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Photo TR: Amy's Big Adventure for 2022! Full Report Posted

Idlewild, Kennywood, Camden Park, Kentucky Kingdom, Holiday World, Kings Island, and Stricker's Grove!

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So, for this year's "big" park trip, I decided to focus on the mid-north states again, starting in western Pennsylvania with....

Idlewild, June29th.

Beware, there are a lot of pictures from here, mostly since I know many of you have never been here.

You pay for attendance at what would normally be the parking booths.  My Palace Platinum Pass scanned without any issues.

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The parking lot.  I think there was a bigger one somewhere else.

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The "entrance gate" LOL.

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They had a log flume, that was closed for the day.IMG_20220629_104120663_HDR.thumb.jpg.9471387ba2c4d51ebd055aaa7db5570c.jpg

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A kids climb-about play area, something you don't find in a lot of proper amusement parks.

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But no park would be complete without an Auntie Anne's pretzels...yes, that does say $8.00 for a standard pretzel.

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Moving along, we come across a dining area...

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...A Tornado with a unique theme and decorations...

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...some more scenic buildings....

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...a Monster...

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...bumper cars (sadly nothing special)...

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...your standard balloon ride...

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...and a show venue.

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These were posted right in front of the drive-'em cars.  The sign has definitely seen better days.

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Another few eateries...

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...some games...

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...and a scrambler.

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There was an antique carousel, dating back to at least 1931, which had stationary outer horses like Knoebel's, but sadly no ring-grab thingy.

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They have your standard Flyers...

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..and of course, the reason anyone non-local ever comes here...

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Rollo Coaster!

Sadly the original trains are long gone, replaced by a single PTC two-row car followed by 3 single-row trailer'd cars, but it was still a fun ride.  I rode in the front and the back (minimal waits), and while the front row was pretty tame, the back row had one solid pop of air and some good laterals at the turnaround.  It was also much much smoother than any ride from 1938 has being.  6/10.  And here's a bunch of pictures of it:

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Moving along, we come across a Tilt-a-Whirl...

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...And then the other reason for an enthusiast to come to this park...

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This was the first Vekoma mouse I've ever been on, and it did not disappoint.  Despite the addition of magnetic brakes along the zig-zag portion, it still felt like the cars were coming to come flying off the track.  It was super smooth and had some great positive and negative G's along the hills.  And who can forget the banked lift hill with what have to be the loudest anti-rollbacks ever (yes, even louder than an RMC!)?  Easily the best wild mouse I've ever been on.  8/10.  And of course, a bunch of pictures:

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Everyone loves when coasters aren't bolted to the ground.

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Continuing onward, there's a long path back to the small water park, on one side of which is a not-very-friendly-looking lake.

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And onward into Raccoon Lagoon, their main kiddie section.

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Featuring a set of electric auto-drive cars with a well-themed entrance...

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...the most ingenious installation of a boat-go-round I've ever seen...

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...a mini Turtle...

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...a very old car-go-round...

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...a tram-go-round?...

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..and finally Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.  This is a trolley ride through various scenes from the show, which while being a huge fan of Mr. Rodgers growing up, I've never seen.

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Circling back around towards the front of the park, we come across another show venue...

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...a standard Dippin' Dots and Gift Shop...

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...and a really cool bridge.

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There was apparently a tiny train station here?

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And then some more rides, including a Round Up...IMG_20220629_112456690_HDR.thumb.jpg.feb044dc210f94edd3392a65e14d8927.jpg

...Paratrooper...

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... and a train ride.

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There was this nice fountain too:

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At this point I took a break for some food, and grabbed a custom mac and cheese from the Mac Shack (no relation to the one at Cedar Point, I think).  $15 for an absolutely massive portion; I wasn't able to finish it all:

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And last but certainly not least for this park was Confusion Hill.

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This is a walk-through attraction with a narrator telling a story about miners.  There are some awesome visual gags, including slanted floors, perspective skewing, balls roll and and water flowing the "wrong" direction...all in all very entertaining.  And something that no one ever talks about from this place.

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The narrator would pour water into the trough, and it would flow "uphill" into the bucket.

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These balls rolled up.

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These balls rolled left.

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And that about does it for Idlewild.  Not a whole lot for enthusiasts, but it is a very nice family park.

Next stop:  Kennywood.

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My next stop on this park tour was...

Kennywood, June 29th.

So, the last time I was here was on my big 2017 trip, and I skipped Exterminator at that time and of course Steel Curtain wasn't here, so I had some new credits to get!

Apparently, my Palace Platinum Pass gets me preferred parking at every park, so I got to park right up close:

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Kennywood had redone their entrance since my last visit.  They really do go all-in on the yellow and black color scheme haha.

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How cute that they made a candy store sign out of one of their removed classic rides. 🙄

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First up was the reborn Old Mill, which had been Garfield's whatever on my last trip:

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Nine minute wait.  What did I think?  Definitely an improvement over Garfield, but I just didn't get it.  I get that it holds some nostalgia factor for those that have been coming to the park for years, but honestly I thought it was kinda dumb.

Grabbed a picture of the refurbished Kangaroo:

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...and made my way down to the way-worse-team-than-the-Ravens Country entrance, only to find...

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Boo.  Guess I wasn't getting this credit on this trip.  At least it photographs nice?

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And hey, Aero 360 was running!  This has a reputation for not, right?

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Some shots of the refurbished gift shop and arcade building.

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I grabbed a ride on Racer (16 minute wait for row 5, started on the left, and lost).  I don't remember this having belts or seat dividers from my last trip...can someone who visits this place more frequently confirm that memory?  Either way, it was fun....7/10.  Next up was...

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Uh...maybe time to take off the "100th Anniversary" things?  22 minute wait for row 7.  I also don't remember this having seat belts.  Anyway, as I'm on it, I started wondering why this ever made my top 10, until that double-down and the massive air it causes.  It has since been bumped out of the list, but man is this an underrated ride.

One more sweet shot of Steel Curtain:

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Unfortunately, Thunderbolt was closed also...

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...but I did get to go on Ghostwood Estate.  13 minute wait (not including pre-show time).  Meh...good enough I guess.  Surprised to not find a high-score board at the end, and the scenes were kinda boring.  It does earn some points for me having no idea how the trackless-darkride mechanism works at all. 4/10

I then did my first ever walk through of Noah's Ark.  Okay, so I might catch flack for this, but what the hell is this thing?  The first half was completely pointless (unless they're trying to indoctrinate people into Magical Sky Daddy's book), and the second half (with the physical gags) wasn't that impressive at all.  I'd rank Confusion Hill at Idlewild as a better example of this type of attraction.  0/10.

Next up was a ride on Exterminator, my first spinning mouse.

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It was here I had my longest wait of the day, at 44 minutes.  Meh, whatever it was spinning.  And a mouse.  Not too bad until the spinning started, and then the eyes definitely had to close.  I also don't quite understand the theme.  3/10.

After exiting, I noticed that Black Widow was operating.  I know this has a reputation for not.

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I then grabbed a ride on Phantom's Revenge (15 minute wait for front row).  Front row is definitely better than wherever I rode during my 2017 trip, and the first and second drops are definitely insane, but after the tunnel everything just goes down hill.  How can anyone enjoy those janky, Arrow-esque transitions, curves, and hills?  5/10.

After that, I headed to my hotel to call day one a wrap, leaving Kennywood with much the same impression I had of it during my first trip 5 years ago:  Overall Meh.  Yeah, it's awesome that they keep their three classic woodies going, but that's about all this park has going for it (yes, I did peek at their Whip and found it to run slower than Dorney's).

Side note:  Here, my Palace Platinum Pass from Dutch Wonderland did not scan, and I needed to go to guest relations to get a paper ticket.

Next up:  Camden Park.

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The next morning I was on the road early for my trek westward, but not before a quick detour south for...

Camden Park, June 30th.

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*sigh* What is there to say about this place?  Hooray that it still exists and they maintain some classic coasters?  All in all it was kinda depressing and surreal; for a few minutes I actually felt like I was in one of those crazy western European parks where you need to operate the rides yourself.  Anyway, on with the pictures,

First up is the ticket booth:

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And the "main gate."IMG_20220630_105443262_HDR.thumb.jpg.84ae8ed4a43e07b44a30d0e2466681aa.jpg

It might be hard to see, but that small white square was a printed sign that said "Big Dipper is not running today."  Bummer.

Moving into the park, we come across the assortment of rides, starting with some hand carts...

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...a boats-go-round...

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..a kiddie whip...

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..some auto-drive cars...

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...a rockets-go-round...IMG_20220630_105634652_HDR.thumb.jpg.6d9e66dbb2d8f4939e2d8ba0ead2349e.jpg

...a carousel that had seen better days...

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...a paratrooper that ran super slow...

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...a SBF Visa figure-8 spinning coaster (I did go on this, 5 laps, spinner whatever)...

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...a mini-Discovery type ride...

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...a cars-go-round...

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...standard Flyers, also run super slow...

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...Scrambler...

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...horse-and-buggy-go-round...

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...gas powered train ride....

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...skyride to nowhere that was, you guessed it, super slow...IMG_20220630_110135632_HDR.thumb.jpg.6c4c79f52644e29e5bfc69a4d6d281da.jpg

...twirly boat...

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...Tilt-a-Whirl...

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...and a kite flyer rounded out the normal assortment of flats at this derelict park.

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They also had a log flume that looked abandoned, but did actually have some riders later on, I promise!

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There were a few little food stands...

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..and an arcade....

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and a toy store?

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...and a gift shop.

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Of course there was also a 1960s Pretzel dark ride, "Haunted House"...IMG_20220630_105849097_HDR.thumb.jpg.4f738d518aa43b12bf6c61911ab7cb73.jpg

..which was entertaining enough.  It's a two story dark ride with a small drop (but it's not a credit).  No animatronics, but the ride op did jump out from around the corner at the end, which was nice.

Even though Big Dipper was closed, did take some pictures of it:

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What was running was the Lil' Dipper, a 1961 NAD hybrid kiddie coaster that still ran what I think are the original trains.

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I had a one train wait for the back row.  No air, no laterals, no nothing, but is always fun to ride these classics.

I also rode their adult Whip, which has perhaps the coolest graphics I've seen on one:

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This actually ran at a decent speed, and since it was a short model you didn't really get much recovery time between turns, and the cycle was super long.

They also had these swan boats that looked like they would sink if an adult got in them.  Guess that's why there's all the life preservers on the rail.

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That was all there was to do at this park, and with Big Dipper being closed it almost felt like a waste, but whatever who knows the next time I'll be passing by this area.  Its in the middle of the suburbs but really feels like the middle of nowhere.

I leave you with a shot of the park map sign; the other side was faded so badly you could barely make things out.

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Shout out to Ray & Nancy, ACE members not on TPR, who were doing basically the reverse of the trip that I was on.  Chatting with them made this park a little more entertaining.

Next Stop:  Kentucky Kingdom.

EDIT:  The remainder of this report will be posted in the coming days.  Please be patient.

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2 hours ago, Mike240SX said:

, leaving Kennywood with much the same impression I had of it during my first trip 5 years ago:  Overall Meh.

Thanks for the thorough review. And yes I will give you flack for your Noah's Ark review, lol. (Imagine doing that whole experience, including the stairs, in pitch black during a special Halloween event). I do agree despite living so close to Kennywood we've only been there twice in the past 8 years or so. I want to like it, but there is always something wrong with it, things are closed, or I expect rides to be better than they actually are. I think the spinning mouse is really fun when you get it spinning right (the theme is very unique and cheesy and that's why I love it) but besides a few rides I am usually underwhelmed. So you're not the only one.

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I rode that Vekoma Mouse a lot as a teenager when it was still at Alton Towers. The lift hill was originally meant to be in a spinning tunnel, so the tilted track was designed to add disorientation. It was definitely a quirky ride with a unique layout, and it sat next to a great Jet Star III and close to a Zeirer Bobsled. That area, positioned sort of behind the towers in the woods, popped up fast as was gone again within a couple of years.

These small park trip reports are great. Bummer you've hit a few closures, though.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I guess I should probably finish this report sometime within a month after it happened, right?

Kentucky Kingdom, June 30th.

This was my first time ever at this park...and boy was it...underwhelming?

That's a big flag.

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At least the entrance is nice.  And they use the fast-scanners too.  Come on CF, get on the ball with these.

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My first time ever seeing a Huss Breakdance that wasn't themed to something.

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First up here was Lightning Run.

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Two train wait for the front row.  This was kinda insane.  Definitely a fan of the Hyper GT-X model and will join everyone else in echoing "Why aren't there more of these?"  A few of the transitions were a bit abrupt, but yeah this was awesome.  9/10.  Also, did RMC have something do with the restraint design?  It's almost identical to theirs.

Same Ferris Wheel model as at Morey's, except without the suicide-prevention cages.

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Next up was Kentucky Flyer.

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One train wait for the back row.  A very fun ride...I was expecting something like Wooden Warrior at Quassy, but was pleasantly surprised by the solid airtime.  Still not sure how I feel about the Timberliner trains though, and it could be longer.  8/10.

That is one tall water slide...reminded me of the massive speed slides that used to be at Action Park, NJ.

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I had to do it to make Thunder Run my #250th at my fellow TPRers recommendation, plus I'm never one to turn down a credit, so yeah...next up was T3.

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This sign speaks the truth:

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22 minute wait for the front row.  So what did I think that is widely regarded as one of the worst coasters on the planet?  Not too bad.  I don't know what everyone complains about.  It's no Great Nor'Easter, sure, but it's far from the worst SLC I've ever been on.  Yeah, the restraints got a little tight by the end, but nowhere near bad as SkyRush.  You've just gotta follow the instructions and brace against the restraint by pushing against them with your hands while you're riding.  It's also incredibly photogenic on the exit path, but I didn't feel like standing around for 10 minutes for them to send another train.  Still, it is a janky SLC, so...3/10?

Moving along, we come to Storm Chaser.

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One train wait for the back row.  This is a top tier RMC, right behind Twisted Timbers in my book.  It has everything I love about RMCs...wild airtime, funky turns, and those super-quick inversions.  It was a little rough, but I blame that on the 1st generation RMC trains with the single axles.  I deeply regret not making this #250 (you'll see why later).  10/10.

This park has a 1919(?) carousel that doesn't appear to have ever been updated (it still has the stairs at the platform), and it could certainly use a little love.  Maybe not a SFStL 3 year refurbishment, but something.

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Next on the list was Roller Skater.

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Like a 10 minute wait solely because they won't run it with only one person on it.  Whatever, it's a kiddie coaster...no rating.  I did express solidarity with the ride op and wished him a happy last day of Pride month...I couldn't imagine being LGBTQ+ in Kentucky.

Nice little history board...mostly about other parks LOL.

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The infamous flying-shoe swings ride.

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And finally, it was time to get my 250th credit...Thunder Run!

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My first ride was on the front row (one train wait).  This was awesome...tons of airtime, good laterals, easily tied with Storm Chaser for the best ride here.  Maybe could use some Millennium Flyers, but overall, awesome.  10/10....or is it?  My second ride was in the back row (half-train wait).  OMG this was just a jackhammering, shuffling mess, and gave me a massive headache.  I have no idea how the same coaster could be so different between the front and back rows.  0/10 in the back....so I guess 6/10 overall?

I grabbed a salted pretzel with vanilla icing from Twisted, absolutely delicious and only $7.  Amusingly there were 5 employees inside the pretzel place, but only two were actually working...the others were just chatting about nonsense with eachother.

A few other notes about this park:
-Most food stands were not open.
-Lots of long pathways with no shade or anything to do on them.
-Half of the soda stations were unmanned but did work; the other half had staff charging you.

A decent stop on the trip, but I don't see myself coming back here anytime soon barring some new major coaster.

My next stop was Holiday World, a much, much better park.

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Holiday World, July 1st.

I made the drive out to Holiday World in the morning, taking advantage of the time zone change to get an extra hour of sleep, and arrived before opening.

I always love to see parks with their own water towers.

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Fast scanners again.  Seriously, Cedar Fair...let's go.

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A nice classic entrance facility.

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With nothing operating for about another 30 minutes, ducked into the waterpark to stow my aquatic gear, and took pictures of the areas I could access:

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Even without his famous coat, Santa must get really warm in that velvet suit in these temperatures.

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I could tell already that this place wouldn't have the same shade issue as Kentucky Kingdom.

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A great theme for their drive'em cars.

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Amusingly, I did not spontaneously burst into flames while taking this picture.

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A nice little kiddie ride section, each ride with a nice Christmas theme.

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Though I don't quite understand how seahorses work into the Christmas mythos...

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I see you....I'll be back later!

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Once the park opened, I started making my way towards the back of the park as per recommendations I received here (Thanks everyone!), for my first top:  Voyage.

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I love when parks put 3D logos on the fronts of coaster trains.

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Nerd shot.

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That is a tall lift...

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14 minute wait for the front row.  WOW!  That was insane.  Awesome, awesome ride.  A little rattle-y, not gonna lie it gave me a little headache, but it has everything you could want in a wooden coaster:  Speed, airtime, laterals, positive Gs...you name it, it has it.  11/10.

On a brief side note, this is the first park I've ever encountered where the ride ops actually encourage guests to hand them their loose articles rather than have them cross the train and put them in the bins.

I continued my way up towards Thunderbird, taking some more pictures as I went...

A great theme for a Tilt-a-Whirl.

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I did not ride the turkey-shooting dark ride.

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All that remains of Pilgrim's Plunge.

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Uh...so about that shade?  This part needs it the most!

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No, this doesn't cut it!

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What's with these Zamperla Starflyer-clones being so prolific in this part of the country?

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Finally, after the long long hike uphill in the direct sunlight, I made my way to Thunderbird.

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15 minute wait for the front row, left wing.  Great ride.  This was my first ever launched B&M, and I don't know why they don't make more.  The keyhole element was incredible and I greyed out a little bit at the top of the vertical loop.  9/10.

And of course, gotta grab a picture of the first hill on Voyage through the trees.

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At this point, I made my way into the water park and stowed my phone, so obviously no pictures.

The first stop here were of course the three water coasters.  Reasonable waits for all of them, and all were very very good.  I had never experience true airtime on a water coaster, and wow they blew my mind.  I loved the dividers in the giant tubes on Mammoth.  These should be standard on every ride that uses these large tubes.

Otherwise, the water park is very expansive and has a ton of slides and splash-around areas, though I wish there were more single-person-tube slides as opposed to the big-family-tube type that proliferate at this park.  I get it, adults without families are not the target demographic for this park, so it's definitely a me-only problem.  The lazy river is quite long but doesn't really have a lot of elements in it, and is quite shallow (only like 2.5 feet deep), making it a little odd for riding it in the body-through-the-tube fashion that I prefer.  That said, I did like the U-shaped "lounger tubes" that were offered that allowed one to be mostly submerged while in a sitting position...these should be standard on lazy rivers.

I left the water park at around 2:15 and made my way into Halloween.

I absolutely loved this theme on the Wave Swinger.

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Unfortunately, Legend was closed on my first pass, with a train stuck halfway into the station, but I would get on it later.

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Only the second non-lighted scrambler I've ever seen.

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I was surprised that they still had a diving show; these are long-gone history at most parks.

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Anyway, I made my way up to the next coaster, Raven.

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Awesome little thematic details on the walls in the station.

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And once again, a 3D logo on the front of the train.

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And some nice graphics on the sides.  Why more parks don't do this, I'll never understand.

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Two-train wait for the front row.  HOLY.  SHIT.  This ride was absolutely insane.  I was out of my seat for the entire first turn after the drop, getting some nutty laterals+airtime.  It held great speed through the woods, and provided great laterals and airtime throughout.  It honestly reminded me a lot of Beast.  11/10.

As Legend was still closed, I made my way back up through 4th of July to the kiddie area, grabbing a "few" more pictures along the way.

Great theme on the bumper cars.

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Great theme on the Calypso.

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Not really sure if you want to advertise eating something "dog" named when your park's mascot is a dog LOL.

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Nice little song and dance show.  Man it must be brutal in that costume (it was like 92 degrees ambient on this day).

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I was honestly surprised to see one of these kid's climbing things in such a major park, but I guess they are independently owned after all.

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Grabbed a ride on Howler, their kiddie coaster (no wait), and made my way back in to the main part of the park.

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Another show venue.

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This stupid little kiddie flume that has zero verticality...I love it.

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I stopped in to the merry marketplace for some food.  The mac & cheese was pretty good, but the breadsticks were super dry and hard.

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Finally, I made my way to Legend, which was now operating!

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Three-train wait for the front row.  Absolutely insane laterals here.  There's a double helix, that's basically taken with no banking and at a pretty good speed.  This ride is all about the lateral forces, and I love it for it.  10/10.

Exhausted from the heat and with a mild headache from the not-perfectly-smooth wooden coasters, I decided to call it a day around 4:00.  All in all, I really enjoyed Holiday World, and anyone who thinks Kentucky Kingdom is objectively the better park is out of their mind.  Boo hoo, there's no alcohol...what are we, back in college?

Oh, and the free drinks was awesome and every park should do this.

Next up is an unplanned bonus visit to the Columbus Zoo!

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Columbus Zoo, July 2nd.

After leaving my hotel in Louisville, and with several hours before I could check in to my hotel in Mason for Kings Island for the next few days and a slight disappointment over missing out on two credits early in the trip, I decided to forego the extra time at KI and instead detoured up to Columbus for their zoo, which as everyone knows has a couple of coasters.

This report will deviate from my standard chronological format.  I'm going to talk about the rides section first, then animals (of which there are over 200 pictures).

But first, the entrance:

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Yeah, it was kinda busy.

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Okay, so on to the rides section here, called "Adventure Cove."

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Their newest addition, a Reverchon spinning mouse called Tidal Twist.

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12 minute wait and then four minutes sitting on the brake run, because in true Kings Dominion fashion, they only allowed one car out on the course at a time but were running every car they owned.  Whatever, it's a spinner...I still don't particularly enjoy these.  4/10.

Some other rides they have...

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And then finally every enthusiasts reason for coming here, Sea Dragon:  A 1956 junior PTC woodie with hand-level operated skid brakes!

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No wait for front or back row.  It was decent enough, very smooth...retracked through the whole first lift and drop. It runs PTC junior trains with flanged wheels (no guide wheels) and non-buzzing buzz bars (they were mechanically operated).  No real airtime or any kind forces to speak of, but a great classic ride.  7/10.

So what did these three rides cost me?  $6.00  Every ride here is individually ticketed (you can buy wristbands), and costs either one or two dollars.  On top of the $25 entry fee, this place is a bargain.

Before I picture dump all of the animal pictures, a few comments:
-I walked through every section except the Africa section, simply due to time.
-The Lynx, the only other animal I really wanted to see, was hiding somewhere.
-I typically am not a big animal or zoo person, and while it was cool to see Pallas Cats in person and I got to pet a Stingray, all in all it kinda made me sad.  Most the animals have to be so bored, cooped up in cages without many of their natural activities to do.  This goes double for the primates...just thinking that they are so close in genealogy to humans, and we trap them in tiny boxes and just watch them...I don't know.  I get it, it's good to preserve these species that might be having their natural habitats destroyed, but still.
-You'll see how sad some of the primates are in the pictures...it's just all over their faces.  They're just laying around, bored, all day except when the trainers come in to interact with them.  It just doesn't seem...right?

Anyway, with that preachy spiel out of the way, here's a video of the Pallas Cats doing their thing.  These are tiny little wild cats, barely bigger than a housecat, and are super cute but also a deadly predator.

 

And now, the photo dump of all of the animal photos I took.  If you have no interest, feel free to skip ahead to the next post.

 

 

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Thanks for the write-up. Did you have a chance to do Raven in the back as well? It/ think it's much crazier / life changing (especially in the dark but I know that's normally not possible). Glad you enjoyed your trip I always love reading HW reviews especially from those who have never been.

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13 minutes ago, anonymouscactus said:

Thanks for the write-up. Did you have a chance to do Raven in the back as well? It/ think it's much crazier / life changing (especially in the dark but I know that's normally not possible). Glad you enjoyed your trip I always love reading HW reviews especially from those who have never been.

I didn't.  Between the heat and my mild headache, I didn't do any rerides, which I regretted 15 minutes down the road.  I was also a little nervous about back row rides ruining the ride for me like what happened on Thunder Run LOL.

Thanks for the positive encouragement!

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Kings Island, July 3rd and 4th.

So, most of us have been to KI, and there's a ton of pictures out there of it, so I'll spare you them in this post.  However, I did take a lot of pictures of the 50th Anniversary History walk they have set up in the garden, the Phantom Theater Encore show, as well as the art contest winners that were on display in one of the stores.  These can be seen in a post on the Kings Island Thread.

As for my time at the park, day one I spent a huge amount of time in the water park to start the day, then went back to my hotel for a while, then went back to the park and got a front row ride on Beast (12 minute wait).  After that, I met up with a new friend (one of the bartenders from the waterpark) bar and we did a lap on Adventure Express, wandered around looking at history stuff for a while, did a lap on the back row of Mystic (I forgot how awesome this is at night).  After that we took in the fireworks/drone show, and then did two laps on Diamondback (rows 2 and 11) to close out the night.  Notably, Beast's Fast Lane line after the fireworks show extended all the way down the exit ramp, almost to the photo booth.  Eeesh.

The next day, I went back for park opening, and hit the following rides solo, with ducking away for a while in the middle of the day to visit Stricker's Grove:
-Woodstock Express, walk on for back row (full train, which I rarely ride this with, made it fly)/
-Diamondback, train-and-a-half wait for back row, right wing.  This ride is growing on me.
-Mystic, three-train wait for front row.  Cars and snake monster ending, same one I had last night.
-Banshee, train-and-a-half wait for front row/
-Orion, train-and-a-half wait for back row, left edge.
-Beast, two train wait for front row.
-Banshee, half-train wait for back row, left wing.
-Racer left side, one train wait for front row (did not win).
-Flight of Fear, 10 minute wait for row 3.  Honestly one of the better rides I've had on this for a while.
-Mystic, three-train wait for the back row.  Maneater and snake monster ending.

At this point I met back up with my bartender friend and we closed out the night with a night ride on Beast on the last train of the day (Hour and 37-minute wait through the fireworks shutdown).  Unfortunately, while we lined up for the front, we were right at the cutoff and had to move to row 11.

Notably on Beast, the stop-and-go shuffling when pulling into the station has been largely resolved but not entirely.

And that about sums up my stop in at Kings Island.

Next up, the ultimate in rare park credits:  Stricker's Grove.

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Okay, time for the last park of this trip...

Stricker's Grove, July 4th.

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What an odd park.  Privately owned an only open to the public four times a year, this is a prime example of what would happen if a park didn't care about making money.

Here's their "main entrance":

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And their "ticket booth", which seemed more akin to waiting for a raffle at a VFW than an amusement park.

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Of course there's a bar...

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And under these canopies was where a BBQ was set up, with decent prices and decent food.

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Some additional things, like ice cream and soda, were available from this booth.

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They had a small arcade with plenty of '90s-awesome games.

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Of course, some games.

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Okay, time to get to the rides!  This supply of 5 tickets cost me $10; it was enough for both coasters.

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Onto the rides themselves:

Carousel

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Flying Elephants

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Ferris Wheel

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A healthy supply of kiddie-go-rounds

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Kiddie Whip

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With a can't-be-OHSA-compliant operator position.

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Scrambler

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Round Up

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Pirate Ship (non-operational)

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Tilt-a-Whirl

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Whatever used to be here...

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They also had a miniature train and minigolf course (not pictured), and...this:

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This was called Tip Top.  It's hard to find any info on these, but manufactured by Hrubetz, it's kinda a cross between tea cups and a tagada.  Words cannot describe the motion of this ride, so here's a video:

 

Crazy, and definitely too much spinning motion for me.

What was in my wheelhouse, however, were their two wooden coasters.  Though these were both built in the 1990s, they feel much, much older in how they're operated.

First up was Teddy Bear, their junior woodie.  This runs your standard PTC junior woodie trains with buzz bars, no seat belts nor seat dividers.  No skid brakes, for that matter either.

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This took about 15 minutes to get on, and I can't remember where I rode it (and for some reason I didn't take a notes video afterwards?).  It was pretty forceless, just a kiddie coaster really.

And the final ride here for me was Tornado, their full-size coaster.  This runs standard PCT buzz bar trains, but with dividers and seat belts.

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16 minute wait for the back row, which I shared with a budding young enthusiast who filled me in on the coaster.  He advised that I keep the seat belt loose and cautioned me about "intense ejector air."  At first, I was like "Okay, kid" since the ride didn't seem all that crazy from watching it from the ground.  I got a little floater on the first drop, as well as the last hill, but otherwise the ride was kinda boring.  All that changed at the drop before the final turnaround.  It seemed like the train just dropped out from under me, throwing my entire thigh straight up into the buzz-bar, in what was easily the most powerful ejector air I've ever felt on a coaster.  I'm talking more sudden and intense than the most you'd find on an RMC.  Aboslutely bonkers.  11/10, and found a place in my Top 10 Woodies for this reason alone.

Sadly, that was about it for Stricker's grove.  Worth the trip?  Absolutely, but the park did leave me wanting more.

And that also brings this trip report to a close.  Thanks for reading everyone!

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  • AmyUD06 changed the title to Photo TR: Amy's Big Adventure for 2022! Full Report Posted

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