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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Thu Aug 22, 2019 7:15 pm

^ I wholly admit I'm a coaster nerd. I'm pretty sure I had that Guide to Ride 2000 book memorized at one point and that's where I remembered Mild Thing from.

I think New Englanders are hearty, but our parks will close if it rains. Meanwhile, Six Flags New England will open in single digit temperatures and Santa's Village stays open in the snow. But rain is a no go for us. :lol:

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Sun Aug 25, 2019 7:05 am

On my only trip to the Mall of America when I was 8, I went to the theme park inside and it has changed a lot since then. The only two rides I remember riding on my trip were the Pepsi Orange Streak (with a different name at the time) and the log flume (which I still remember how wet it made me).

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Sun Aug 25, 2019 7:17 am

At least you remember the flume since that's the real star. I'm guessing you rode up front since that was how I got soaked on my first ride.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Sun Aug 25, 2019 9:02 pm

Noah’s Ark

Mt. Olympus is what drew me to the Wisconsin Dells. I had to experience that infamous park firsthand. Figuring that park hadn’t conducted their early morning tests, I figured a visit to Noah’s Ark would be a more pleasant start to my morning.

Noah’s Ark touts themselves as America’s largest water park. And I believe it! The slide collection at this park was top notch. And it seems like the masses agree as the park was packed.

Park Sign.JPG
A water park of biblical proportions.

Admittedly, I visited on a sunny Sunday. And the day prior had a biblical rainstorm. I cannot emphasize this enough, but make sure you get there for opening. Had I not done this, it would have been costly.

In the first hour, I rode every slide I cared to experience. By 11 am, all tube slides had queues to the bottom of the towers. I know water parks get busy, but I’ve never seen one fill up this quickly.

Pro-tip, make sure you enter through the correct gate. I believe the park has three entrances. All the park’s top slides are in one corner of the park. The first general parking area is on the opposite side of the park and you will burn 10 minutes walking across the park. That doesn’t sound like much, but it’ll cost you 2-3 walk-ons. I recommend either the preferred lot ($5 more) or the second general parking area.

I also want to note that parking was pretty steep at $20 and it’s cash only.

Slide Hill.JPG
Park and enter as close to these slides as possible. I cannot recommend this enough.

Once inside the park, I made the new-for-2019 attraction my first stop, Raja. This is one of those cool-looking King Cobra water slides that Great Adventure recently removed.

Before the picturesque plunge, there was a slow twisting section that built up anticipation for the drop. And what a drop it was. I think I got a teeny bit of airtime. Then the visuals of the giant snake are simply suburb. 9 out of 10

Raja Overview.JPG
When I rode Raja, there was no one on that slide tower.

Raja Snake.JPG
Few slides are as visually stunning.

Raja was basically an upgraded halfpipe slide. That’s why I found it sort of funny that the park had dueling half pipe slides adjacent to it.

Stingray was only a 1-2 person wait. Maine’s Aquaboggan has spoiled me. On their version, they allow you to ride backwards. I can’t tell you how thrilling it is to go backwards down a super steep drop in a little tube.

Unsurprisingly, a corporate park like Noah’s Ark required all single riders to face forwards. But it was worth asking. The drop was like reliving Raja without the top section or the snake head. 8 out of 10

Double riders could go backwards, but not single riders.

I then decided to hit the two speed slides- Scorpion’s Tail and Point of No Return. In retrospect, I probably should have done the water coaster first but hindsight is 50-50.

Scorpion’s Tail was a walk-on and I think it still was when I left. The same could be said about Point of No Return. Scorpion’s Tail was the first speed slide I’ve ever seen where they banned riders from crossing their legs. They required everyone to ride with their legs spread apart.

The initial plunge was a rush. It always is one these drop pod slides. The rest of the slide was an intense blur. It had the potential to be one of the best body slides in the world. However, it did a number on my back. I felt every single connection. 7 out of 10

For that reason, I was a bit apprehensive to ride the older Point of No Return. The drop wasn’t quite as intense as Scorpion’s Tail, but it was still very thrilling and perfectly smooth too. 8 out of 10

Speed Slides (Horizontal).JPG
I'm not surprised one of these slides hurt my back. I'm just stunned it was the newer one of the two.

I probably did those slides in 15 minutes. All that was left was the water coaster, Black Anaconda. It also happened to be the park’s best and most popular slide.

I ended up waiting almost a half hour. When you reach the tower, the line splits into separate queues for groups of 3 and groups of 1-2. The line for groups of three was half the length of the other, so I joined up with a group of two so we could board faster.

Black Anaconda was long. I think it was as long as Wildebeest. However, it wasn’t nearly as intense. Every single hill gave a tiny pop of air, but it never gave the OMFG pops of a Wildebeest. It was also one of the conveyor belt versions. I much prefer the water jet or magnetic versions for the added intensity.

Ultimately, it was a well above average water coaster thanks to the sheer length. I would have loved to ride it again, but the line had tripled in length. 8 out of 10

Black Anaconda Overview.JPG
Black Anaconda was insanely long. As was the queue.

Black Anaconda Drop.JPG
It was one drop after another. And that was fine by me.

One other attraction worth noting is Flash Flood. It’s your average shoot-the-chutes ride, but it has the advantage of being in a water park. That means you can ride shirtless and shoeless. In addition, it had this adorable exit platform.

Flash Flood Splash.JPG
Looks like God got angry and wants to flood the Earth again. I love the Old Testament.

As for the overall feel of the water park, I’m sad to say it felt a bit soulless. The employees weren’t very outgoing and the general atmosphere felt like a generic concrete jungle. I’m taking a wild guess this is the fault of Parque Reunidos, but I’d love to hear from someone who visited before they took over.

Noah’s Ark has a top notch slide collection. They have both quality and quantity. It just may have the best slide lineup top to bottom of any US water park. For that reason, it wasn’t surprising the park was packed. I enjoyed all five slides I rode, but I’m just not keen about waiting 30-60 minutes for a water slide.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Tue Sep 03, 2019 3:34 am

Mt. Olympus

Is there any US park with a worse reputation than Mt. Olympus? From brutally rough woodies to piss poor operations to lackadaisical employees to questionable safety practices, I never hear anything good about this park.

How can a park that costs $20 with four wooden coasters suck so bad? I decided I had to experience Mt. Olympus for myself. And I’m proud to say I made it out alive.

Mt. Olympus is awful…awfully decent! Keep in mind, I went in with the lowest of expectation. I expected Clementon Park levels of badness with the dispatch speed of Fuji-Q Highland. It wasn’t hard to top that!

Before I even entered the park, Mt. Olympus kicked me in the nuts. For years I always heard how cheap this place was. For that reason, I wasn’t expecting it to cost $20 to park. At least it was worth it for the views of Hades 360. :lol:

Parking Lot.JPG
9 foot waves? A Trojan Horse? A big wooden coaster? This sums up Mt. Olympus quite well.

Park Entrance.JPG
Here we go.

Before I touch on the rides, I want to discuss some generalities about the park.

Dispatches- They were slow, but not legendarily slow. I found them on par with most Six Flags parks. The lone issue was the one train ops on a ride as long as Hades.

Employees- None of the employees were rude or mean. They were just sort of there.

Bathrooms- The one by Pegasus was perfectly fine.

Atmosphere- The park had a really odd feel. It felt like a mash-up of a FEC and a water park with a bunch of random wooden coasters slapped onto a hillside. But it was clean.

Safety- I never felt unsafe, but I also know not to stick my hand in front of a moving roller coaster. Honestly, the minimalistic fencing allowed for some amazing coaster shots so I’m not complaining.

Clientele- It was mostly families. I did witness a lot of line jumping and unfortunately the employees didn’t do anything about it.

Zeus Track.JPG
It's so close, I could actually touch it. However, I'm not a moron, so I kept my hands off.

Hades 360 Queue.JPG
Now this is a classy queue. A train decorated with gum and a few shirtless dudes.

If you’ve read any of my reports, you know I have a pretty high tolerance for rough rides. For that reason, I was really intrigued by Hades 360. The layout is universally praised, but people say it tracks like Hell.

Going into my visit, I was sort of nervous Hades 360 would be closed. The fact that it needed a full train to dispatch makes it a gamble on a lighter day. For that reason, I was never so glad to see a 30-45 minute wait. For reference, the other coasters maxed out at a 15 minute wait.

Hades 360 Entrance.JPG
This way to Hell.

Even by my standards, Hades 360 was rough. However, I found it quite ridable thanks to the Timberliners. Those trains are absolute godsends. The cushioning allowed me to absorb every shock without any pain. I shudder to think what this coaster was like with the PTCs.

Hades 360 begins with a sizable (50 foot?) plunge out of the station. Kennywood’s Thunderbolt does the same thing, but it doesn’t offer the ejector air of Hades 360. That’s immediately followed by a small twister section with three other pops of airtime. The last in particular is very strong. The pre-lift of Hades 360 alone is better than a good chunk of the wood coasters I’ve ridden.

After a long climb, riders plunge into the depths of Hell. That first drop is incredible. It has some wonderfully sustained airtime and it leads into the famous underground tunnel. What happens in the tunnel, stays in the tunnel. It’s pitch black and a complete WTF. One moment I was out of my seat. Another I was sideways. Yes it battered you around, but I thought it added to the intensity.

You then see light at the end of the tunnel and rocket through the inversion. And it took me by surprise. The inversions on most wooden coasters are heavy on hangtime. The corkscrew on Hades 360 was not. Honestly, that was my lone disappointment with the ride.

Then there’s another sizable drop back underground. It’s one of my favorite parts on the ride, as this drop has some really strong and sustained airtime. The return trip through the tunnel is almost identical to the first. I had no idea what it was doing to me, but I liked it.

When you emerge, you go down this funky double down, again getting some good air. That leads into a finale that admittedly isn’t the best. I now understand why it needs a full train. Remember how you start off with a big drop? You need to work back up to the station. There are a few pops of air along the way, but they’re pretty weak compared to everything else on the ride.

Hades 360 is basically a ghetto version of the Voyage. Yes it beats you up a bit, but I’m willing to forgive it because of the ambitious layout and comfortable Timberliners. Without a doubt, this is a back row coaster for me. The yank on the drops back there is simply superb. 8.5 out of 10

Hades 360 Station Drop.JPG
On what days isn't Hades 360 riding aggressive?

Hades 360 Drop (Front).JPG
Oh my god, they sent a train out with *only* 23 riders. It's a Mt. Olympus miracle.

Hades 360 Inversion.JPG
You wouldn't think an inversion on a wood coaster would be the smoothest part of the ride, but it was.

Hades 360 Parthenon.JPG
Time to go back into the BDSM tunnel.

Since I survived Hades, I decided to test my luck with Zeus. This is unanimously considered one of the roughest wooden coasters in existence. So I started with the shallow end and boarded the front row.

Did I ride the same Zeus as everyone else?

I found the coaster (dare I say) smooth outside of the first bunny hill on the return trip. I know they did some trackwork this offseason, but I only spotted fresh wood on the turnaround. As a result, I liked Zeus. It was a fast-paced out-and-back coaster with pops of air on pretty much every hill.

Like a moron, I decided to test my luck towards the back. It was the equivalent of giving the finger to a police officer. You’re just asking for trouble. I braced for impact at the bottom of the first drop, but guess what? It never happened. Zeus was smooth even towards the back. It just had less air on the return leg.

For anyone who rode Zeus pre-2019 and this year, I’d love to know if you think the ride improved. If it hasn’t, please never trust my judgment if a ride is smooth or rough ever again. :lol: 7 out of 10

Zeus Wait Time.JPG
I guess Mt. Olympus knows better than estimate how long a dispatch will take.

Zeus Aggressive.JPG
I'd actually contest that point. Zeus didn't seem to be that aggressive today.

Zeus Drop (Close).JPG
This shot sums up the safeguards at Mt. Olympus perfectly.

It was now time to experience the “drop of death” on Cyclops. I know it was reprofiled, but I was still expecting Raven 5th drop levels of airtime with buzz bars.

Needless to stay, I was a bit dismayed to find individual ratcheting lap bars. However, the employees barely lowered the restraints, so it was pretty much a non-factor!

I know everyone talks about the famous drop, but how come no one talks about the first or second drops? Both those drops gave crazy standing ejector air as well. In fact, I’d say they gave as much air as the drop of death.

Cyclops is short, but those three moments of airtime are incredible. Plus, it tracked as well as the Raven (I know that’s a pro for some and a con for others) and mixed in a pinch of laterals. 8 out of 10

Cyclops Drop (Front).JPG
Even in its reprofiled state, the "drop of death" was incredible.

Cyclops 2nd Hill.JPG
As were the hills at the start of the ride. Why doesn't anyone talk about these hills? I mean, you get a nice, close view of them.

The final coaster was Pegasus. I was expecting a snooze-fest, but I should have known better. This is Mt. Olympus after all. :lol:

There’s no airtime, but there are turns. There are tight, unbanked turns everywhere on this ride. I rode in the front, so I appreciated the violent laterals. However, I heard a choir of profanities behind me. 5 out of 10

Pegasus Camelback 2.JPG
Pegasus may look cute and cuddly.

Pegasus Turn.JPG
But it has a mean streak on these turns.

Since I needed to make it back to Minneapolis for my flight home, I only had time for the coasters. Even if I had a full day, it’s debatable if I would have done anything else. I really liked the woodies.

Would I return to Mt. Olympus? Believe it or not, but yes I would. Again, I went in expecting the worst. So it would have taken a true dumpster fire to fail to exceed those expectations.

Mt. Olympus felt like what would happen if Six Flags bought a FEC. The coaster lineup felt like a bizarre Holiday World. For me, that’s far from the worst park in the world and it’s a place I can enjoy.

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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Tue Sep 03, 2019 2:07 pm

Great and in-depth and report on these rides - I didn't even know about Pegasus until now! Man, those coasters look really intertwined.

Like you said, four wooden coasters can never be a bad thing!

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Wed Sep 04, 2019 4:14 am

Great report and glad you had as good of a time as you could, haha. My experience on Hades was the same as yours, although I found Zeus to be one of the most painful coasters since vintage SoB and Hurler.

RIP to the S&S woodie that lived around the corner.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:13 am

CenturyFlyer wrote:Great and in-depth and report on these rides - I didn't even know about Pegasus until now! Man, those coasters look really intertwined.

Like you said, four wooden coasters can never be a bad thing!

Thanks! Some may call their collection rough but I had no issues.

PKI Jizzman wrote:Great report and glad you had as good of a time as you could, haha. My experience on Hades was the same as yours, although I found Zeus to be one of the most painful coasters since vintage SoB and Hurler.

RIP to the S&S woodie that lived around the corner.

Thanks! Yeah I was bummed to miss Hellcat. I heard it was quite good.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Sat Sep 07, 2019 10:09 am

Funtown U.S.A.

Funtown U.S.A. is a park for which I’ve always considered getting a season pass. Technically, it’s the closest park to me that offers one and it does have a few nice rides. So why don’t I?

The twilight ticket is simply too great a value to pass up! Funtown sells the last three hours of the day for the low price of $11. That’s a steal. And that’s plenty of time to ride their five best rides multiple times.

At this point, I have a set routine at Funtown. I hit Dragon’s Descent, Bumper Cars, Astrosphere, Thunder Falls, and Excalibur in that order. If I’m feeling generous, I’ll hit another random flat or Wild Mouse on the way.

Mount Olympus.JPG
I thought I was at Funtown, not Mount Olympus.

Tresspassing Sign.JPG
Is there life after death? Jump this fence and find out!

No seriously, that's what the sign says!

So naturally, I started with Dragon’s Descent. It’s literally right next to the main entrance. And it’s apparent the park is very proud of their S&S drop tower. It has an entire oriental area themed to it and they make sure you know it’s New England’s tallest thrill ride.

Dragon’s Descent is one of the rare S&S towers that can compete with the Larson and Intamin models. It has a fantastic view, some strong air on the drop, and even the bounce at the end gives a pop of air. I’ve never seen that on any other turbo drop. 9 out of 10

It’s also worth noting Dragon’s Descent added those seatbelts like many S&S towers. But they seemed to have a really big impact here. They enabled the park to lower the height requirement from 52” to 48”.

Dragon's Descent Overview.JPG
If you ride on the side facing the dragon, you can see the Atlantic Ocean and Palace Playland in the distance.

Dragon's Descent Night 2.JPG
That dragon looks amazing.

Up next was the Bumper Cars. The ones at Funtown have a ridiculously long cycle and a large, wide open arena. But the biggest reason why you need to ride these bumper cars is the policy on head-on collisions. They are allowed! I’ve never seen that at any other park. 8 out of 10

Bumper Cars Arena.JPG
Road rage at its finest.

It has been almost 10 years since Funtown added anything to the dry side. I’m pleased to announce in 2019 that they added (drumroll please) a concrete dome around the Astrosphere scrambler.

While this isn’t a flashy addition, it drastically improved the Astrosphere experience. The music no longer bleeds out into the midway and the park can now project crisper projections on the ceiling.

As far as scramblers go, this one isn’t very fast. But it’s all about the show. If listening to E.L.O. while watching projections of aliens and creepy faces sounds appealing to you, get yourself to Funtown. 10 out of 10

Also for anyone wanting to get an Excalibur T-shirt, you are out of luck. The only ride themed apparel I could find at the park this year was for the Astrosphere. :lol:

Astrosphere Dome.JPG
Look at that beautiful concrete dome.

Since Wild Mouse had a full queue, I bypassed it in favor of Thunder Falls Log Flume. I knew I was playing with fire on this one. This flume has 6 geysers adjacent to the splashdown. Someone tried to hit me, but they had worse timing than a carnival dark ride.

I’m a sucker for Hopkins flumes and this one is quite good. It has a long, windy layout that’s well shaded and it’s the tallest flume in New England. 8 out of 10

Thunder Falls Geysers.JPG
That's a lot of water.

I then finished the night with an Excalibur marathon. Excalibur is tucked deep in the woods and it’s one of the better night rides out there. Just make sure you pack bug spray or you’ll be in for a world of itch.

Excalibur did have one unwanted addition this year- major stapling. I’m not sure if it was just the staff on duty, but they pulled the seatbelts tight with all their might before lowering the lap bars.

Fortunately, Excalibur’s airtime in the first half is strong enough to overcome the restraints. The first drop is surprisingly steep and delivers some strong air in the back. And the turnarounds mix abrupt laterals with a quick pop of ejector air. Plus, you also have this speed hill loaded with floater air.

I’ve long said this, but Excalibur could have been a top coaster if it had a better second half. There’s absolutely no air and while there are some sustained laterals, the ride simply isn’t traveling very fast. It just lacks that out-of-control feeling of the first half. 7.5 out of 10

I would caution you to avoid wheel seats at the moment. Excalibur has always had a bit of a shake to it, but the bottom of the second hill felt like a car wreck. That’s saying a lot coming from me.

Excalibur Station.JPG
You start in a castle.

Excalibur 2nd Drop.JPG
Then you go out in the woods.

Excalibur Speed Hill.JPG
And you get some airtime and laterals along the way.

Excalibur Lift (Night).JPG
Excalibur at night is a must. Just look how dark it is.

I know Funtown isn’t in an accessible location for most coaster enthusiasts, but it sure is convenient for me. The park isn’t very big, but the park’s premier rides compliment each other well and the twilight ticket gives me just enough time to ride them all.

If you are coming from a distance, make sure you visit during the evening so you can experience Excalibur at night. It’s Raven-lite with a much slower finale.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Mon Sep 09, 2019 9:58 pm

Palace Playland

It always feels like a gamble when I go to Palace Playland. They're one of those seaside parks with no set closing time. If they're busy, they'll happily stay open until midnight. But if they're a ghost town, you're SOL.

For that reason, I wasn't even sure if Palace Playland would still be open. After a weeknight evening at Funtown, I decided to take a chance. The weather was beautiful, but it was definitely cooler than your prototypical beach day.

Palace Playland is one of the few beachfront parks remaining in New England.

So imagine my shock to find no street parking available and the midway shoulder to shoulder with people. It's not even like that on weekend nights!

Turns out it was fireworks night. On one hand, that explained the crowd. People love their fireworks like enthusiasts love their wacky worms. But I was sort of surprised they were taking place on a Thursday.

Fireworks 1.JPG

Fireworks 2.JPG
Credit whores come out for the coasters. The sensible people come out for fireworks.

I originally wanted to watch them from atop the Ferris Wheel, but everyone else had the same idea. So instead, I decided to watch them from the park's Power Surge.

Sure I missed out on the perfect photo, but it sure was neat to be flipping uncontrollably towards the ground one second and then shooting towards fireworks the next. It is worth noting that the base wasn't rotating. I know that is an issue on a lot of other power surges, but this is the first time I've ever had an issue with it at this one. Hopefully it was just a short term issue since it's my favorite ride in the park. 9 out of 10

Power Surge (Back).JPG
Riding this during the fireworks was quite the experience.

But I think the crowd favorite ride is undoubtedly Sea Viper, their new-for-2018 coaster. I have been visiting Palace Playland for almost two decades. And never once did I have to wait for anything. That all changed with Sea Viper. It has full queues even on weeknights. Granted, that's only 15-20 minutes but that's like Flight of Passage for this park.

In many ways, this coaster looks wrong. The trains are comically oversized (long and bulky) compared to the track gauge. And the transition heavy layout seems like a bad idea for a manufacturer like Preston. But somehow it works. Outside of the final helix, it tracks pretty smoothly.

There's no airtime, but this coaster does boast some nice laterals. The third and fourth drops in particular standout, especially towards the park due to the train length. It's not a world-class ride, but it's a perfect fit for the park and clearly quite popular among the clientele. 6 out of 10

Sea Viper Drop.JPG
Is it just me or does it look weird to see a train that long and beefy on a track that small?

After reriding Power Surge and Sea Viper a few times, I was able to squeeze in rides on Adrenalin and Drop Zone before they closed.

Adrenalin has a ridiculously short cycle, but this is one of the more powerful frisbees out there. Most frisbees offer floater airtime. Adrenalin launches your shoulders into the OSTR. 8 out of 10

Adrenalin is so intense that it drops the "e" at the end.

Drop Zone is more of a family drop tower, albeit one with an oddly high height requirement. Its meager height doesn't offer much in terms of views, but it is bigger than your usual tower with a multi-drop sequence.

You won't get any airtime, but you do get this odd ball-tingling sensation since it's not a true freefall. There really is no other way to describe the feeling. I do prefer the airtime and stomach drop sensation of a larger tower, but I do enjoy Drop Zone for what it is. 6 out of 10

Drop Zone doesn't exactly tower over the rest of the park.

Even if Palace Playland closed early, the evening wouldn't have been a total bust. Since the park is adjacent to Old Orchard Beach, there's all sorts of greasy, buttery goodness waiting for you. With my 20 years of experience, I've identified two places that rise above the rest. If you read my report from last year, none of this will be new information.

For lobster rolls, you must visit the Shack. It's one of the few places in Maine that will serve you a Connecticut lobster roll (aka one drowned in butter rather than mayo). For fries, you must visit Pier French Fries. Those crinkle-cut fries are always piping hot and oh so good.

Shack Lobster Roll.jpg
Connecticut style is the way to go. Lobster + butter.

Pier French Fries.jpg
So much salt and grease. I love it.

Palace Playland essentially is a permanent carnival. And because of its location next to the beach, it does quite well for itself. If you find yourself at Funtown, it's well worth the 15 minute sidetrip for two credits, some nice flats, and delicious food.
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