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Photo TR: NCC Goes to the Midwest


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Ryan here from NCC (NorCalCoasters). We took a trip to the midwest last week, and 8 days, 5 parks, 44 coasters, and 1400 miles later I'm back with a ton of pictures! I am really cutting these back for the trip report, but sooner or later I will have most the photos on my personal website! None the less, I will be updating this TR Day by Day, when I find time!


So here is the first day of the TR. I left San Jose last Friday morning, and landed in Louisville via Chicago about 8:30 PM. None the less, I have a ton of photos to go through. Just a quick essay of the trip from SJ to Louisville! ENJOY!


Getting ready to leave my apartment, messing around with my new camera at 7 in the morning.

At the airport grabbed some food and waited....

More food on the plane!

Finall arrive at Chicago Midway! Nice airport, but a long wait...

Time to take off and head to Louisville, KY. A shot of Chicago, check out Sears tower. We drove right by it on our way to SFGam

Landing in Louisville, first thing you see.... SFKK! Unft. it closed at 9 that night and I arrived at 8:30

Checked in at my hotel, and what was next door? WHITE CASTLE! I had my first Castle experience... Good, but a little too... um.. Yea they aren't called sliders for no reason.


Yep... It was good though.



That is all for now. I just thought I would put up the easy one before work! I will be posting the days when I get time! Next up is SFKK Day 1!


Thanks for reading,


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So Day 2 was at SFKK. After waking up around 11, I headed to the Airport to meet up with the NorCalCoasters Crew! After a few minutes of collecting luggage and rentals, we were on our way!



Woke up in the morning, getting ready to go meet Al, Sean, Kelly and Kelly at the airport!

After the pickup, we hit up Cracker Barrel! So Tasty!

Then it was off to Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom

Didn't really know what to expect with this park, I expected the worst, and was suprised with some good stuff!

First up was Greezed! It was good to ride a Schwarzkopf Shuttle Loop again. Front was required!

So we headed across the strange pedestrian causeway to the other side of the park and decided to hit up Hepatitus bay!!!!

Actually we just did the waterpark for a little while. Nice little waterpark!

Then it was off to the real fun... Thunder Run! Really a kick ass coaster! I was really suprised at how good it was!

Right before our ride!

Next up was Twisted Twins which was really quite fun! Not the best woodies, but a unique ride!

We wanted to get some food.. but after seeing this... Reminded me of the old Six Flags style. Those are some nasty looking turkey legs!

Next up got our Roller Skater Credit!

Chang was up next! Chang was really a great ride! I was quite suprised at it, long and intense for sure! Gotta love a good B&M Standup on the Trip!

We did some shopping. Ok this is a stupid picture.. Really stupid.

Then hit up the worst service Papa Johns in a Six Flags park... We waited an hour for our pizza to come out as the girl working the counter continue to give away our fresh pizza's and finally pulled one out of the warmer....

Flying Dutchman was a nice little flat ride!

As stupid as it may sound we hit up the first ever SLC... It was as painful as one could imagine. Worst ride on the trip hands down!

After hitting a few more rides, we hit their Enterprise on the way out.

That pretty much wrapped our day! Great Day at SFKK. I ended up going back the following Saturday!


That is it for tonight! I have PKi pictures next! SFKK really impressed, and the park was actually well kept, and from what I have been told much improved! It was refreshing to see a park get some love from the Six Flags family!


More Later


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Day 3: Day 3 started off in a nice suite in Kings Mills at Staybridge, then we headed onto the park pretty early that morning after some breakfast. We probably got about 6 hours of sleep that night, one of the longer on the trip. Needless to say, it was time to head to PKI! We got to the park, picked up our tickets, and headed in for a day of fun. I was told to hit up FoF first, then move over to Italian Job, then Tomb Raider as they were the low capacity rides. We did just that. To our dissapointment, Tomb Raider was closed that day, but we lived... So none the less, we stayed 10-10 that day, hitting up everything we could, including some famous night rides on the Best and fireworks from atop the Eiffel Tower! Enjoy the photos!


Al is spinnin in the morning as we get ready for a day at PKI!

We arrive in the lot and grab our spots, and get ready for the park!

After a little waiting and photo time near the front, the ropes were dropped and we were on our way!

First up, Flight of Fear! Great ride. My first spaghetti bowl.

Then it was over to Italian Job! Again a great ride! Thanks Dave Cobb for a the helix launch, really does kick ass!

Son of the Beast was up next. What a piece of garbage! The rides looks so massive and good, yet the first drop is the only good part. The Rose Bowl is horrible, and nearly killed us...

Top Gun was a great Arrow Supsended! A lot of fun! Short though!

Delerium the much improved Huss Frisbee is freaking awesome! REally good ride!

Hit up the Skyline Chilly in the Coney Mall part of the park. Very, very good.

Next up we hit the Eiffel Tower for some "signature shots" of the park. Really a great oppurtunity to check everything out. Such nice views.

Now the real ride.. The Best! What an awesome coaster. I think one of the most amazing rides on this planet. It was completly out of control, especially entering the double helix.. WOW!

I get set for my first ride on the Beast!

None the less, I can't say enough about this coaster. It was awesome!

Al and I wanted to try Tomb Raider, so we rode the Test Seats.

We rode the train over to Boomerang Bay and took a walk around. Didn't have enough time to experience the water park but it was pretty damn nice compared to a Boomerang Bay that I know... Haha

Over to Nick Universe next and walked around for a bit. Didn't get a chance to ride Avatar, but we did hit up Beastie, I mean Fairly Odd Parents!

Fun little Junior Woodie!

We walked all the way to the Action Zone next to hit up Drop Zone!! Freaking awesome. I always hear bad things about hte Gyro Drops. I loved this one.

Back towards Vortex for a quick ride next. Good arrow, with horrible Transistions. That thing just bashed us to death.

Had to stop for a photo op with the mini.

Next up was Runaway Reptar! Al and I were spinnin' on this one also! "We Spinnin!!!!"

If you can't tell, we did some jumping around at this point. After leaving hte park to hit up some dinner, we headed over to hit up Slingshot, which we purchased tickets for earlier in the day. This things was great! We waited about 10 minutes, and really had a blast on it!

Ended the night on top of the Eiffel Tower for some firework ownage.

A nice shot of the Action Zone at night. Really an awesome park PKI is....

A final shot of our group in front of the fountains at the front of the park.


So we left the park at about 10;30, and got ready for our 5 hour drive to Sandusky, Ohio where we would meet up with Sean and Kelly. I'll try to get more pics up later today of our day at Cedar Point!


Thanks for reading.


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i know what you mean by awesome park. i have been going their since i was like 2 or 3. im 14 right now so not that many times but never the less AWESOME! the Beast was my first "real" roller coaster beside's the Beastie( now Fairly Odd Coaster). For a long time it was my favorite coaster until I rode Millennium Force. If you ever get a chance to do this DO IT! Go on the Beast at night close to when the park is closed but not when the fireowrks are going off becasue they ruin it. It is much more intense at night. And the best is when no one except for a few other people are on it because you can really hear it roar! Sorry for boring you if I did. PKI, now just KI, and Cedar Point are my two favorite amusement parks in the world!!!!!!!!!!! And I live in Miami, Florida. I am going to KI in about 3 weeks!

Cant Wait!



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So...Vortex bashes you to death, and Beast doesnt? What crack are you smoking? I realise Vortex got a bit rough, but...Beast...That thing is almost as bad as his son if you sit in the right seat...


WTF?! The Vortex is a little bit rought, but have you been on it?! I live 3 min away and i have rode in every seat and ridden the coaster over 200 times! I ride it 3 days ago and dude, it does not bash you. It is my fav woodie and it ripps up Thunderhead.

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Oh God...fanboys again. Well, I made my first trip to PKI a couple of weeks ago. Beast is one of the most overrated coasters on the planet. Thunderhead isn't my top woodie but is so much smoother and fun than Beast. It isn't too rough in the front, but it still isn't an amazing ride. It is more of just a tour of the woods. In the very last seat, it is one of the most painful rides I have been on. I am more of the person where roller coasters aren't these insane thrill machines and I just normally sit there and enjoy the ride. I am not screaming for fun or anything. On Beast, there were parts where I was screaming in pain. It is the first ride I have ever done that. I was screaming so loud, tears almost rolled down my face. Especially because of the fact that since that ride bounces up and down so much, my lap bar went down as far as possible and I felt every minor bump of the ride. If your idea of an amazing ride is something with a trim every 5 feet, then I don't know your definition. It goes down the first drop and is already slowed down by a trim. Every time you have a chance to pick up some speed, a trim is already slowing it down. Overall nothing impressive at all.

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Day 4: We stayed the night at some Bates Motel just outside Sandusky. It was about 3AM when we checked in, and we were exhausted and took whatever we could find. We finally hit the beds around 3:30 and were ready for our little sleep we got that night. We headed to the park for opening, got to the gates by 9, and headed inside to wait till 9:30. We then proceeded to Top Thrill and waited another hour and a half to two hours for the ride to open. Finally it opened. Cedar Point was a nice park, but not my type of park. Coasters and more coasters, not much theming. It was still fun to finally hit. Needless to say here are photos from Day 4 and Cedar Point.



We woke early from our roach motel. Probably the worst motel in Ohio. This place had horrible beds, a shower that barely worked, and I swear a semi truck crashed through the paper thin walls. None the less, on 4 hours of sleep we were on our way to Cedar Point!

We were greeted by the Cedar Point entrance.

It was 9:00, and the gates opened so we could wait another hour to ride anything. None the less.. It ended up being about 3 hours till we did.

What a nice skyline...

Ok.. What most of us had waited for.. To see this sucker in person. It was amazing. After a two hour wait, we finally were in line to ride. They opened late because they were changing a prox switch out on the track, at least thats what it appeared to be.

Massive and amazing is really all I can say. An awesome coaster. It went by fast, but it was worth a re-ride later.

Magnun was up next. Fun hyper. I enjoyed it quite a bit.

Coming back into the station.

Cedar Creek Mine Ride was up next. A fun little coaster. Nothing amazing, but a nice length to it.

Footers for the new ride. Lots of construction going on. It was kinda cool to see those things already going in. Its going to be interesting to see what the coaster is.

Another Shot. It speaks for itself.

I get set for my first ride on the Beast!

Waiting in line. Had this nice compilation of coasters and rides.

I was quite anxious to ride if you couldn't tell. After about an hour and a half, we were on the ride.

My new number one coaster. It was just that good.

So it was finally time to meet up with Sean and Kelly, and we decided to do Demon Drop.... Yea.. Dumb idea. Intamin Death Machine.

Disaster Transport was next. Ghetto? My first bobsled none the less.

Wicked Twister was a fun ride. I actually really enjoyed the dual twisted spikes.

Random shot.

Gemini was up next. Fun coaster.

Walked over to Skyhawk and it had finally opened. We all wanted to ride, so we waited.. Only one arm was operating. We waited about 30 minutes to ride.

Skyhawk soaring through the air.

It was back over to Millenium Force for another ride at this point. The day was starting to wind down.

We hit up a ride on Iron Dragon, as it was Sean's first Arrow Suspended. It was a decent ride. Like Top Gun at PKI better.

We had to hit up Dragster again before we left. It had about a 45 minute wait and it was well worth it to end the day on.

While waiting in line I got this nice shot of Power Tower.

Sean and Kelly's first ride on Dragster. Well Sean's 2nd.

A final shot from Cedar Point.


It was time to take off, we left about 8:45 knowing we had a six hour drive to Gurnee ahead of us. It actually turned into an eight hour drive. It was nuts. Never again will I do a Steak and Shake at 2:30AM. We finally arrived in the Chicago suburbs around 3:00AM and hit the sack.

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So...Vortex bashes you to death, and Beast doesnt? What crack are you smoking? I realise Vortex got a bit rough, but...Beast...That thing is almost as bad as his son if you sit in the right seat...


WTF?! The Vortex is a little bit rought, but have you been on it?! I live 3 min away and i have rode in every seat and ridden the coaster over 200 times! I ride it 3 days ago and dude, it does not bash you. It is my fav woodie and it ripps up Thunderhead.


That's what I'm saying. Compared to Beast, which is overrated but still fun if you find the right seat, Vortex is smooth as a baby's bottom. And yes, I am a Vortex fanboy.

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^ I was not comparing Beast and Vortex in any way, and yes I consider Vortex rough to an extent. I expect a woody as old as Beast to be rough, as I expect older arrows to be rough. You just have to know where to ride and how to ride Vortex.



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Day 5: SFGam was this day. We left our hotel around 11 and headed towards the park. We had a good hour drive to get there, but once we arrived it was well worth it. We got almost all the credits at the park except the other side of American Eagle and Deja Vu. Needless to say, we had a great day at the park and all were very impressed with SFGam and it's staff.


Onto the pictures:

Woke up and left our motel somewhere outside Chicago. We checked in late, and actually slept in!

Had to snap this picture for a friend on the way into Chicago.

The Sears TOWER!!! ok... I know lame.

The real Sears tower. Was pretty cool driving through a new big city. Well new to me.

We finally arrived at our destination. SFGam. It was refreshing to see Columbia all the way across the country.

It was time to hit up Viper first. A great woodie. I was actually suprised at how well maintained it was.

A shot of Viper.

We got in late, so we had lunch at Maggie Brow.... I mean Auntie Martha's Chicken Resteraunt! Pretty good. Good deal too $6.99 for some good eats.

For you PGA kids, here is the building which houses guest relations and the other side of the Paramount theater.

Whizzer time. I was pretty excited about riding this classic.

The Counsulate still in all it's glory.

Next up was Superman Ultimate Flight. This was my first B&M Flyer and I really, really liked it. An excellent ride overall. Well worth the 30 minute wait for the front. The pretzel was nuts!

Another shot of Superman.

We hit up the Mardi Gras area next and took a ride on the Baloons and..

The Rajin Cajun.

Yankee Harbor was up next and of course V2.. The good V2.

We took the train back up front and ended up back up here. The building on the left, the old trolley barn, is where my office is at PGA. It's just kind of interesting to see the same buildings all looking the same...

Lets go watch School of Rock!. I'd rather not actually..

We had all been waiting for this.

We waited for front seat and it was well worth it!

Ran around some more and ended up hitting Demon at the end of the night, no wait. It was refreshing to see the theming still intact.

Back to American Eagle.. Fun woody till the end. Then the trims hit and you crawl like the Grizzly through the rest. What the hell am I doing comparing the Grizz to any other coaster on earth.. That is horrible...

We hit up Raging Bull again, and had an awesome end of the night ride with the fireworks going off. It was really unique. It was a great way to end the night.


So we were supposed to head out to St. Louis the next day, but ended up cutting it out, and staying another day at SFGam. More pictures from that later.


Thanks for reading.



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What side of American Eagle did you guys ride?


Red is far superior to blue (red is smoother and has better airtime). Anyway, I'm glad those trims are on hard at the end. The really tight helix thingy is already death with the trims on... I can only imagine how awful it would be without trims there. So rough...

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My girlfriend Kelly and I were following RD and company through the city and let's just say IT TOOK FOREVER!!! It didn't help that we hit Chicago around 4ish either but let's just say traffic was very intense and we got to take it very….very….very….slow! We knew what to expect at least, but I did end up getting some nice shots of the city because of it.


Thanks for getting your photos out early RD, it's been fun reading about our trip again. I have almost all 800 photos ready to be posted tomorrow so check for my TR and photo albums soon.

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Wow! Nice, sharp photos, I especially like the ones from CP.


More pics of the repainted Chang! It looks so nice now.


Thanks. I bought a new camera right before the trip, and retired my old one.


I have a Canon SD600. 6.0 MP. I'm very happy with it so far. Some nice features. I'll get Holiday World up probably Friday. I work tomorrow...

Whats new?


Sean I look forward to seeing your photos.



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Just a random thought and a few pics to boot:


I finally got a chance to ride the "real" V2 at SFGam on this trip and it didn't disappoint.



The front spike I wish we still had....but I also dig the newer V2 just the same.



I was playing around with some shutter speeds and the above "big ass" lens flair ended up on this shot.


More to come soon.


Thanks again RD.



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Day 6: SFGam. So instead of hitting SFStl today, we ended up back at SFGam early the next morning for some fun before we had to hit the road to head down to Santa Claus. We hit the park up and did quite a bit in the time we were there. We hit up the waterpark before we left, which is possibly one of the best waterparks I have ever been to. None the less...


Onto the pictures:

Ready to go with another morning at Cracker Barrell. SO Tasty!

Entering the park.

The opening Six Flags Ceremonies.

Onto the Yankee Harbor for some V2 fun.

We spent some time taking pictures after our 3 consecutive rides front seat on V2.

I really miss this theming at PGA.

We spent a few minutes riding Iron Wolf. Ouch.

Just another random pic for any PGA fanboys.

Scooby and myself throwing it down for da hood! Holla!

Hometown Square!

Skytower was fun like normal great views of the park like this one...


Every park with a waterpark we went to had a Funnel slide on this trip.

Group shot.

The front enterance. On our way to get our swimsuits.

We hit up Hurrican Harbor for a few hours. Sersiously one of hte best waterparks I have ever been to. Didn't take many more photos, but really it was Pro Slide heaven.

We had to leave SFGam by about 2:00 to make sure we made it to Santa's Lodge by 11:00PM. Time for the fun drive.

Whats this?!?!

Oh wow. I'm in heaven.

This thing shot "sky missles" 50 ft into the air. It lasts a good 20 minutes...

$99 worth of Mortars and Shells. I wish I had one of these for next week....

We really had a hard time making decisions in the store.

But we finally came across somethign that was appeasing and hit the road again. $50 later and a car full of fireworks we were on our way to Santa Claus for some Holiday World!


Thanks for reading.



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