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Slightly Soggy Photo TR: PKD, 4-22-06

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Doswell, Virginia, April 22, 2006--It was a somewhat damp day. OK, it was wet. OK, so it was stormy.


OK, so there was some guy in a robe herding a whole bunch of animals, two by two, up the queue for Volcano to a waiting gopher-wood boat on the mountain's peak. That sucker must've been 80 cubits long if it was a cubit.


Yes, not a day to visit a theme park; rather, a day to stay indoors, catch up on one's correspondence, sort out the spice rack. Yet I was on the interstates between Williamsburg and Richmond, driving through the blinding rain, fighting the very elements, a massive tidal wave bearing down on me, harpies and sea hags nipping at my heels (OK, the last two parts are a lie). Why? Two reasons:


1) I'm certifiably insane and had managed to escape the nice rubber room my keepers had prepared for me, and

2) There was a chance to meet two more TPR folks: James and Julia (in from Cincinnati to check out PKI's cousin to the east). Yes, I had to uphold the honor of TPR's Mid-Atlantic Division!


I ambled into the park around around 11:00, and killed some time with a ride in the front row of Shockwave (a Togo stand-up machine of death, with restraints courtesy of the Spanish Inquisition). It's rather fun in front, actually--just be wary of your "naughty bits" on the bicycle seat, gents. I checked out the progress on Italian Job, too, before meeting J&J under the Starship Enterprise under the Eiffel Tower (a brillant bit of theming by Paramount).


The upshot--splish, splash, but a great day, nevertheless. Lots of fun, and the stormy weather, while it shut the coasters for a few hours that afternoon, failed to dampen our spirits, even as it drove the crowds away.


After riding Shockwave again (J&J miss PKI's old stand-up, King Cobra), we managed multiple rides on Volcano, Hypersonic, Avalanche (Julia had never ridden a Mack bobsled before), and Grizzly, as well as a turn on the backwards side of Rebel Yell, Anaconda (an Arrow torture device that was running a little better than usual, but not what I would call "smooth"), and Scooby Doo's Ghoster Coaster (a fun little woodie for kids). We even survived the Funtastic World of Hanna-Barbera!


But I think the highlight for J&J had to be the American Flyers. Yes, PKI had removed their flying scooters, and they were feeling a bit snap deprived. And, boy, did they snap 'em good in the blinding rain last Saturday! I took some pictures, but they don't quite do J&J's mad snapping skills justice. So, I also shot a one-minute video with my little Fuji Finepix camera. (It's a shade over 9 Megs, so I really can't post it here, but I might in the video forum.) It's definitely in the "amatuer(ish)" category, but it's fun.


Here are some pics. James, feel free to toss in your own thoughts and photos. I had a great time last Saturday, rain and all.


EDIT: Oops! King Cobra was PKI's old stand-up; Vortex is the stand-up at PGA.


And here's my first attempt at uploading a very amateur video--their ride on Hypersonic. Hope it works.


J&J prepare themselves for the sucker punch that is Hypersonic.


See that tree on the right? James helped out PKD's grounds dept. by pruning it with his scooter!


"Fool in the Rain" No 2.! (No. 3 is the one in the scooter behind her taking the picture.)


Presenting "Fool in the Rain" No. 1 and . . .


Imagine J&J shouting "Yippee! Flyers!"


"Yes, I'm happy that I got to ride my first bobsled. Can we get outta the rain now?"


Oh, did I mention that it got a bit damp that day?


James and Julia show how much they miss King Cobra by taking a picture of Shockwave--kind of sad, actually.


and the obligatory vertical loop (I understand that some fellow named Derek has a fetish about these things).


Shockwave's big drop . . .


Here's the so, so sexy "parking garage" theming for the ride's Helix of Death. (Actually, I'm kind of looking forward to this ride.)


First, a look at the Italian Job site. James said it looks like a clone of PKI's, for which he's very, very sorry!

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April 22, one day to do PKD, rain or shine:


Julia and I made the trip down to PKD from cincinnati this past weekend, knowing that the storms were coming with us. We didn't care, I had the weekend off from work and Julia was between midterms at college so we went anyway.


When we got there, it looked like the rain would hold off for a while, so we got in line for Volcano. We were six people from the front of the line and they told us it was down for weather. Yes the storms started. We waited for an hour then finally the storm passed and they opened Volcano! We were on the first train of the day, rode in the second seat. Amazing! I didn't think from the POV that the ride would be very fun, but I was wrong. This is quite a fun ride. Intamin ranks up there as one of my favorite manufacturers, if not hands down my fav. steel maker. We had just enough time to get off the ride and head down to meet chuck at the base of the eifel tower.


After introductions were over we wanted to ride shockwave (PKI broke our heart a few years ago by taking out King Cobra ) Fun until the turn towards the end of the ride *ouch*. But it IS a togo, so meh!


After that we were going to go on hypersonic, but it broke down as soon as we got in line (surprise), and then it started storming again, so we went and had some pizza (A whole pizza for less than Julia and I ate chicken baskets @ Bubba Gumps (PKI)) GOOD pizza, too!


We went back on Volcano again, and hit Avalanche, as I love it dearly and Julia has never been on a bobsled except DT @ Cedar Point. It's still good as ever, and I have no idea why there aren't more of them around the country.


Before we could get on Anaconda, the storms came in fierce! Lightning, Thunder, Pouring down rain, you name it we had it! While chilling in Anaconda's station, we got to talking with chuck about rides we missed at PKI and the Flying Eagles came up. Jules and I had a great time once at PKI riding the eagles in pouring down rain when everything else was closed! We've scared parents snapping them and had to have the ride ops assure them the ride is designed to do that. As Chuck had never seen anybody snap the scooters, we made our way there.


WOW, PKD's scooters are amazing! My first ride I took a HUGE chunk of the tree with me! Whoops, guess not many people at dominion know how good this ride is, because if people keep snapping them, the trees will stay "trimmed" back. There were branches in my tub and stuck to the bottom of it! Jules got such a crazy ride she even cut back a bit, too scared it was going out of control! Chuck has some video of our third ride, not as crazy as the first two but still worth seeing if you've never seen this ride in all it's glory.


We went on Action Theater and the World of Hanna-Barbera was pleasant and much more fun than overdone 3-D spongebob.


After the storm passed again we went on Hypersonic and got on quickly. Whoa what a launch! Jules and I thought that since we'd been on TTD that Hypersonic would be tame. This thing is INTENSE. the launch kicks you in the butt with a force not found on Top Thrill Dragster. And it whips you over the hill, not limping over the hill like dragster.


Grizzly was next, and a fun woodie at that. We rode in the front seat twice in a row without getting up. Even caught a couple pops of air on it. I really enjoy this ride.


Then we hit up Drop Zone, although we didn't like it as much as PKI's, it is still a good ride.


Rebel Yell backwards was also fun, some good floater air over the hills. John Allen is one of my favorite designers, and Racer is one of my fav's at PKI, so we enjoyed this one.


We went back and hit up Anaconda. What a quirky arrow looper this is. The drop is strange and then there's the underwater tunnel. After the mid-course brakes this ride is strange, too. I'll have pictures posted shortly after I shrink them down a bit.


After going on Avalanche and hitting up Scooby-Doo, Jules and I had to do the inverter-ship Berserker. This one HURT and the blood rushing to the head was quite weird. Our first and possibly last ride on this flat!


We had a blast and although only Chuck braved the weather to join us, we experienced no-wait rides and re-rides on many attractions. The park closed early (8:00 instead of the posted 10:00), but when we left, it started storming fierce, so they chose wisely.


Pictures to come, soon!

-James "Loves him some flyer snaps!" Dillaman


Finally I leave you with another loop pic, this is anaconda. mmmmm.... arrow...


For some reason this part of anaconda wasn't nearly as bad as it looks


Julia's First Bobsled!!! I love this ride!


The rain wouldn't let up, but we didn't care...


Shockwave was fun for us


Julia and I in front of a TOGO standup, *sniffle* rest in pieces King Cobra...


Volcano was shockingly good!

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Glad to see you guys had a good time even in the monsoon...well my train (Amtrak) suffered big time cause of the storm and the storm wiped out our signals so we had to go from Fredericksburg to Richmond at 15mph...and by the time I got off work it was POURING and thundering at 7:30 so..... sorry I missed you guys but glad to see you had fun. looking forward to the pics



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Sorry you couldn't make it, Jeff--turned out to be a good day. Looks like there's been some progress on Italian Job, at least, but opening in May? Hmm . . . maybe very late May.

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Nice pictures! I have been on Skyrider, King Cobra and Shockwave. While they're not the smoothest rides in the country, they arent as bas as a lot of people make them out to be.


I never realized Shockwave had that crazy paintjob... it's obviously been a while since I've seen PKD for myself.

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One other little thing--PKD was running empty trains on the Hurler late that afternoon, so all you Hurler fans out there (I suppose there's one or two) can probably get your fix by now.


EDIT: Make that "I" a "D."

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haha, we still HAVE a vortex, just not the standup, we have the arrow-looper version. Everyone knows what you mean, though. Some people are just too caught up on tiny details. Hey Chuck, if you ever want to come up to go to PKI, Holiday World, SFKK, Beech Bend Park, Cedar Point, or even Kennywood, let me know and I might be able to meet you there. You can even crash at my place (5 minutes to PKI, 90 minutes to SFKK, 3 hours to HW, 3 1/2 hours to CP, 4 hours to KW, 4 hours to BBP) We're kinda in the center of them all. Indiana Beach is only 4 hours or so from us, too. Julia and I had a great time. We're going to Holiday World on May 7th (I know, we're missing opening day, but I have to work saturday afternoon )


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^Might take you up on that sometime, James. Have fun at Holiday World. I'll probably be checking out Water Country's "Passholder Preview Day" next Sunday, if the weather doesn't completely stink. (Busch has a knack for selecting heavy-thunderstorm days or unseasonably cold days for this event.)

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That's cool you guys had a good day despite the rain. I was pretty suprised with PKD's Grizzly. It's only about a million times better than ours (PGA).


With luck Monica and I will be at PKD in august sometime. Hopefully we'll be able to get our Hypersonic ride this time!


In the mean time we'll have to settle for PKI at the end of this month. Yay Son of Beast!!



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Hey, I like PKI's coasters!


We'll be there on tuesday the 30th pretty much all day and then hopefully on friday for a few hours in the morning.


It'll be good to get back to the park, we haven't been since 04. Hopefully SOB will be back from rehab. I'm really curious to see how it's running.


It'll be cool going to KI this month and KD in august. I can't wait!



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With SOB it's a day to day thing, there's never any sceduled "rehab" but if it's anything like the last couple seasons from time to time it just goes down so they can try to retrack it to make it smoother. The problem is the design, though, the super banked turns which didn't work on meanstreak (surprise) also cause problems on SOB. But yeah, we'll pop up there to hang out with you a little bit, let us know when it gets closer.

-James and Julia

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