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bert joins TPR on the 2018 USA trip

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This was a GREAT trip, and I rode 71 different Roller Coasters (at least once, many multiple times), as well as at least 100 different flat rides during the ~2 week trip.


And lots of firsts for me: 1st Top Spin (the Crypt at KD), 1st Round Up (Riddle Me This at SFA), 1st Super Round Up (Knoebel’s), 1st Stand up coaster (Georgia Scorcher at SFoG), 1st Euro Fighter (DDD at SFoG), 1st ARM drop tower (StratosFear at Knoebel’s), 1st Vekoma Flying coaster (Nighthawk at Carrowinds), 1st B&M Flyer (Superman at SFoG), 1st Intamin Hypecoaster (Superman at SFA) 1st SLC suspended coaster since Astroworld (MindEraser at SFA), 1st Justice Leage Dark Ride (SFoG), and picked up my missing flat credits at CP . . . had a simply fantastic time, despite developing some issues with my leg later in the trip (I blame the RMC restraints, tho Skyrush was the final nail ).


Anyways, although I absolutely adore roller coasters, another thing I fixate on are Carousels – and I was thrilled to discover that another on the TPR trip (Hi Laura!) also loves them as much as I do.


So since I went out of my way to make sure I got rides on Carousels at every park, I thought it would be fun to do a Trip Report that talked about those (and other things), rather than just Roller Coasters (tho I'll talk about those too a bit) – after all, the official thread Robb has going has lots of pics of the group enjoying those!


Oh, I guess I should mention that I love, love, LOVE meeting up with the costume characters at parks – as you may have seen in prior Trip Reports from me – and I guess it goes with the love of Carousels that I very much enjoy climbing up on / hanging on to photo-op cutouts/standees in parks).


So what did I get up to when not with the whole group for ERT or meet ups?

Let’s see


up bright and early and ready to head to the Airport on Sunday, 7/22

Edited by bert425
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I flew into Atlanta a day early before the official start of the TPR trip, to meet up with friends, since I have a lot of them in Atlanta.


My flight got in really early (by 9am) and I was at the hotel by 9:40. Despite asking for early check in, they didn't have a room available for me yet - as there was a large Church group that was just checking out.


How do I know they were a Church group? 35 or so elderly black women in giant hats, dressed to the nines, wearing TONS of perfume - and apparently I look like I need to be saved, as at least 3 of them attempted to give me Church literature. (HA)


I politely declined, tipped the desk agent 'if there's anything he could do to get a room ready for me as quickly as possible', and then just hung out in the lobby with the strong perfume smell for about an hour until they buzzed me that they had a room ready for me. Actually ended up perfect, since my friends didn't come to pick me up until ~11:30, so by then I was already in a room, and changed and ready to go for the day.


Mike and Lisa picked me up at the hotel and took me to a fantastic local dive/fast food place called "Martin's". . best chili dog I've had in years, and we met up with Mike's brother Chip - who also is a friend of mine.


Despite having been to Atlanta 23+ times in the last 25 years for Dragon*Con, I’ve never actually taken time away from Con to go to SFoG, so was really excited that we would be going there on the TPR trip.


So of COURSE, where did my friends and I decide we would go for the day? Yep. We went with their kiddo, so really it was more about wandering around with my friends and them showing me the park / layout – tho we did sit down to watch an “entertaining” (?) comedy gunfight show called “ShenanniGuns”. . . it was so brutally awful, that we stayed and watched the whole thing


We mainly wandered around, riding a few of the smaller coasters, basically whatever the kiddo wanted to get on, so the Swings, Monster Mansion, Skybuckets, and once I found out Lisa had never been on a LarsonLoop, we got in the short wait for the Joker “chaos coaster” – short wait, HA. . with Six Flags operations, what should have been a 5 minute wait stretched out to almost a ½ hour. . in the sun. Oh they had the posts, with the eyehooks, for the hanging cloth covering over the queue, but nothing was there! So we stood in the sun sweating, while the ops chatted on their phones, talked to each other, and occasionally just stared at the line of people without getting up from their chairs to check restraints.


At least my friends loved the ride, and it was fun (and we got to watch someone lose their phone during the ride. . wonder how long it will be until cell phones are banned from all rides, because people are just too stupid and ruin it for everyone).


they tricked me into riding Blue Hawk, since the kiddo wanted to ride, and they claimed they had ridden it so much that I should take her. Dang liars, it hurt. . . (it’s just Ninja with a paint job, and signs everywhere CLAIMING it's a smoother ride). Stinky friends.


I also got to experience ZERO airtime on the Great American Scream Machine – which seemed to be due to the trains they were running with – although it did seem to be running faster, and got a little air on my ride two days later with TPR).


I did spot a really cool souvenir from the Justice League gift shop, that I picked up the next trip to the park (a Harley Quinn Santeria candle). We didn’t’ ride the ride (line was too long), just went into the gift shop, I made them go in as penance for them tricking me into Blue Hawk.


While walking around the park, we did bump into both Sylvester (no Tweety tho, which was odd), and Bugs Bunny, who nodded “yes” when I asked if I could rub the bunny’s tummy” resulting in a hysterical picture set that we laughed about for the rest of the night.


So I got my fill of meeting a costumed character, even tho we didn’t make it to the Carousel. It was great seeing my friends, and it gave me a nice idea of the layout of the park.


After meeting up with Brianna and gabbing dinner at a great local hole in the wall, called Eat's (right up the street from the famous Tea Room) that had some wonderful down home south and Cajun food, they dropped me back at the hotel, just in time to meet up with James – my roomie for the night whom had just flown in from England.


We went down to the main sports bar to grab a drink and bumped into Michael – my roomie for the TPR trip, who happened to be staying in the same hotel. .and we hung out and visited for a bit, before giving in and crashing for the evening.


in the Austin airport pre dawn ready for my non-stop flight on Southwest to ATL!


fun fact! since it was 7/22, and Southwest stopped serving peanuts on flights as of 8/1, they were trying desperately to get rid of peanuts. so I ended up with at lest 12 packs of peanuts from my flight! the Stewards just kept coming by with them. LOL


after an hour in "Church" I'm finally in my hotel room for the night, and ready to meet up with my friends.


the landscaping is lovely outside the Hotel


but it is awful close to the airport. (couldn't hear the planes at all in the room tho, thank goodness for double soundproof glass)


yay! my friends love me enough to come pick me up at the airport from where they live, way North of Atlanta in a suburb


we're here at SFoG. it's a lovely day, tho a bit hot (it was 111 in Austin that day, so I wasn't complaining).

Fairly busy too. . felt bad Mike paid for parking tho, since my pass included free parking.


the Joker "Chaos Coaster" in the Gotham section. . is it a coaster?


nope. .it's a Larson Loop.


it was fun tho. .but NO shade in the queue


the Gotham Crime Wave is, I think, my favorite theming of a wave swinger that I've ever seen. LOVED this.


of course they wanted to take me on Monster Mansion, and I went in knowing nothing, and came out knowing even less.


tho the kiddo "explained" the storyline to me: "they are having a picnic"


yeah, it's a total WTF, and I loved it.


why, yes, we DID sit thru "ShenanniGuns". . . and, why, yes. . .it really was full of terrible puns.


proof we sat and watched it. . LOL (despite having lunch before going to the park, we also took the opportunity to feed the kiddo who declared she was hungry and would NOT accept fries, or chicken fingers. . so Mike went to get Pizza).


what are you gonna do? kids.


I was informed, that the locals call the Great American Scream Machine -- 'GASM


So here is Mike and I making our 'gasm faces, with a very unimpressed person behind us in line.


it LOOKS like it should have a ton of airtime, but it didn't. think it was the trains being used.


that's the evil Blue Hawk behind it.



Touch the Bunny!


Touch it!


still touching


still touching


wait. . too much touching?




Sylvester has no F's to give. . . no DC heroes in the park today, so he'll pose like Superman


Mindbender doing it's thing as we are headed out


this awesome Harley Quinn Santeria candle is something I'd never seen before. I eyeballed it quite a bit on Sunday, but didn't grab it until 2 days later (when Phil let me use his Platinum Membership to get it for 50% off).


then I schlepped it around for 2 weeks while on the trip.


was worth it. . how cool is this??


eating at Martin's with Mike. it's a hole in the wall, and very basic fast food, but dang was it good!

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Hip hip hooray, it's the start of your summer TPR trip report!! The name Crime Wave for swings themed to criminals is genius and your Monster Mansion bit has me sitting here chuckling, especially since I've never been to SFOG and have no idea what MM is like. Thankfully I am now informed that the monsters are having a picnic - kids always make things seem super obvious - so I will file that info for future use!

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thanks Andrew, Bill, and Liz.


glad y'all are enjoying so far. . tho I got a little bit ahead on the writing before starting to post, I think it's still gonna take me a while to get all the parks up.


and isn't that candle great? (it's already in "it's place" on a bookshelf in the comics room).






surprised no one commented (yet) on the expression on Bug's face/body language, or our "O" face at 'gasm. . . .LOL

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Hey Bert. My face looked like that after riding Great American Scream Machine on the TPR USA 2018 trip. It meant never again. The back seat was a bit 'rough'. (Or is that an Australian double meaning!!??)



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Hey Bert. My face looked like that after riding Great American Scream Machine on the TPR USA 2018 trip. It meant never again. The back seat was a bit 'rough'. (Or is that an Australian double meaning!!??)




*this* face, Darryl?




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Day1: Fun Spot Atlanta:


The next morning, James and I got up and went down to the lobby to enjoy a very good Buffet Breakfast (we stayed at Marriott Gateway, by the Airport. .if you ever need a really nice hotel to crash in overnight in ATL. They had a fantastic indoor Saltwater pool, and workout room too, but wasn’t there long enough to make use of those). While eating, we bumped into another person from the TPR trip, Brad, who joined us for breakfast.


It had turned out that the meeting place to start the TPR trip was literally a few steps from the hotel I had booked a couple of months earlier (good trip karma!), so it was an easy thing to check out of hotel, and just hang in lobby as others for the trip showed up and I got to meet them. When it got close to meet up time, we all walked over to the appointed area, and climbed aboard the bus to begin our adventure.


The first stop was a “bonus” stop, at Fun Spot Atlanta.

This was a quick stop to allow a few folks who were getting into Atlanta a little later that afternoon to arrive.


Fun Spot had recently purchased an older Atlanta area small amusement center (Dixie Landing?) and were in process of converting it into Fun Spot Atlanta. They were/are in process of building a couple of additional Go-Kart Tracks, including the circular ramp one (a Fun Spot staple), as well as adding additional attractions – such as the Paratrooper that came from the Orlando location, and some additional rides.


I have no doubt they will bring this place up to match Fun Spot standards once they get all the work done.


However, the park is in a weird transition state at the moment – the large indoor arcade section (with laser maze), and some of the smaller rides looked like they were actually sitting ON the old parking lot. . you could even still make out the parking space dividers on the giant expanse of concrete.


What they’ve added/done thus far, and are working on looks fantastic tho and really did have a great time there!


The existing mini-golf course was very nicely landscaped (didn’t get a chance to play tho, as there was too much other things I wanted to do while we were there, such as the Screaming Eagle coaster, Paratrooper, Spider, Scrambler, Ferris wheel, and a funky “zip-line” chair thing, that due to weight limits, mostly was limited to only two at a time (but wow was it FUN). The bumper boats looked fantastic too, but I didn’t wanna get wet, so skipped those.


I was looking for a Carousel, but didn’t spot one. . although there was a covering that looked like it SHOULD house a Carousel.

That area was being used to store construction equipment, lumber for the new go-kart tracks they were working on (which are now open).


Interestingly, the Fun Spot Atlanta website *does* show that they have a Carousel, although I didn’t see one.


So either: 1) it was installed after our visit, or 2) it was a kiddie version that was so small, I simply didn’t notice it.


I got my “fix” tho, as there were some Tigers to climb on top of, that looked like they were from a classic Carousel, so I was happy.


but yeah, next time I’m in Atlanta, gonna make a trip back here with my friends to do the new Go-Kart tracks, and find/ride the Carousel. (the coaster is a ton of fun too, like a wild mouse, but with less hairpin turns, and way more airtime hills. Rode that several times, and loved it).


After a couple of hours, it was time to head back to the airport to pick up the remaining folks for the TPR trip, and then head to our hotel for the night, with stops for dinner, and snack exchange before turning in, to get ready for a full day at SFoG the next day.


the view of Fun Spot Atlanta, after stepping thru the main gates from the parking area


Screaming Eagle coaster. . this was such a ton of fun, and a great start to the TPR trip for me.


I love me a Paratrooper.


I think the cycle at Knoebel's was slightly better (more forces when swinging), but this one went backwards too!


that's the main arcade behind me. . yeah, we seem to be standing on a parking lot.


makes me wonder if the old place used this for their main parking? I have full faith Fun Spot will fix this up to look fantastic tho!


Couldn't find a Carousel (even tho there seems to be one?). But I'm happy, found me a confused Tiger to climb onto for a picture.


Look how happy I am!


yeah, I'm weird :p


the lovely Mini-Golf Course, from the Ferris Wheel.


next time I'm back in Atlanta, will make an afternoon of FunSpot and play the mini-golf.


one go-kart track was open, but Fun Spot is adding a couple more tracks, including their signature "circular ramp" track.


this is the funky zip line ride. It was a little bit strange, as it pulls you back to the tower, then suddenly releases when you hit the back and you zoom forwards.


On the Paratrooper. . whee!


Pic credit to Andy (the Great Zo)


Screaming Eagle. . .what a fun coaster.


think I got to ride it 4 or 5 times during our visit.


Pic credit to Andy (the Great Zo)


Pic credit to Andy (the Great Zo)


Riding with Robb while he did filming with commentary on Screaming Eagle.


pic credit Robb Alvey


squeezing in a ride on the zipline, before having to get back to the bus.




Pic credit to Andy (the Great Zo)

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Great TR to a Bonus Park! I'm glad it's over there, though, and not my home park,

which without Coaster, could have ended up being. But bigger


Worth the visit for the credits, of course! And I love Paratrooper/Parachute flats,

either fixed at a tilt, or the ones that rise from horizontal to a tilt. I always try and

ride those, in parks around the world. Really miss them, from Playland(PNE).


Thanks to The Great Zo for all your Me!Me!Me! photos too, Bert.


As well as your own.

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yah, between Darryl, Andy, Brad, Casey, and Robb. . need to make sure I try to credit correctly when I use a pic of me riding something (hopefully can guess correctly whos pic it was!)


FunSpot was a really good time. I think that it will become a "must visit" when I go to Atlanta, as between the GoKarts, Mini-Golf, coaster, and the flats (not to mention the bumper boats), can easily spend a good 5-6 hours there.

Edited by bert425
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Day 2: SFoG


We got up bright and early and headed to SFoG with the group a couple of hours before the park opened (one of the great perks of doing a trip with TPR if Robb is going to be filming, is that sometimes the filming is before the park opens to the public).


Although I absolutely loved Twisted Cyclone, after a 5-6 rides on it, my thighs were starting to ache, and I knew the RMC restraints were hitting me just at the “right” spot -- so that it might be a problem later in the trip (so I was glad I had brought some pain meds with me on the trip). Luckily, tho awesome, it's also short, so wasn't really a problem to ride in the morning, or later in the day.


We moved on to DDD, my 1st Eurofighter – which only took one ride on it to convince me I hated it (so no re-rides on this), Mindbender, Batman, and Goliath – which I loved, and we rode multiple times thruout the day.


Just as the park opened to the General Public, we grouped up into Flash Pass groups, got issued our Flash-Pass “watch-style-Q-bot”, and dispersed among the park on our own for the day.


My group, which I jokingly called ‘the oldies’ – all had a similar style of working our way thru the park: ride each thing as we came to it, and then move on to the next thing. If we liked something, we’d go back to it later to re-ride it, but using this method, we basically got to ride everything we cared to in the park, both flats and coasters thruout the day. The “oldies” clicked so well, that we pretty much stayed together at parks thruout the whole trip, occasionally teaming up with other groups, or having a few folks join up with us. It’s a very good group of folks that come on a TPR trip!


I noted I ended up riding Goliath a lot during the day..that’s also a distinction that went to Monster Mansion, it was so crazy messed up fun dark ride, that I loved getting back in line for it (and it had a Flash Pass entrance). It also had boats that felt like they were about to tip over EVERY time! We left the load station.


Battle for Metropolis, GASM, Skyscreamer, and a few other non-coasters also got multiple rides thruout the day.


A lowlight of the park vist was that Acrophobia was down all day, so didn’t get to ride the Intamin stand up drop tower  (it had been down two days earlier, and still seems to be down per the park website).


Another lowlight is what the Dahlonega Mine Train did to my back – it actually caused a *crack* adjustment coming out of the tunnel into the station at the end of the ride! Oh, it didn’t cause any lasting issues, but just warning y’all for those who have never been on it.


But those two "lowlights" were more than counteracted with several highlights:


- riding Log Jamboree, and the exit staffer being distracted by their own shoes, that they missed stopping us on the brake, and we sailed right past her, and into the log that was loading in front of us. (we had to walk back from the loading station to get to the exit while laughing about it).


- riding Thunder River, mistakenly with a pretty young blonde in our raft, who was wearing a white T-shirt. Yeah, we realized the error of sitting in the raft with her the moment we passed the 1st water cannons – manned by young boys. Needless to say? We were so soaked by the time we got off the ride, we actually had to go back to the hotel to change. . . LOL


-- Carousel Hill. Something we had not gone to with my friends, I was blown away by the setting (even the antique car track, that winds around the hillside is so beautiful, and well hidden. . you don’t even know you’re in a theme park. Highly recommended, even tho it’s just gas powered cars).


the Carousel itself is spectacular. 1908 PTC carousel, perched on top of the hill setting and surrounded by rocking chairs, it’s just a joy to look at. It’s on the National Register of Historic Places and just looks stunning: carved reliefs in the upper sections, and one of the few remaining 5-across carousels left in the world. (4 horses gallop, and the outside horse is steady – likely for brass ring grabbing when it was originally built, but no brass rings nowadays.


Also missing is the original organ, tho the space for it is there, they use pumped in Carousel music. So that’s a downside, but still. .this thing is stunning (and slightly adult too!.. there were naked breasts on some of the chariots. . LOL. . once I noted that to a few folks, several now have new profile pictures posing with the chariot).


Didn’t get to see Bugs out today, but this time Tweety was out with Sylvester over by Monster Mansion, so of course I asked my group if we could stop to pose for a pic with him.


We closed out the night with more rides on Goliath, then back to Twisted Cyclone for several more rides (despite my thighs protesting), and went back to the hotel that evening completely exhausted from what had been a fantastic day.


I'm here again! this time with TPR. . yaaaayyyy!


and first stop of the morning? Twisted Cyclone!


tho the whole thing is great, I think this might be my favorite part of the ride




yep, I loved it, even tho the restraints were a little bit rough on my thighs. .


Not sure who took this, it's either Robb, or Andy that gets the photo credit (the other suspects are IN the pic, so it's got to be either Robb or Andy)


Gotham City. . . . early in the morning. . . I'm bertman.

Ok, maybe not, but it's the Batmobile.


it was weird to be in the park when it was so empty, since it had been so busy the other day, and would get decently crowded today too.


but without the crowd, I could stop to get pics like this without holding up anyone or stopping an exit line (the Batsuit, while exiting Batman: the Ride)


the night before the kid at CP had gotten arrested for tossing Hot Sauce at Steel Vengeance.


So when I saw Six Flags had a giant inflatable Tabasco as a prize? of COURSE I took a pic of it.


Goliath on lift hill really stands out in the park. and it rides as pretty as it looks!


the "oldies" with Sylvester: Phil, me, Michael, James.


oh look, I made it to my nirvana. . a Carousel on Carousel hill.


the carved reliefs on it were just lovely, as were the horses.


even the carriages were lovely!


ahem. . if a little "adult"


but yep, a Carousel puts me right into my happy place!


even without the 'real' organ playing


this on-ride from Twisted Cyclone is courtesy of John (JTAudio) who kindly picked up the funpix for the group from our rides


starting to get towards evening, so after some rides on Goliath, time to head over to Twisted Cyclone to close out the night


Brad, Robb, Russ, and Jon look like they loved the ride!


this sucker even comes into the station so fast, it came out blurry. . LOL


Just a great ride!


so is this one.


thanks John!


Dare Devil Dive. . just not my cuppa tea.


it's not the vertical lift, as I didn't mind Impulse at Knoebels, and I *loved* Fahrenheit at HershyPark . .but boy did I not care for this. still, glad I rode it once tho.


took several pics of it tho. . LOL


Edited by bert425
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Awesome report so far! Love following along!


I'm curious to know what exactly about DDD it was that you didn't like. I haven't ridden it, but I have been on Fahrenheit and Impulse (the two examples you used) so I wonder how DDD differs.

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I'm curious to know what exactly about DDD it was that you didn't like. I haven't ridden it, but I have been on Fahrenheit and Impulse (the two examples you used) so I wonder how DDD differs.


it's hard to pinpoint exactly what was such a buzzkill for me, but if I *had* to guess, I'd say it is the design of the cars.


they just weren't comfortable to me, and in addition it being a single car train, it felt a little too "out of control" for my liking.


but as noted, the single car train didn't bother me on Impulse -- but keep in mind Impulse is 2 rows of 4 seats across, DDD is 3 rows of only 2 each. so yeah, think it's the design of the train I simply didn't like.

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I had no idea they had such a special carousel. Looks really great!


Noted on Dahlonega. Yeah, some of those mine trains can have the weirdest jolts. Arrow really didn't do smooth transitions.


Glad you all had a good time riding the Twisted Cyclone, but of course you did. RMC hasn't made a bad one yet (just one that doesn't work...).

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I love it when one finds something a bit "extra" in a park i.e. that loving couple on the Carousel.


Great TR of SFoG, Bert. I'm with you all along the way, on this tour.

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I had no idea they had such a special carousel. Looks really great!


I believe it's one of only 3 in the world still running that's a 5-across. and it's at a Six Flags!

Good on them. . . King's Dominion also has a very classic Carousel that just celebrated 100 years last year.




Glad you all had a good time riding the Twisted Cyclone, but of course you did. RMC hasn't made a bad one yet (just one that doesn't work...).


heh. . .well. . keep reading. I'm not a huge fan of ejector air, and there's a lot of that on the newer RMCs. . .and that on some of the upcoming rides did me no favors.


but the fact that Twisted Cyclone is so short, made it super re-ride-able for me.

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Yah...that photo of the adult carousel was all sorts of wrong, but yet amazing at the same time. lol


LOL. . yeah, if you notice in my pics, the close up is from a different chariot. .so TWO of them had the adult-ish stuff going on. . .tho the one I took the close up of, certainly had more boobage in it.


It delighted me to stumble across that

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