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Chuck's TPR Shameless Nostalgia Trip Thread


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Theme park touring wasn't on my radar screen until 2005, or thereabouts. Oh, sure, I'd visit Disneyland and Walt Disney World, Universal, Kings Dominion, and (of course) Busch Gardens Williamsburg from time to time--but nothing outside the United States. I wasn't a member of any coaster- or park-related groups or clubs, either.

 

Then I came across the trip reports on Theme Park Review, thanks to Robb posting about them on another website, and was immediately intrigued. When Robb and Elissa advertised their first "public" tour of the United Kingdom, I thought, "Well, why not?" I'd done the "cultural" tour of Scotland, London, and Stratford on Avon with my brother the year before. Why not see what theme parks were like outside the USA?

 

The 2006 TPR UK Trip was excellent, and I was hooked. I've since been around Europe, Japan, China, Australia, and even the US with TPR.

 

The difficulty of travel today, thanks for COVID-19, has me waxing a bit nostalgic for the trips I'd taken before (with any luck, I'll be hitting the Asia Disney parks with TPR in December). Who would like to join me in a look back at TPR trips past? Here's what we'll be doing: I've decided to post two pictures from each park visited. These photos may be purely scenic--or completely goofy. They may represent "firsts" for me, or just something uniqe about the park in question. Or maybe they're just nice pictures. I'm making this up as I go.

 

Let's set the Wayback Machine for the summer of 2006 and TPR's wanderings about the UK, Norway, and Sweden. I was intrigued to visit some places I'd actually heard about (such as Alton Towers and Blackpool Pleasure Beach), places with which I was vaguely familiar (such as Liseberg), and places I'd never heard of (such as Lightwater Valley).

 

OK, we're landing at Heathrow. Be careful getting your stuff out of the overhead compartment.

 

Now where's that Hotel Hoppa shuttle?

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Our first stop wasn't technically part of the trip: Legoland Windsor. Robb and Elissa were going, and there was so much interest on the part of the rest of the group, it became the first TPR "pre-trip" park. This was the first Legoand I'd ever visited, and the only one that can boast a view of the actual Windsor Castle.

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My first-ever Miniland--one of a number to come.

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Next up was Chessington World of Adventures. Any ride featuring a vampire playing an organ is OK in my book.

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Chessington's Vampire was a lot of fun, even if trees did slap you in the face from time to time.

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Time for the first TPR "surprise" park of the trip: Coney Beach in Wales, home of the "DEATH RIDE"!

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This reminds me of one of the funniest conversations of the trip. The nice old Welshman asked me,

"You the Americans that came in on the bus?"

"Yes, we are."

"Oh, how nice. Ye want any mushy peas with your chips?"

"Er, no thank you.

"Ah, afraid it'll give ye the wind, eh?"

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Speaking of parks in Wales, Oakwood was next. I was glad that I had the chance to ride Brer Rabbit's Burrow, which, unlike Splash Mountain, feature bunnies drinking beer, using the toilet, and gettin' it on. In your face, Disney!

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Oakwood's Speed was my first Eurofighter--liked it quite a bit back then.

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On to Alton Towers and Nemesis, the best coaster in the UK. The cool monster theming was a plus for this crazy, intense ride--a pit and a "river of blood"! it's still my favorite B&M inverted coaster.

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You can see a castle from Legoland, but Alton has its very own authentic castle.

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Behold my first Maurer Shone coaster: Drayton Manor's G-Force! It was not good. In fact, boy did it ever suck out loud! (The curved lift was a painful experience.)

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But Drayton had some fun stuff, too, such as the "so bad, it's good" Pirate Adventure. Of course, some of the animatronics needed TLC, such as this poor prostitute whose face has been ravaged by an STD (her nipple appears to be showing, too). Or maybe it's the Nature Boy, Ric Flair!

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Southport Playland's big attraction was their great, old-school fun house.

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It was also a good place to catch a nap around a nice campfire.

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Ah, Blackpool Pleasure Beach--emphasis on "pleasure" here. It's a shame that the wooden Wild Mouse is no more.

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For me, the dark rides stole the show at Blackpool.

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Lightwater Valley thought it could tell me how to behave. Ha! Take that!

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Kumali was a very first Vekoma SLC, and I kind of liked it. As for the ones that followed, well . . .

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Pleasurewood Hillls' Enigma was a fun old Schewarzkopf coaster.

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Their Tales of the Coast boat ride gets bonus points for being based on local folklore.

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This photo features two anusing attractions at Grand Yarmouth Pleasure Beach: the very old school Scenic Railway (my first coaster with a brakeman) and the cheesy Snails and Fairy Tales ride.

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I know this looks like someone threw up on a baked potato, but this curry chicken jacket was pretty good.

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The exquisite horror of Joyland's Spook Express.

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Dracula got me at Joyland, too. He likes to suck out blood and brains.

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Thorpe Park marked my first-ever ride on one of these crazy Inamin contraptions (Stealth).

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However, I preferred Thorpe's Nemesis: Inferno.

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Off to Norway! I love the front entrance to Tusenfryd and how it interacts with Speed Monster.

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Thunder Coaster was a pleasant surprise.

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Liseberg was the last park we visited--and my first chance to sign a roller coaster.

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Balder quickly became my favorite coaster then, and it's still in my top 10 today. That's all for now.

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these are fantastic, Chuck.

 

can't wait to see more.

 

 

 

I think this is my favorite pic tho. . and not for "Jerry" or what's going on inside him. . . but for that absolutely spectacular (and appropriate) look on the girl in the stripes.

 

 

010_bpb.jpg

 

 

 

awesome

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Great report! Thanks for the quick tour of the UK. It's a bummer the Wild Mouse closed shortly before I made it to Blackpool, but I doubt I could have had as much fun as those two.

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This is awesome.

Thanks for posting these.

Looking forward to future trips and pictures.

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Wow, I've never officially traveled with TPR outside of a few bash days several years ago but I think I've been following along with their trips from just around the very beginning so this was a trip down memory lane for sure.

 

Also what level of Inception is this where I'm reading of a trip report of a trip report that I read 14 years ago? I'm gonna wake up and the world is going to be under quarantine or something......

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Love this so much Chuck! Thanks for sharing and being such a great friend over the last 15 years!

 

Aw, shucks, Ms. Elissa.

 

Also what level of Inception is this where I'm reading of a trip report of a trip report that I read 14 years ago? I'm gonna wake up and the world is going to be under quarantine or something......

 

 

I hope everyone enjoys this thread. I'll probably update it once a week.

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Blader quickly became my favorite coaster then, and it's still in my top 10 today. That's all for now.

 

I loved Blader, too. Great way to show some of the newer TPR members

what some of the early TPR tours were like, Chuck. Thanks for putting it together!

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Love it! I agree, Nemesis is still a fantastic ride and the best in the United Kingdom even today.

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Awesome stuff Chuck! I can't wait to see more. I've always enjoyed reading your trip reports because you put so much thought and wit into your descriptions of the photos as well as the story behind your trip. I still can't believe the first official trip was sooooo long ago. Thanks for the memories Chuck and i can't wait to see if you have any crazy pictures with me. HAHA

 

Jimmy "This is s great idea Chuck" Bo

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"Great Caesar's Ghost!," I love these! (Oops....did I age myself?!?!)

 

Firstly, I am SO happy that you were able to refrain from YOBBISHNESS at Lightwater Valley (Flamingo Land). ( No No NO! We did NOT see your karate kick to the sign! RIGHT, gang?!!)!

 

<<

Brer Rabbit's Burrow, which, unlike Splash Mountain, feature bunnies drinking beer, using the toilet, and gettin' it on. In your face, Disney
>>

 

Noted! Looks like those BUNNIES had a better time than that Easter celebration at Animal Crossing!

 

<<

Southport Playland's big attraction was their great, old-school fun house.
>>

 

That looks like a much less perilous experience than Steepchase's spinning disk! It rotated faster and faster until everybody in the center had been flung to the side. (So much so, that they had men & women go on it separately!)

https://mcnyblog.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/90_36_4_010_a.jpg ( Pic taken BEFORE MY TIME!!!)

 

<<Blackpool Pleasure Beach>>

 

I was there "a while" ago. Great fun! Stayed at a guesthouse with a sign outside that requested: NO fish and chips in your room! (Yes, I WAS a YOB! We brought back fish 'n chips to our room, having sneaked up the stairs while other 'residents' were watching the 'telly' in the lounge.

 

Thanks Chuck for bringing us back in time.

 

ALICE

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Nice thread concept Chuck, always entertaining coming from you. Hope you keep adding to it.

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The good old days.

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I still can't believe the first official trip was sooooo long ago.

 

You were just a kid!

 

 

Great idea Chuck

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Awesome stuff Chuck! I can't wait to see more. I've always enjoyed reading your trip reports because you put so much thought and wit into your descriptions of the photos as well as the story behind your trip. I still can't believe the first official trip was sooooo long ago. Thanks for the memories Chuck and i can't wait to see if you have any crazy pictures with me. HAHA

 

Jimmy "This is s great idea Chuck" Bo

 

Hmm . . . I remember one crazy picture I have of you in Australia.

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Posted (edited)

Japan 2007

 

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If you get the chance to do only one TPR Trip during your life, make it to Japan. Heck, I've been there with TPR three times, and each visit has been great, even with the odd earthquake or, in the case of 2007, typhoon.

 

Of course, you can't go wrong with a few days at the Tokyo Disney Resort, and the pre-Harry Potter version of Universal Japan was great, too. But there are all the other fun or just downright quirky Japanese parks, some of which are gone for good. For example:

 

Space Park, where the great beyond was the goofiest final frontier of them all;

 

Uminonakamichi Seaside Park, which gave us an unexpected history of Japanese trains during our journey there, from bullet trains, to modern subway trains, to a train that would've looked at home in the first Godzilla movie; and

 

Wonder Rakutenchi, which I think is now gone (we were all kind of surprised that it was open when we got there--it's the perfect setting for a "Walking Dead" amusement park).

 

Other parks ran the gamut from the beautifully themed Parque Espana to great "traditional" amusement parks like Nagashima Spaland and Mitsui Greenland (and plenty of other little parks along the way).

 

I cheated a bit on the Tokyo Disney photos, as we spent a few days there--but can you really blame me for that? Otherwise, I stuck to the two-photos-per-park rule of this thread.

 

Welcome to Japan in 2007!

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I arrived in Tokyo a day before the trip officially started. So, I joined the "Jeff Johnson Expedition" to Hayanshiki. This eccentric old park boasts the oldest roller coaster in Japan: the aptly named Roller Coaster. I think that "Angry Loan Shark" would be apprporiate, too. This ride kneecaps you like a Jersey Wise Guy if you miss an interest payment.

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Here was an "oh god what have I gotten myself into" moment--yes, this enormous butt farts on you as you walk by.

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We had a night at Aqua Stadium, too, which was in the same building as our hotel (the Shinagawa Prince). This was the home of an indoor launched Intamin ride based on an anime called Galaxy Express.

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I think this ride is gone now, too, which means that these robot cops had to find new jobs.

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One must visit LQua to experience the Big O.

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This was also the home of GeoPanic, another coaster that confused a lot of people. This ride no longer exists.

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2007 marked my only visit to Yomiuriland, but I wouldn't mind going back someday (fun place). This is a big, surprisingly good Togo coaster called Bandit.

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We experienced the "wet" version of Bandit. Not only do they spray you with hoses during the ride, but they give bystanders Super Soakers! "Go go Bandit coaster!"

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Space World's Venus boasted its very own Space Shuttle . . .

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. . . and Space Bunny.

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Welcome to Uminonakamichi, a park I could never quite pronounce. This is Jet Coaster Super Dolphin, a Senyo creation.

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This park also offered plenty of opportunities to get wet.

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Harmonyland is the home of the mega adorable Hello Kitty franchise.

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It is also a shocking den of perversion, such as penguin spanking!

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Come to Wonder Rakutenchi for the Jet Coaster . . .

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. . . but stay for the duck races! (Yes, you get to bet on ducks here.)

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Ah, Kijima, the home of the first Intamin wooden coaster I ever rode! It was, er, not good. In fact, I thought it was going to bounce or jiggle us all to death before we reached the lift hill.

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The old "loopscrew" wasn't much better, but I loved this park's setting, and they had a funky walk-through haunted house and Zorbs.

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I liked Mitsui Greenland a lot; in fact, it was my favorite non-Disney park of the trip, even though it was hot and humid as Hell on a bad day. All sorts of cool attractions, from dark rides to a haunt with a possessed toilet to Alpine slides to coasters that look like dinosaurs to . . .

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. . . the infamous Chairlift of Death (note the cheese-greater-like chain link under it).

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Central Park had a beautiful mountain setting . . .

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. . . and seemed an unlikely place to find a very good Batman clone (Diavlo).

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Hmm--pretty sure this park, Tegarayama Yuen, was on its last legs. Just a hunch.

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Kurashiki Tivoli was inspired by the same park that inspired Walt Disney--Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen. Unfortunately, this beautiful Japanese park no longer exists, but it was the home of KT's first coaster credit (a very slow family coaster).

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This was also the day we had to run from a typhoon. Some escaped by riding a bear, but the rest of us had to crowd onto a standing-room-only train.

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One of the best coasters this trip was Universal's Hollywood Dream. I hope this guy enjoyed his ride. (I think this was an early morning test run.)

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Sigh! The only Jaws ride left in the world. More to come.

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Ah Chuck, good wet memories of Splash Bandit, I remember.

And Diavlo was a-ma-zing! Got a solo ride on that, just before we left the park.

 

This is a great "Quikie Tour" of that past tour...very well done.

 

I wish that Tivoli-style park was still around. It was small, but with great

landscaping, and a few unique rides. And of course...KT's Very First Coaster.

 

Looking forward to more.

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I did wonder what happened, AFTER you guys water blasted me and Brian, hah.

That's my arm sticking out there, in the front car.

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Posted (edited)

We're not quite finished with the 2007 Japan Trip yet.

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Parque Espana is a Japanese park themed to Spain. Why not? It makes more sense that theming a park in California to California. Pyrenees, a B&M inverted, is great, too.

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Unfortunately, Adventure Lagoon, the park's unique splash boat/dark ride doesn't exist anymore. Well, the outdoor portion of the ride is still there, but the park no longer uses its huge show building. But this duck might still be sniffing this poor guy's butt.

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Nagashima Spaland's Steel Dragon when it still had its Morgan "bathtubs on wheels" trains.

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Oh, this big wooden coaster. Anyone know what happened to it? ;)

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I loved the sophisticated braking system on the Nagoya Zoo's "trough coaster."

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Not sure if this is a dog or a floppy eared bunny.

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Behind the scenes at Lagunasia and Robb's filming session on Aqua Wind. This was the first Gerstlauer Bobsled I ever rode, and it was a good one.

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Lagunasia also featured the mondo bizarro Magical Powders dark ride, which seems to encourage drug abuse.

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Hamanako Pal Pal's Mega Coaster was another surprisingly good Togo. It's pretty much the same as Vegas's infamous Manhattan Express, only decent.

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I just called this ride "Lobster Pinocchio." Pretty sure that's not its actual name.

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OK, this is the first thing you see when you enter Tokyo Disney Sea. 'Nuff said.

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Journey to the Center of the Earth was amazing. This is where you escape from Lava Monster!

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Our first day at Tokyo Disneyland was a bit damp.

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"We are your gods now!"

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At Joypolis, no one expects the Spanish Inquisition!

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But I did expect zombies.

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The view from the Tokyo Disney Resort monorail.

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I managed to capture the lightning at TDS's Tower of Terror . . .

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. . . along with some FIRE!

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Perhaps the best part of Fuji Q.

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Here's the pre-loop Dodonpa. The air time over that high hat was terrifying!

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Sea Paradise also sported a good Togo ride: Surf Coaster.

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Blue Fall was one of the best drop towers ever.

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Cosmoworld is best visited at night.

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Die, monster, die!

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One bonus photo--me sampling the awesome Texas Select! That's all for 2007 Japan. We will return.

Edited by cfc
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Loving these throwback TRs so far! I've watched the Coaster Expeditions for these older trips so many times, but it's fun to see a new perspective/hear your thoughts on them! Seeing photos of Japan always makes me long to go back. I really need to get on Journey to the Center of the Earth and hit some of the smaller parks in the Tokyo area that I missed on the pre trip

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Another great trip down memory lane! It's crazy how many of those Japanese parks are now gone and how much some of them have changed. I'm ready to go back to Japan now please!

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^Me, too. I'm glad I got to visit Space World, and I'm a bit worried about Parque Espana.

 

My thanks to you and Robb for making it all possible.

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So many parks in Japan that I wish I could have gone to/still wish to go to. But grateful I have at least visited some of what you noted. Love the brevity to this!

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Great report! That's a funky looking support structure on the corkscrews on the looper at Central Park.

 

That's because it's a funky Togo loopscrew.

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