cfc wrote:The Log Chute has always been the best ride at Nick Universe/Camp Snoopy.
And I can't see them adding anything that tops it (though if they do, that means it's an incredible ride).
Canobie Coaster wrote:In my visit last year, the Log Chute had an hour wait so I was only able to get two rides on it. This year, I got a half dozen rides in the park's first hour of operation and a few additional rides throughout the day as the line maxed out at 20-30 minutes.
Pro Tip: It definitely makes a difference to visit when school is still in session like you did this second visit, even if it is a weekend.
Great report, thanks for sharing. Congratulations on your visit because 8 days later is was closed. And yes, the Log Chute is probably the best ride in the state. If you are a fan of flume rides you need to get to NU someday.
I didn't think the dropoff in crowds would be that drastic considering it's indoors, but I'm glad they were.
My corona coaster fast came to an end last week as I was able to visit the most successful amusement park in Myrtle Beach.
There she is, Freestyle Music Park.
Social distancing was super easy at Freestyle Music Park.
So you can probably guess I didn't actually go to Freestyle Music Park, but I did pass by it on the way back to the airport curious to see if anything still remained. Sure enough, the sign is still there at the corner of Fantasy Harbour Boulevard and George Bishop Parkway. And you can catch a glimpse of the abandoned entrance plaza from the adjacent Crossfit complex.
Family Kingdom I did however visit Family Kingdom, which by default is the most successful park in Myrtle Beach considering it still stands to this day unlike Freestyle Music Park and Myrtle Beach Pavilion.
My primary reason for visiting this park was to ride Swamp Fox, the park's classic John Allen wooden coaster. I don't usually hear much about this ride, so I was expecting it to either be a super rough wooden coaster or a really slow and dull woodie.
Much to my shock, it was a borderline top 10 wooden coaster for me!
Unlike Freestyle Music Park, Family Kingdom is actually by the beach.
The Legendary (per the park) Swamp Fox in all her glory.
Swamp Fox has buzz bars and since the park instructs riders to fasten the seatbelt over the divider, you have a lot of room to experience airtime. And this coaster delivers it in droves.
The first, second, and fourth drop deliver serious ejector airtime in the back. It was as powerful as the fifth drop on the Raven except with much more minimalistic restraints. Meanwhile up front, the powerful ejector airtime occurred on the 2nd hill and two turnarounds.
The rest of the ride has a series of smaller bunny hills and speed hills. The first bunny hill rode normally, giving an abrupt pop of airtime. But the other bunny hills rode a bit differently. You know how RMC has those speed hills after the first drop on rides like Steel Vengeance, Untamed, and Twisted Colossus? And how those speed hills sort of throw you forwards rather than upwards? Swamp Fox's other bunny hills do the same.
Except on Swamp Fox, you don't have the tight restraint. So the airtime moments throw you diagonally forwards. It was really odd to experience both horizontal and vertical airtime simultaneously. The only other coaster time I've experienced that uninhibited is on Phoenix's double down.
Not only does Swamp Fox deliver some of the best airtime I've experienced with a buzz bar, but it also rides pretty darn smoothly. Sure it has some bumps here and there, but it's much smoother than you'd expect for a 50+ year old woodie. 9.5 out of 10
The second Swamp Fox crested this drop, I knew I was in for a treat.
Every single hill delivers some intense airtime.
I love buzz bars.
And I also love chaser lights. There's a lot to love about Swamp Fox.
My other interest in visiting Family Kingdom was to experience the Great Pistolero Round-Up, a shooting dark ride that is noteworthy for three reasons. One, it was Sally's first interactive shooter. Two, it was built in an old Mexican restaurant. Three, it is arguably the most politically incorrect ride you'll find in the United States.
The story is simple. Some Mexicans robbed a bank and you need to help the Federales track them down in a Mexican restauarant where (and this is literally said by the animatronic in the queue line) they won't be moving too fast since they've had too much tequila. So you're given a gun and told to blast anything you see.
Every single target works and reacts in some way. Sometimes you'd hit a barrel and it would spin. Other times you'd hit a mirror and another high-value target would reveal itself. Or if you shoot the woman towards the end, her skirt falls down.
The only issue with the Pistolero Round-Up was its woefully short length. It was barely over a minute in length. 8.5 out of 10
Shoot the bandits who have had too much to drink (his words, not mine).
Use the guns to shoot people (no really you do that).
Paco's Cantina, a former Mexican restaurant that is now the dark ride's show-building.
Call of Duty trained me well for this moment.
And if you shoot this woman, she'll show her appreciation and drop her skirt.
The other adult coaster at this park was Twist 'n' Shout, the cursed Zamperla wild mouse that killed two riders at Gillian's Wonderland Pier and ejected another rider at Magic Springs. But at Family Kingdom, it has a perfect safety record.
The Zamperla mice tend to have stronger laterals than the Mack and Maurer mouse due to the lack of braking and Twist 'n' Should was no different. 6 out of 10
Few mice have better laterals than this one.
The park also has a kiddie coaster, but it's off-limits to adults. But if you are really desperate for a third credit, I'm sure a few credit hunters out there would count their Log Flume since it has an uphill section (I for one don't).
That being said, it's a decent log flume. For a park pressed for space, I'm impressed Family Kingdom went with a custom layout. There isn't much to see along the course (unless you like looking at a Friendly's), but the drops are solid. 7 out of 10
Like Zoom Phloom, this flume goes below ground level.
Except this one immediately comes back up.
The only other noteworthy attraction is the park's Carousel that is nearly 100 years old. It was relocated to Family Kingdom sometime in the 1990s.
In general, the park is divided into two sections by a stream. One side has Swamp Fox and most of the adult flats. The other side has the kiddie rides and the newer attractions.
I also found that the staff tended to be on the older side and they were among the friendliest I've encountered at any park.
The stream in the center really gives this park a different feel than most seaside parks.
And since I visited after the covid-19 lockdown, I want to also talk about the precautions Family Kingdom has implemented and if the crowd respects them.
- Social Distancing- The park has markers in the queue lines, but most people were not following them. However, when people saw me in a mask, they tended to give me the 6 feet. For Swamp Fox, they were seating guests in every other row. And on other rides, you were given your own vehicle.
- Masks- Most guests were not wearing masks, although this was the location in Myrtle Beach where I saw the most masks being worn. Roughly half the employees were wearing masks, but a few were pulling them down to speak to guests which defeated the purpose.
- Cleaning- The park was wiping down vehicles in between cycles. And they did so quite quickly, so it didn't cause much of a delay. On Swamp Fox, they actually had a power washer to quickly disinfect the train. All rides had hand sanitizer available at the ride entrances and exits. Oddly, there was no soap available in the lone bathroom either day I visited.
The Ferris Wheel was in pieces for my visit. I am unsure if that was due to coronavirus slowing their offseason work or if it's being removed.
I had always considered adding Family Kingdom and Myrtle Beach onto a Carowinds trip, but I ironically made the trip down when Carowinds was closed. Family Kingdom was a much nicer seaside park than expected and Swamp Fox alone made the trip worthwhile.
It took me 27 years to finally visit Myrtle Beach, but this ride will cause me to return sooner than that.
It looks a like a good park. That darkride would definitely make it worth it for me. It looks really well maintained, especially compared to Frontier City's semi-clone. I watched a video of it and saw very little movement. And this one came first!
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