

Jk, it was Wicked Cyclone, which I don't really think I need to tell you, is excellent.

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Jeez, it's like a wicked bad storm came through here!

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But in all realness, Wicked Cyclone is one of my favorite RMCs, if not my favorite steel RMC. It follows the original layout of Cyclone extremely well, but really puts a lot of kick into it. The airtime is insane in both the front and back, it's got head choppers, big airtime hills, the fake-out inversion whateverthef*ck, real inversions, pretty much everything.

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M@ssholes be like, "I hope you got good insurance, pal!"

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A pretty accurate depiction of how Massachusetts actually welcomes you.

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Also on my list of "Make Six Flags New England Great Again", would be to bring back a new skyride in the place of the old one. This pretty building is wasted and I really thought the old skyride made the atmosphere in the North End a little more charming.

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Very important update that should be posted to the SFNE thread immediately. The new spinning flat DOES INDEED get very close to Joker!

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Formerly the "South End", and now "Gotham City", this area of the park changed a bit in the off season, but they did a good job fitting everything in.

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In case you needed a reminder that the park still has an SLC you've spared yourself from since 1998, they painted it electric lime f*cking green.

 

...but they did also make it smoother by adding the new "vest style" restraints with bars too far away to thump your skull. Kids these days have it too easy.

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Continuing down through Gotham City, we also rode the always-underrated Batman the Dark Knight. It's painted pretty colors, has some fun forces, and is like a little pocket-sized B&M floorless. The zero-g roll is one of the few that really feel "zero g", there's some snap to the corkscrews, and it's just an all around fun ride.

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See? Zero geeeee

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Gotham City is also home to one of these Joker S&S Free Fly clones that are now more common in SF parks than a Batman clone. Hope you enjoy the novelty of Wonder Woman, it's coming to a SF park near you!

 

And if that isn't the concentrated face of a poor bastard trying to hammer out a quick text before the boss comes around. Trying...to...get...these...bags...to...come...apart.....

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I really dig the Rockville area of SFNE. It's got atmosphere with games everywhere, food, and people moving through it. It's got costume characters, some rides, and it just looks like you'd expect a park midway to look.

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It had come to my attention that SFNE was the newest to adopt the JB's Smokehouse restaurant that we enjoyed at Great America last year. I made this our de-facto destination for when it came time for food, and just like in Chicago, it did not disappoint.

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Aside from all the tacky Red Socks BS plastered to the walls in a fake attempt to make it seem like some local sports bar, JB's is exactly the kind of place that's great to split up a theme park day: an air-conditioned room to sit in a cushioned booth, drink a beer, stare at your phone, and eat some food that you'll regret at the gym later.

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This was sold to me as a "snack sized" fries with pulled pork. It was absolutely delicious, the sauce was just right, the fries were good, there was plenty of pulled pork, and it was $9.99. But now I have to go and do like 27,000 squats tomorrow.

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Best way to digest all that pulled pork? Take a stroll up the quiet streets of Crackaxle Canyon, check out Houdini, wonder when Tomahawk is going to get removed, look around, and you might as well be at Dollywood with some of the nice landscaping and western theming.

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Apparently this hasn't opened all year? I know it's a cool big coaster and all that, but just rip it out and replace it with a Raptor Track or whatever. There you go, now you can say you RMC'd Goliath.

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Another way to digest your pulled pork? Ride Wicked Cyclone again!

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Look at me getting two trains in one shot. By this time of the day, Wicked Cyclone's line was down to about 15-20 minutes, but the Flash Pass considered it a 1 minute wait, so we just marathoned the sh*t out of it happily. It really warmed up and was giving some killer rides!

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As the evening was wearing on and we were down to the last hour, we went the classic route and decided to marathon the Man of Steel

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Yeah, we got that. Thanks for the sh*tty trains, Bizarro.

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Some cool nighttime effects, but could've done without the mist, as it's still in the low 60s at night in Mass this time of year.

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And I leave you with...a tunnel. Thanks Six Flags New England for a great day.

Edited by xVicesAndVirtues
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Great report!

 

I don't find that Superman's trains track poorly in the least bit. The coaster was running a bit sluggish after it was converted to Bizarro, but it has been absolutely hauling the past two years. I do share the same sentiments on the restraints and wish they weren't quite as bulky. Really that's the ride's lone Achilles heel.

 

As for Scream running three towers, I only saw it once. And immediately after I captured the photograph, all three towers went down.

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^The trains seem to just kind of "bump" a bit in some spots in a way that Millennium Force's and Superman at SFA's don't in the small hills. Even i305's trains kind of do it at the very top of the second hill, only Superman's seem to in quite a few spots.

 

You found a hole in the matrix regarding Scream and immediately broke it!

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