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Chuck's TPR Shameless Nostalgia Trip Thread


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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.

 

Oh, yeah, the BBQ at the hotel in Merimbula--that was great!

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China 2012

 

OK, dear readers, better go get yourselves some coffee, tea, or perhaps a few beers. This may take a while.

 

Ever since I was a kid, I've wanted to visit China--to walk on the Great Wall, tour the Forbidden (well, maybe not-so-forbidden) City, and see Hong Kong.

 

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Then, thanks to TPR, I discovered they also have a fair number of theme parks--yay!

 

They also have a lot of nice city parks with lots of Sliding Dragons and knock-off Spinning Mouse Coasters. Er . . . yay? (Well, maybe not as loud a "yay.")

 

I'll just jump into the photos and explain things as I go. There are many, but I promise not to regale you with every tiny kiddie credit in every city park we visited (only the ones that were, at least, sort of interesting for some reason). I don't recall all their names of these little parks, and I have no intention of looking them up.

 

This was the longest TPR trip I've ever taken (a bit over 20 days), and like all the others, it was great. China is a fascinating palace, and while I wasn't too thrilled with Beijing, I enjoyed Hong Kong and Shanghai. If you want some interesting insights into China, I recommend River Town--a book written by an American who spent some time teaching English at a Chinese college.

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Welcome to Crab Island Resort! This is "Washing-Machine Agitator: The Ride." We will encounter it again. I have no idea who dreamed up this ride . . .

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. . . or if all installations come with their own apartments.

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Ah, my first Golden Horse knockoff SLC! This ride answers the musical question, "What could possibly be worse than a Vekoma SLC?"

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Hang in there Hanno! There are a lot of mouse coasters to go yet.

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At least they aren't MURDER HORNETS!

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Window of the World was a bizarro version of Epcot . . .

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. . . with some partial nudity . . .

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. . . and a knee-cracking mine train coaster.

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Camel sitting was also available.

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We made our way to the Great Wall . . . what the hell is that?

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A lot of people made their way to the Great Wall, but I enjoyed seeing it in person at last. We rode an alpine coaster down, too.

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This is part of the Forbidden City, which looks a lot like the rest of the Forbidden City.

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Next up was Beijing Shijingshan Amusement Park, which had the single scariest shuttle loop I've ever ridden. This ride tends to fall off the track and onto its upstop wheels in it vertical loop, and the same ride model had left riders stranded upside-down at another Chinese park!

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I ain't gettin' near that thing! You hoomans are on your own!"

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Looks like the mine train could stand a little mowing.

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I was denied this Golden Horse SLC because all the extra padding on the restraints wouldn't allow them to close over my rotund frame. I was OK with that. ;)

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Sun Park's entrance had a "I was built for the Olympic Games" vibe to it.

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This character is in no way similar to a character in a popular Disney shooting dark ride.

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Sun Park also had some haunted walk throughs where the staff can hit you in the butt with a broom. This would not be the last time this happened to me in China.

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A big thunderstorm washed the pollution from the air in time for out visit to Happy Valley Beijing. I liked this park, but this non-working S&S coaster would be a recurring theme in China.

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Crystal Wing was a very good B&M Flying Coaster with some nice theming. But, for some reason, all Happy Valley parks must have a carny-level Disko.

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I love the dude's beard here.

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The show with the fake-beard guy led up to this deluge. That seemed to be the whole point of it.

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Help! I'm being assaulted!

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Welcome to Victory Kingdom--a park where almost nothing was open except this Golden Horse SLC, . . .

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. . . this crazy-looking flat ride, and a splash boat in a river of questionable water.

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Er, is it supposed to do that? (This isn't Victory Kingdom, as the Wild Mouse is actually running.)

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I just like this picture of Elissa. That's why it's here.

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Floraland was another Epcot-like park, only with hookers.

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This Tagada was a lot of fun--and something you'd never see in the U.S.

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This was either a haunt or a sanctuary for cross-eyed werewolves.

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What makes Happy Valley Chendu so happy? It has a kick-ass Mega Lite!

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I enjoyed this building of ice sculptures, too.

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"Agh! I'm wearing shorts, and I forgot snow was cold!"

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This isn't Wall-E--it's Wall-T. Totally different.

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Occasional heavy downpours were another recurring theme.

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I didn't get my photo with a panda on my lap, but I did hang out a bit with them. They're Chinese royalty.

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Happy Valley Wuhan's sign looks like something you'd see in Reno in the 1970s. The park was incomplete, as in some coasters, such as the S&S launched ride, weren't ready for prime time.

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But it did have Dauling Dragon. . .

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. . . and Hidden Anaconda, the first Maurer Sky Loop I'd ever ridden (it was fun).

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All Happy Valleys have mine trains, but Wuhan's is the only one themed to NASACR-racing big rigs. More to come.

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Let's keep TPR's Chinese caravan moving here.

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We found "SBNO: The Ride."

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Cheapest drop tower ever.

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Well, that inspires confidence.

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Right, folks?

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I think the guy sitting next to Elissa may have died.

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Shanghai was a cool mix of the old and the new.

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My parents used to have a Christmas tree topper that looked just like the Pearl Tower.

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Don't look down . . . don't look down . . .

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Shanghai was a cool-looking city.

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"We do not regret riding the sketchy Looping Toboggan at Fisherman's Warf!"

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"Er, is it supposed to do that?" is another recurring theme in China, . . .

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. . . along with "should this be attached to something?"

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I had to go all the way to China to ride a working Giant Inverted Boomerang (in this case, at Jinjiang). We finished the ride, even though it had some issues. I liked it.

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Larry and I had lunch here, . . .

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. . . but we did not have the Jellyfish Head.

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"Yes! Another Sliding Dragon POV in the can! Er . . . go me?"

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Yes, this can be a very disturbing country.

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Here's a novel way to fix a stuck Golden Horse Spinning Mouse. One guy stands on the ride and rotates the car, while another guy pushes it was a stick of bamboo.

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If you want a trippy experience, ride the Bund Sightseeing Tunnel under the river in Shanghai. It has a Hard Rock Park "Nights in White Satin" vibe to it.

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A disturbing sight at Happy Valley Shanghai.

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Fireball was running great, . . .

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. . . and the Diving Coaster was fun, . . .

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. . . but MEGA LITE!

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And let's not forget North Pole Adventure, where you get to shoot elves in the butt.

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The Vekoma Stingray at Big Wheel Park was another pleasant surprise.

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Intense, but fun.

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"Welcome to Joyland! Experience joy, or I kill you!"

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Sky Scrapper was a good B&M Flying Coaster, though.

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Hmm--pretty sure you won't see this model at any car showroom.

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Dinosaur Park was relatively straightforward for a Chinese theme park. Yep--there are, indeed, dinosaurs.

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Dinoconda was a surprisingly good S&S 4D Coaster.

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I liked this park more than Joyland.

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Amazing World appears to China's version of Toverland,

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They had this weird Spinning Mouse . . .

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. . . and a lot of balls.

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Chimelong Paradise was like an especially good Six Flags park.

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It even had a real Intamin Ten-Inversion Coaster instead of some knockoff . . .

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. . . although they did have an imitation Fire Academy (Larry and I lost).

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The stunt show existed for two reasons: 1) flying car on fire and . . .

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. . . 2) catfight! One more set of photos to come.

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We're coming into the Chinese home stretch!

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Chaunlord Holiday Manor was a cool, funky park with lots of charm.

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Remember that ride from Crab Island? Well, it got stuck here.

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Thank god for bamboo.

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Chaunlord had a great haunt, too: Ghost Ship. Yes, they will touch you in there!

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This funky zipline thing over the lagoon was fun.

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And we all enjoyed eating Mr. Fish. (Seriously, he was delicious.)

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Knight Valley's Wood Coaster (yes, that's the name) was good.

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I don't think any GCI has a better location.

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Knight Valley also had a show that used a flash flood as a climax.

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This was, perhaps, the single funniest moment in the whole trip. Robb had the next park located on his GPS, but the guide insisted on stopping the bus and asking random people where it was.

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All that for a Sliding Dragon.

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Welcome to another Window on the World.

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This one had an indoor coaster themed to Vikings or Asgard or something. It was hard to tell, as all you did was bump around in pitch darkness.

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You could shoot people in the face with a fire hose there.

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However, you were not allowed to shoot them with this.

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This was another funny moment at Happy Valley Shenzen. These schoolkids were all shouting "hi . . . hello" at us.

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They torture yetis here? At HAPPY Valley?

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Yay! An S&S launched coaster that works!

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And it was fun, too!

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I loved their knockoff "Alien Encounter," . . .

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. . . and, again, you could shoot people in the face with a fire hose.

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I liked Disney's Hollywood Hotel in Hong Kong,

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But our first park there was Ocean Park. This funicular was a fun ride to the top of the mountain where much of the park was located.

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Some of the group warned us that Hair Raiser was "rattly," but I liked it quite a bit.

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You can't beat Dragon's location, even though the ride itself isn't too good.

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Best views from a mine train ever!

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Penguins swim underneath you at Ocean Park.

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The ride down was spectacular.

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Hong Kong Disneyland is the cutest lil' ol' Magic Kingdom ever. I like how it's surrounded by mountains.

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Big Grizzly Mountain is currently my favorite Disney coaster.

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Their version of Space Mountain is a clone of the West Coast version, but they were running Ghost Galaxy while we were there, It was great.

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Save the Animatronic Hippos!

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I liked the finale of Hong Kong's Jungle Cruise. First fire, . . .

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. . . then water!

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Of course, Dumbo is universal.

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I'm looking forward to visiting this park again. It's changed a lot since 2012.

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That's all from China!

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Great look back at that trip Chuck! I'm so desperate to get back out and travel that I would go to *most* of these places again.

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Great post, Chuck. Really interesting overview of the parks in China. Half of them are genuinely attractive, well-themed, and in beautiful locations. The other half look like the inspiration for Energylandia.

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^The Happy Valley parks are a good case in point. The older parks in the chain, such as Shenzen, are pretty well themed. But the newest park, Wuhan, is very much like Energylandia (a bit sparse).

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Really enjoyed reading this Chuck! (I actually went back and read the full TR) Such a strange mix of parks. The one time I've been to China, it was for a school trip and we only went to Beijing and did culture/educational stuff, so I would like to get to some of the parks there especially since they've been adding a lot of cool looking rides recently.

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Chuck brings me back, to when I was on that same China/Hong Kong tour!

Thanks for the lovely memories of a really long (23 days!) and awesome tour, Chuck!

 

And blessings to Robb for guiding us through that "flight delay" etc.

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Posted (edited)

Japan 2013

 

And we're back. Back in Japan seven years ago. Jazz Impressions of Japan, by the Dave Brubeck Quartet, is playing in the background as I write this, as such memories as this are best contemplated in tranquility.

 

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Yes, one appreciates the quiet when enjoying fried gyoza and frozen Kirin.

 

As in any return trip, you can expect something old and something new. We headed north to the visit Sapporo on Hokkaido, as well as the usual cities, such as Tokyo and Osaka. What did I take away from TPR's 2013 Japan Trip?

 

1. The foam in a frozen Kirin blows Butterbeer away.

2. One must climb many, many steps to achieve true enlightenment at the Ikari Temple (and the vending machines get more expensive the higher you go).

3. Although I'm not a huge fan of Japanese beer, the fresh brew out of the taps at the Sapporo Brewery is pretty dang good.

4. Tokyo DisneySea remains the best theme park in the world.

 

Speaking of DisneySea . . .

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Oh my goodness! A bunch of us have arrived a day early. Where ever shall we go? I had to buy a one-day ticket at the TDS booth, and the CM asked me my age. I said "53," and she sold me a ticket for a surprisingly low price. I joined the group after I'd paid, and realized that she'd sold me a "senior ticket." I guess she thought I said "63"?

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Chandu doesn't think I look that old. ;)

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Our first "official" stop was Tobu Zoo, the home of Kawasemi--yet another great Intamin Mega Lite.

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But what can top the sheer thrill of the Hello Kitty Unicorn ride?

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Off to Osaka, where we had a great backstage tour of Universal Japan's Spider-man.

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I took this photo of Backdraft's preshow with my little Panasonic Lumix. A CM gave me the old "crossed wrist" signal and said, "No photos." Meanwhile, Dan was standing next to me with his big professional-type camera, with a lens the size of a bazooka, snapping away. Not a word was said to him. I guess size does matter.

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Mickey truly leads the life of a swingin' bachelor. He even made the cover of "Brutus.' which I guess is the equivalent of Playboy for giant, sentient mice.

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Hirakata is a fun family park with the customary Jet Coaster and giant green monster who tries to strangle you.

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It's also the home of ELF (or "Episode of Little Fairies," believe it or not). It's a very good Intamin family wooden coaster.

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The Ikari Temple is a lio of steps and a lot of orange arches.

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I was glad to see it, but it was a very tiring climb up.

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Cosmoworld is the home of the appropriately named Vanish. Ooo, look--it's gone!

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Just in case you missed Vanish the first time.

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The infamous screaming log ride, where you're encouraged to howl "We Are on a Log Flume" at the top of your lungs.

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Once upon a time, you could rent a little electric boat and cruise around Sea Paradise's dolphin lagoon.

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Sigh! I miss Blue Fall.

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Remember, folks: The family that boozes it up together, stays together.

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Steel Dragon 2000 was showing off its shiny new B&M trains at Nagashima Spaland.

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And the old Schwarzkopf shuttle loop was still good.

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I think the puppet is her supervisor.

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Welcome to Sapporo. Enjoy yourself at Vegas Vegas! (This was one of the more "western" cities I've visited in Japan.)

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Hokkaido Greenland was a very nice "traditional" park, if you can get past this horde of giant insects.

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While there, be sure to "Go On" the jet coaster. (Yes, that's the name--Go On.)

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Dragon King is not an Arrow loop screw, but an amazing simulation.

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I don't remember much about this coaster, which might be for the best.

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"OK, I SCARE YOU GOOD!" The walk-through haunt was fun, . . .

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. . . but this was scarier!

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Hmm--I wonder where we could find some beer and food in Sapporo?

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Perhaps this establishment.

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So much beer you might drown in it!

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The Sapporo Bier Garten (aka, the "All You Can Eat and Drink in 90 Minutes Restaurant") was great.

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"Mine's bigger." More to come.

Edited by cfc
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^ We loved that restaurant! And Sapporo, too.

Great Japan touring, Chuck!

Looking forward to more of it all.

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Posted (edited)

As I stated earlier, "more to come." It has arrived.

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Our last stop on Hokkaido was Rusutsu Resort, which is a ski resort in the winter and an amusement park in the summer. This is northern Japan's version of Mt. Fuji.

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Adding a dive loop to an Ultra Twister was a stroke of genius.

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"What just happened?"

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Of course, adding an SLC wasn't quite as clever.

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This shuttle loop was like those scary ones in China, only much more enjoyable. KT was reluctant to ride it at first, but I think she went on it numerous times.

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"The power of Christ compels you! The power of Christ compels you!" (Another good, creepy, gory haunt.)

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Jenn and Travis are settling down to a nice dinner--at the MURDER LODGE!

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Tired of walking? No problem at Rusutsu.

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Back to Tokyo! We had some time to kill before checking in at the Hilton Tokyo Bay. May as well hang out at the Tokyo Decks.

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Joypolis had since upgraded the painful Spin Bullet into Veil of Dark, a fun shooting dark ride/coaster combo.

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Thanks for that, Sonic!

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Great views from the back of the Decks.

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Condomania was still in business.

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The Toyota City Showcase had this fun electric go-kart course.

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Night descends on Tokyo.

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Look! I can see Space Mountain from my room!

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But first things first. Thanks to Robb and Elissa's efforts, this was a pretty good visit to Fuji-Q.

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I enjoyed Takabisha--best of the Eurofighters.

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KT tried to kill Dan.

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I finally checked out the Haunted Hospital. You know, it had some good creepy atmosphere, but it wasn't all that scary. Nothing really happens until you reach the end.

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Do-Dodonpa still had its crazy high hat.

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We also caught a glimpse of Mt. Fuji.

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Tokyo Disneyland! Our quest is at an end. God be praised!

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KT finally succeeded in killing Dan.

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"Whoa! That safe totally crushed that guy! Too bad he's not a cartoon character. He could just walk it off."

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The castle was all dolled up for the resort's 30th anniversary.

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Yes, I think this is the best of the Magic Kingdoms.

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Good night TDL! Good morning TDS!

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This is the view when you enter the park 'Nuff said.

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OH MY GOD!

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Yes, much popcorn was consumed.

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Yep--it's tough to beat the Mysterious Island of Captain Nemo . . .

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. . . or Journey to the Center of the Earth.

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I never get tired of this ride.

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God, this park! Great views everywhere you look!

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NO PHOTOS!

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Time for a nice, civilized adult beverage at the Teddy Roosevelt Lounge on the USS Columbia.

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Sigh! I miss DisneySea.

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This park has yet to be topped. That's all for now.

Edited by cfc
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^ I'm a little worried I could be next

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Like I wouldn't be surprised if this was the last thing I saw before I died

Chuck, I've already been feeling nostalgic for Japan while stuck at home, and this has made it 10x worse! I NEED to get back there, especially so that I can meet the lava monster.

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^ I'm a little worried I could be next

[attachment=0]Webp.net-resizeimage-2.jpg[/attachment]

Chuck, I've already been feeling nostalgic for Japan while stuck at home, and this has made it 10x worse! I NEED to get back there, especially so that I can meet the lava monster.

 

Ha!

 

And next year! We will get the world back on a better track and go to Japan!

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Another great update Chuck. I love the backdrops to some of the Japanese parks. Big city skyscrapers, Mt Fuji, or ... well, everything at TDS. Eight years with TPR and I still haven't been over there, but maybe soon!

 

^ I'm a little worried I could be next

 

We need to keep both Dan and you alive, because I'm scared about who might be third on the list...

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Lovely report. Always a joy to see more Japan photos. Those two northern parks are certainly ones I would enjoy visiting!

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Posted (edited)
KT tried to kill Dan.
KT has been trying to kill Dan for 13 years now...

 

giphy.gif

Mwahahahaha! Mwahahahaha! MWAHAHAHAHA!!! I'm still alive!!

 

I'm a little worried I could be next
I'm scared about who might be third on the list...

*Definitely* Joey!

 

 

 

I love this thread!

Edited by Dan
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KT tried to kill Dan.
KT has been trying to kill Dan for 13 years now...

 

giphy.gif

Mwahahahaha! Mwahahahaha! MWAHAHAHAHA!!! I'm still alive!!

 

I'm a little worried I could be next
I'm scared about who might be third on the list...

*Definitely* Joey!

 

 

 

I love this thread!

 

We have been nothing but the best influences in her life

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We have been nothing but the best influences in her life

I agree. I feel as if special thanks will be in order at her HS graduation. And again in college. And again when she's appointed President of a Fortune 500. I think she'll grow to appreciate us some day. We will definitely be on our best behavior. Because we would never say or do anything inappropriate. Not us. Never!

 

267195250027211.png

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HA! Miss all you guys! And miss all my trip people...and trips. Ugh, We need to seriously fix up our countries issues and move forward and do fun things again.

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See Chuck, now you've made me all nostalgic for Japan! This is one of all time favorite trips. Can't wait to do it again. And I think Kristin is old enough to meet the Frogman this time!

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Mini New Hotness and East Coast 2014

 

After another great trip to the Land of the Rising Sun, it was back to the USA in 2014 to experience some "new hotness" in Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio and some good East Coast times (with pizza) in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York. Yes, Australia has the vast Outback, Japan the futuristic skyline of Tokyo, and China the Great Wall and the mountainous islands of Hong Kong. But only in America can you enjoy this view.

 

001.jpg.4972f02342844062cd7e35ebb5f0b121.jpg

 

Yeah, suck it Paris! USA! USA!

 

So, what did I take away from my travels with TPR in 2014?

 

1. Banshee shows that when B&M is called on to make a huge, intense ride, they can still do it.

2. The best rides of any type at Holiday World are Wildebeest and Mammoth in Splashin' Safari. Those water coasters rule!

3. More parks need to build more rides like Kentucky Kingdom's Lightning Run.

4. Anyone who visits New York City needs to take Scott's Pizza Tour.

5. Any day at Knoebel's is a good day.

6. Beware of Satan's Lodge in Santa Claus, Indiana!

 

Onward!

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Our fitst stop was Coney "Not in New York" Island outside Cincinnati.

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Hmm--I wonder if could get a "dollar-a-year" VP gig with Disneyland? (Well, it was $.79 after taxes, I guess.) Why, that would be roughly $9.53 today!

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We next stopped at Stricker's Grove, a park that, like the mythical Scottish village of Brigadoon, only appears once every 100 years!

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My thanks to Robb and Elissa for setting this up. Stricker's reminded me a bit of Micke's Grove outside Lodi, California when I was a kid.

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Kings Island made a good trade when they replaced Son of Beast with Banshee. No wonder TPR held "Banshee Bash" that day.

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Snoopy agrees with me on this point.

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Our backstage tour of Beast was fun.

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Diamondback is more like the typical crop of big B&M coasters, but I think it's a lot better than Intimidator at Carowinds.

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You gotta hand it to Cedar Fair--they do a good job with their signs.

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Kentucky Kingdom was a park that seemed doomed the year before.

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But they bounced back, and built Chance's answer to the Intamin Mega Lite: Lightning Run! This little coaster had more air time than the last five years of B&M hypers. New hotness, indeed!

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Thunder Run wasn't bad, either.

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We had a great ERT session on Kentucky Rumbler at Beech Bend, despite a thuunderstorm rolling in. This is one of GCI's best creations.

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Can you endure the terror that awaits within this 1950s era suburban tract house?

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Oh, crap, we got werewolves again! Better call Orkin.

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Holiday World's Mammoth delivers serious air time for a water ride.

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Nighttime ERT on Raven was fun, too.

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For Dan, Indiana Beach was all about the tacos. They were pretty dang good.

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There's still Fascination for all you klassy people, . . .

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. . . along with some pretty good wooden coasters.

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More new hotness at Six Flags Great America. Say hello to Goliath . . .

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. . . and X-Flight.

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Yay for nighttime ERT on Fahrenheit at Herssheypark! I wasn't crazy about this ride the year before, but it grew on me that night.

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Wildcat was rough as hell, but the Angus McNasty overlay made it more entertaining.

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Skyrush is a great coaster, which I found legitimately terrifying.

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Remember, at Hershey, it's all about the milk chocolate . . .

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. . . and the beer at Troegs. More to come.

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Posted (edited)

Our march to NYC continues!

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If you can't have a good time at Knoebels, may God save yer heathen soul!

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The Flyers and the Flying Turns in one shot! I am on fire!

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You can either have what's behind the curtain, or this delicious assortment of fried goodies on Dan's tray.

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"There's no earthly way of knowing . . . which direction we are going . . ."

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Knoebels has one of the best train rides anywhere, even if it lacks dinosaurs.

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Arr! I be ready fer Glow ERT on Phoenix, sez I.

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Do 'em the dirty, me hearties!

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Dorney Park is a generic Cedar Fair operation, but I do like Talon.

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And, hey, I had the pleasure of riding the train with Crouses, . . .

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. . . and Robb won a bunch of candy. So, a good day at Dorney.

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"Welcome to Six Flags Great Adventure's Safari, humans. Why, I'm so happy to see you, I just might spit." (Fortunately, he didn't, and the Safari tour was great.)

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I swear I could see my house from Zoomanjaro.

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We couldn't quite escape Kentucky Kingdom, as this ride (Green Lantern) was once Chang at KK.

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Who's ready for nighttime ERT on El Toro?

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Toss a ring on the Empire State Building and win a kewpie doll!

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Our quest is at an end . . .

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. . . God be praised! (I understand that about three-fourths of Cylcone had been retracked. That would explain the problems with the remaining fourth. Even with that, it was a good ERT session with a fun-loving ride crew.)

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Thunderbolt was, well, er, not good. I think the chintzy trains were the big problem.

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This is the Tickler. KT looks anything but tickled.

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"You made me ride the Tickler! For that effrontery, shields will be splintered and blood will be shed!"

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I liked Spook-o-Rama a lot--a great, cheesy dark ride.

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Speaking of scary, here's Deno's Wonder Wheel, a true Coney Island classic ride.

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I think they brought this old coaster train up from the Titanic.

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Hmm--ten bucks for the Ghost Hole? Er, no thanks.

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"Are you ready for Scott's Pizza Tour little girl? Heh, heh, heh!"

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This was a great way to end the East Coast Trip.

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Eveeybody needs to take Scott's Pizza Tour. That's all for now.

Edited by cfc
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