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Chuck's TPR Shameless Nostalgia Trip Thread


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Mid-America 2010

 

So far, I'd visited the UK, Europe, and Japan with TPR. Good times, but I hadn't seen too many parks in the USA, outside of California, Virginia, and Florida (along with some time at Kings Island, Holiday World, and the Mall of America's Camp Snoopy). So why not tour the nation's heartland a bit and see some the country's more "eccentric" parks, such as Silver Dollar City and Indiana Beach? Yes, you can see some interesting sights . . .

 

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. . . and meet some interesting people amid the wheat and cornfields of the Midwest.

 

Here are a few things I learned on this trip.

 

1. Holiday World's Voyage can be a very good ride early in the season (say, April). But ride it late in the summer, and it's quite bad indeed. Talk about Jekyll and Hyde!

 

2. Indiana Beach's tacos are surprisingly good for tacos made in Indiana. Fascination is great, too.

 

3. S&S needs to build more rides like Silver Dollar City's Powder Keg. Seriously, this should be their "flagship" product.

 

4. Six Flags St. Louis has the best version of the Scooby Doo shooting dark ride ever.

 

5. Every city needs its own City Museum--and Lambert's.

 

Well, time to fly to the Twin Cities and see what Spongebob and friends are up at the Mall of America.

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Welcome to Nickelodeon Universe--or Spongebob's favorite place next to the Crabby Patty.

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Spongebob's Rock Bottom Plunge coaster is all well and good, but my favorite ride there is still the Log Flume.

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Iowa's Adventureland was full of friendly people and a particularly painful ride in the Dragon.

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But CCI's Outlaw was pretty good.

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Worlds of Fun is a generic Cedar Fair park, but I am a sucker for Morgan Hypercoasters, like Mamba.

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We all worshipped at the Altar of Prowler, as well. (Seriously, it's a good ride, but I'm not sure why so many fanboys were so passionate about it.)

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Yep--Powder Keg was my favorite coaster at Silver Dollar City, but Outlaw Run might change my mind someday.

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Wildfire was a good, solid B&M coaster in a beautiful setting.

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Silver Dollar City also boasts an actual cave tour.

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We rode to the top of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis . . .

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. . . and went nuts at the City Museum.

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Yes, this place is fascinating to explore and offers many opportunities for serious personal injury.

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Elissa, I think the "green ear" virus you caught at Liseberg is flaring up again. Might want to have that checked.

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Look--it's SpongeRobb!

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Mr. Freeze at Six Flags St. Louis is proof that Premier Rides builds a damn good launched shuttle (nice job on the theming, too, Six Flags).

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Yep--"swamp boat Scooby Doo" is the best Scooby Doo.

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Raven was my favorite coaster at Holiday World.

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I even thought Legend was OK, although I'd heard bad things about it.

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As for Voyage, well, the backstage tour was nice.

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Come to Indiana Beach for the bizarre rides . . .

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. . . but stay for the elephant ears . . .

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. . . and Fascination.

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I remember visiting Marriott's Great America in Santa Clara when it opened in 1976. This was my first visit to the Six Flags version in Illinois.

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Raging Bull was OK (especially at night), but it looks cooler than it is.

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But Illinois still has the Whizzer. Overall, we had a very good time SF Great America that day and evening (even Viper was running great).

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Dan finally embraces the wetness.

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Their facial expressions perfectly sum up my feelings about Mt. Olympus in the Wisconsin Dells. I've no deisre to go there again.

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Sigh! Avalanche was great, though. Pity it's gone now.

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Valleyfair is also a bit generic, but it has the greatest mascot ever: Baron Oom Pah Pah! He's great because he probably drinks a lot of beer.

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Renegade was fun, too--another solid GCI. That's all for the Midwest. Next week, we'll be going Down Under.

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Chuck, you're a national treasure!

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Chuck, you're a national treasure!

 

No wonder Nicholas Cage has been following me around.

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I'm just now coming across this. More Chuck pictures and reports are always a good thing, in my book.

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Fun seeing your experiences at some American parks!

 

Powder Keg is criminally underrated. I can’t believe no other parks jumped on that product. It’s wildly thrilling but suitable for the whole family—hard to beat that!

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I was pleasantly surprised by Mamba after moving to KC last year. By far the best coaster at WoF.

 

While I had a great first ride on Prowler, the next three were very jarring and rough. I agree with you in that while it's a decent ride, it's not really worth high praises. Maybe in it's inaugural season when most woodies tend to run their best?

 

I'd still like to get back to HW to see if I could sneak one of those good rides on Voyage that I see/hear people talk about.

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Was Voyage running one of Raven's train in that photo? The train looks red in the photo and I thought it always had purple trains.

 

Yes. The borrowed train was informally known as "Ravage."

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^Unfortunately, this effort combined with the Timberliner fiasco resulted in Voyage running 6 car trains indefinitely (opposed to the original 7).

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Posted (edited)

Australia 2011

Ah, yes! The Land Down Under! They mysterious continent that gave us some one-hit wonders like Men at Work and Paul Hogan, cuddly koala bears that look down on you with disdain, kangaroos and giant birds that will KILL YOU over an ice-cream cone filled with alfalfa pellets, and Vegemite, an industrial lubricant masquerading as a condiment. There's also this very high bridge you can climb.

 

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I've always wanted to visit Australia, and I enjoyed TPR's tour of part of this vast country, which was full of friendly folks, along with all sorts of bugs, reptiles, and other creatures dedicated to your untimely death. Yes, we saw plenty of animals on this trip, along with gorgeous scenery. I enjoyed the parks, too.

 

Aussie enthusiasts tend to be a bit sheepish about their parks, but I don't know why. They had plenty of good stuff to offer.

 

1. Warner Bros. Movie World has one of the best launched Intamin coasters anywhere: Superman Escape (which should not be confused with SF Magic Mountain's Superman: Escape from Krypton, which you won't find at the Australian Magic Mountain).

 

2. How many wooden Wild Mouse coasters are still running? The Luna Park and Aussie World ones were fun, but I think the latter's coaster was removed.

 

3. Luna Park Melbourne's Scenic Railway is one of the oldest operating wooden coasters in the world (it's been thrilling riders since 1912).

 

G'day! Welcome to Sydney! Hope you Bruces and Sheilas aren't feeling too jetlagged.

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"Welcome to the Featherdale Wildlife Park. You folks might want to stand clear as I live on very high fiber eucalyptus leaves."

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"Oh, god, I feel like I just crapped out half an ice-cream cone."

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A bona fide Tasmanian devil! He did not spin around like a tornado, which was a bit disappointing.

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What would you call a park with such scenic vistas? Why Scenic World, of course!

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This is the home of the infamous Orphan Rocker, a coaster that never opened the the public. I guess this is why you don't build janky coasters along 700-foot cliffs.

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I was somewhat less jetlagged when this photo was taken, . . .

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. . . but then I encountered this!

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The wooden Wild Mouse was wild, indeed. I loved the views of Sydney Harbor from this coaster.

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Luna Park's Fun House also had great attractions for the entire family, such as wooden super slides . . .

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. . . and 1940s movie hookers? Old school, indeed!

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Australian zombies eat at McDonald's. I guess they don't like emu and kangaroo. Is Australia the only country where they eat their National Animal (the kangaroo) and National Bird (the emu)? Seriously, you can get kangaroo and emu as pizza toppings.

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Warner Bros. Movie World boasted (at the time) the best coaster in Australia--Superman Escape! There's a cool dark-ride bit, an intense launch, plenty of airtime, and, of course, Superman pushing your train.

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Unfortunately, the park also had one of the worst rides in Lethal Weapon.

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Jimmy is from Arizona. He's not used to this liquid that falls from the sky!

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Even jaded Hollywood moguls are impressed with the park's stunt-car show.

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Sea World (not to be confused with SeaWorld) was a very nice aquatic park with another fun launched Intamin: Jet Rescue. It's a very good family coaster.

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It's not a visit to Australia unless you see one Great White Shark--preferably behind glass.

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"SHARK? WHERE?'

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Wet 'n' Wild was a nice waterpark, but I'm a bit concerned about this raft.

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We had ERT on a Flowrider. This happened to me a few times, too.

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Can you name the inspiration behind Australia's Dreamworld? Give it some thought. It will come to you.

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Dreamworld's Tower of Terror was like SF Magic Mountain's Superman, right down to having a drop ride on the same tower. We had a great behind-the-scenes tour of this ride.

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Er, are you sure this is a good idea? Nice kitty!

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Yep--I'm so mean I once shot a man for snorin'! More to come, you mangy polecats!

Edited by cfc
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Posted (edited)

More from TPR's Australia Trip. Take care not to chunder.

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Do not say bad things about Aussie World's Wild Mouse, . . .

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. . . or they will come back to bite you in the butt.

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We ended up on Australian TV when we rode Redback.

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Rock 'n' Roll Rebel was a fun indoor Himalaya.

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Welcome to the Australia Zoo, which was founded by the late Steve Irwin. Yes, this cassowary wanted to kill me and everyone else! If anyone doubts the link between dinosaurs and birds, throw them in a cassowary pit. Then they'll believe!

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"Yes, yes. I'm adorable. Please move along."

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This was Steve Irwin's favorite croc. He's about the size of a Buick.

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Killed and stuffed this one myself!

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"G'day! I'm your Australia Zoo hospitality host. Can I get you a nice beverage? Perhaps some Vegemite?"

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Wonderland Fun Park, whhre we ate some nice cake . . .

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. . . and shamelessly credit whored this ride.

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Luna Park Melbourne also likes to swallow guests whole.

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The Scenic Railway may have been a bit bumpy . . .

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. . . but it looked great after dark.

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They gave us a walking tour of their ghost train.

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Sure, she's dead. Don't judge!

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"Woohoo! I'll swallow your soul!"

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Luna Park also had a beautiful old carousel.

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Welcome to not Six Flags Magic Mountain.

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Yes, they had a coaster . . .

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. . . but the real attraction was this great alpine slide . . .

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. . . in which you're swallowed by a shark!

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We checked out a a bit of Canberra before returning to Sydney--and home. That's all until we head to China.

Edited by cfc
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I would really like to do another TPR Australia trip, it was a lot of fun and such a fun country.

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Scenic World looks appropriately scenic. I'd only heard about the place before because of the whole thing with Orphan Rocker, but if I can live through visiting four parks with inoperable RMCs, I can probably handle that one.

 

Also, calling an SLC "Lethal Weapon" is a little too on-the-nose.

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I would really like to do another TPR Australia trip, it was a lot of fun and such a fun country.

 

Yes, please!

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Scenic World looks appropriately scenic. I'd only heard about the place before because of the whole thing with Orphan Rocker, but if I can live through visiting four parks with inoperable RMCs, I can probably handle that one.

 

Also, calling an SLC "Lethal Weapon" is a little too on-the-nose.

 

Scenic World is a beautiful place and worth a visit. I think the SLC has since been rethemed to Batman.

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Ah, yes! The Land Down Under! They mysterious continent that gave us some one-hit wonders like Men at Work and Paul Hogan,

 

 

Perhaps you are referring here to Men at Work's chart-topping hit song, "Who Can It Be Now?"

 

Or maybe you mean their SECOND number-one hit, "Down Under"?

 

Well, Chuck, which is it?

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Ah, yes! The Land Down Under! They mysterious continent that gave us some one-hit wonders like Men at Work and Paul Hogan,

 

 

Perhaps you are referring here to Men at Work's chart-topping hit song, "Who Can It Be Now?"

 

Or maybe you mean their SECOND number-one hit, "Down Under"?

 

Well, Chuck, which is it?

 

How about their one hit album?

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Ah, yes! The Land Down Under! They mysterious continent that gave us some one-hit wonders like Men at Work and Paul Hogan,

 

 

Perhaps you are referring here to Men at Work's chart-topping hit song, "Who Can It Be Now?"

 

Or maybe you mean their SECOND number-one hit, "Down Under"?

 

Well, Chuck, which is it?

 

How about their one hit album?

 

Seems you beat me, Mr. Bond.

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Ah, yes! The Land Down Under! They mysterious continent that gave us some one-hit wonders like Men at Work and Paul Hogan,

 

 

Perhaps you are referring here to Men at Work's chart-topping hit song, "Who Can It Be Now?"

 

Or maybe you mean their SECOND number-one hit, "Down Under"?

 

Well, Chuck, which is it?

 

How about their one hit album?

 

Seems you beat me, Mr. Bond.

 

It seems I set a new record in beating you, Blofeld.

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Welcome to not Six Flags Magic Mountain.

Yes, they had a coaster . . ..

 

I believe the coaster at Australia's Magic Mountain still holds the record of "furthest a bus load of theme park nerds will drive just to ride a Zyklon" !

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^I just edited a video of that ride last night! Brought back great memories of our Aussie BBQ and Shark eating alpine slide.

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