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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's 2018 US Adventures

Sun Mar 25, 2018 7:41 pm

Jman0477 wrote:I was wondering the same thing about hulk, I know its one of the main attactions at IOA but I was there last week and the headlights were out on 2 trains and the speakers on my train sounded like the speaker box had blown and was distorted

That's a shame to hear since it was running fantastic last November. All of the effects were working and the ride was smooth as glass.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's 2018 US Adventures

Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:10 pm

Disney's Hollywood Studios (March)

We arrived just 1.5 hours before closing and quite frankly, we anticipated there wouldn't be any Fastpasses available. I wasn't going to be greedy and just wanted to get on Tower of Terror and Rock "n" Roller Coaster. But we still made our first stop at the Fastpass kiosk. We scanned our cards and there were Fastpasses available! But they were only for Muppet Vision 3D or Voyage of the Little Mermaid. Yeah...something tells me those wouldn't be necessary.

Instead of giving up, I decided to play games with the kiosk. We decided to try and book Fastpasses separately. You may have heard the quote "insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." In 99% of instances, that quote is pretty accurate. But this is the rare 1% case.

After 3 tries with nothing other than Muppet Vision or Voyage of the Little Mermaid, a Star Tours fastpass appeared. While it wasn't one of the big 3 attractions, I wasn't going to say no to one of the best simulators out there. Now my buddy just needed a Star Tours with an overlapping time and we'd be all set. After 5 tries of no Star Tours, something better appeared on the 6th try- Tower of Terror.

We scooped that one up without any hesitation. My buddy graciously offered the Tower of Terror Fastpass, but I wasn't going to ditch him while riding the best attraction in the park. I was stubborn and steadfast. I tried 20 times to change my Star Tours Fastpass into a Tower of Terror to no avail. But on the 21st try, the angels sung out and Tower of Terror appeared. Mission complete! :mickey:

With a half hour before our Tower of Terror Fastpass, we made our way over to Rock "n" Roller Coaster ready to use the single rider line. It sure would beat the posted 90 minute wait. But then I saw the dreaded rope across the entrance. Oh no, it was closed!

We quickly changed our plans to Star Tours, but as we navigated our way down Sunset Boulevard, I saw Toy Story posted at 45 minutes on the app. I honestly wasn't even planning to ride Toy Story. Now I love that ride, even more so than Rock "n" Roller Coaster. But I went in with the mindset that the queue would still be around 90-120 minutes. With such a short queue, we scurried on over to give ourselves tennis elbow.

I cannot wait for Toy Story Land to open. Not only will this dachshund enthusiast live his dream by riding a Slinky Dog coaster, but Toy Story Midway Mania will finally not be a dead end. Even though I knew the approximate location of the ride, it was challenging to find due to its location down a dead end. Maybe the 45 minute wait was an exaggeration if people couldn't find it?

Toy Story Midway Mania Entrance.jpg
I never thought I'd see the queue posted that low.

I saw the queue stretched beyond the ride entrance and around a corner. That didn't bode well. I started to question if it was even more than 45 minutes. I remember waiting almost 2 hours in 2008 when every single switchback on the inside was full. But on this visit it quickly became apparent they were stacking the queue.

It wasn't even 5 minutes into our wait and we had already reached the FastPass merge point, which was at the start of the well-themed interior queue. Something was off though. Gone were the oversized toys. In place were some loosely themed walls. I was confused why they'd gut such a beautiful queue, but learned after the fact they're rerouting the entrance to their new land, which made sense.

After 15 minutes, we boarded the vehicle. After multiple laps on Maus au Chocolat last fall, I was hopeful I'd be able to squash my buddy. If accuracy was scored like golf where the lowest score wins, I dominated my buddy. I'm pretty sure my accuracy was sub-20%, which is putrid considering the finale is free points. Still I had a blast missing most of the time and occasionally nailing the high point value targets. 10 out of 10

Toy Story Midway Mania Modified Queue.jpg
I'm just glad the park kept Midway Mania open during Toy Story Land construction. If this ride closed, they'd be down to like 4 rides. Oh god, I was trying to exaggerate, but I think that may actually be the number.

Our Tower of Terror FastPasses were about ready, so we made our way across the park and bypassed a 60 minute wait. Unlike Toy Story's exaggerated wait, Tower of Terror's wait actually appeared to be sizable. The queue was stretching through the courtyard and we heard an announcement that guests would experience delays before checking in. Turns out those delays were relegated to the stand-by queue only as the flood of FastPass users were ushered into the pre-show in no time.

I was amazed how those Soaring Eagles drop towers only used a single seat belt as a restraint. It was unlike any other drop tower I had experienced. Or so I thought. For some reason I had forgotten about the restraints on my favorite drop tower. Those simplistic seat belts are loose enough to provide some truly spectacular airtime on all the major drops. Despite being at a Disney drop, each drop provides a tummy tickling sensation S&S towers can't come close to matching. And then when you throw the theming in the mix, you truly have one of the best rides on the planet.

Hurakan Condor, Falcon's Fury, and Lex Luthor are more terrifying drop towers, but Tower of Terror still dominates with its immersive theming and long drop sequence. Each singular drop isn't as good as the aforementioned towers, but having 4-5 drops in a row in almost total darkness more than makes up for it.
While Guardians of the Galaxy has been warmly received on the west coast, I hope the Orlando one continues to remain themed to the Twilight Zone for the foreseeable future. 10 out of 10

Tower of Terror (Night).jpg
We invite you, if you dare, to step aboard because in tonight’s episode, you are the star. And this elevator travels directly to…the gift shop.

Normally I'd want to finish the night with a final ride on Tower of Terror, but the lengthy queue gave me pause. We decided to give Rock "n" Roller Coaster a shot. Maybe the 80 minute posted wait was wrong. And wrong it was! There was no one in the outside queue. There was no one in the inside queue either. We immediately entered into the pre-show and the doors to the station opened before it even ended. It truly was a walk-on!

Had we grabbed the first available seat, we probably could have gotten at least two rides on Rock "n" Roller Coaster. But we decided to wait several extra trains for the de facto best seat on a launch coaster, the front. My buddy was especially grateful as the front had significantly more legroom to fit all 6'4" of him. I remember him being pretty darn cramped towards the back on our ride last month.

At one time the launch took my breath away. That was when it was both my first launched and looping coaster. The result yielded a comical on-ride photo. Buying an on-ride photo would be too normal. My dad of course bought a full-size poster that still hangs in his office. :lol: Now the launch is pretty pedestrian, but it still beats a majority of the first drops out there.

The rest of the ride is so much better up front as well. The inversions are surprisingly forceful and great in all seats, but the finale is much better up front. There are a few minimally banked turns with some strong laterals and even a pop of air. Plus there's the unobstructed view of the random assortment of signs and donuts scattered about the ride. It was a perfect way to end the night. 8 out of 10

Rock n Roller Coaster Launch Zone (Horizontal).jpg
I struggled to take this photo through the chain link fence until I realized I could just position my camera above the camera.

Rock n Roller Coaster Big Tips.jpg
If I want a BIG TIP, I'll go to Pandora.

Or so I thought it was the perfect ending to the night. Because of how short Rock "n" Roller Coaster's queue was, we made it out in time for the Star Wars Galactic Spectacular. I had never seen it before and it was a very nice tribute to the movies. They covered almost every character people would want to see (so no Jar Jar or Ewoks) while adding the occasional flamethrower and fireworks. It still won't beat Fantasmic as the park's nightly show, but it's a welcome addition for sure.

Star Wars Fireworks.jpg
It's impossible not to get amped up when you hear the iconic theme song.

Hollywood Studios is probably the worst park at Disney World. Maybe Toy Story and Star Wars Land changes that, but even the worst park at Disney World is better than 80-90% of the parks out there. The theming is great and the shows are wonderful; I just wish the park had more rides so I didn't have to spend the day constantly consulting the park map for showtimes. The additions opening in the next 2 years will definitely help remedy this.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's 2018 US Adventures

Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:41 pm

Fun Spot Kissimmee- This time starting in the daylight

I've already written two relatively recent reports for Fun Spot Kissimmee, but this report is different for two reasons. One, I actually spent some time at the park during broad daylight. With the park's incredible schedule that has it open until midnight every single day, it's hard for me to justify going during the daytime while the other parks are still open. But in this visit, I had some time to kill while I waited for my buddy to run some errands near Old Town.

Secondly, I rode the single most terrifying attraction in Kissimmee.

Skycoaster Top.jpg
And it surprisingly isn't this thing.

Believe it or not, the SkyCoaster isn't the most terrifying attraction in the park. It's terrifying, don't get me wrong. Staring 300 feet straight down at the ground while only being supported by a wee little cable will make most people sweat. The height was even more daunting this time since I remembered a glasses strap. I call that the Falcon's Fury effect.

I think I rode it twice, once during the day and once in the evening. The feeling of that initial plunge is exhilarating. Once you pull that ripcord, you bow forwards 90 degrees and plunge towards the ground like a missile. Actually it may be more than 90 degrees since I start to just feel my legs beyond my body before the cable corrects my position. The sheer length of the plunge is the most impressive part. It's probably only a second longer than the smaller SkyCoasters, but that added 100 feet feels like an eternity. 10 out of 10

So I continued my way around the park, coming across another candidate for the most terrifying attraction in the park.

Mine Blower Overview.jpg
One of the most intense wooden coasters out there.

Mine Blower Zero-G Roll (Day).jpg
But still not the scariest attraction in the park.

I came close to 30 laps on Mine Blower, each better than the last. Every seat is outstanding on this unbelievably compact coaster, but the money seat is the back row. The whip over that sneakily steep first drop results in some wicked airtime. And that's followed by an aggressive zero-G roll doing its best RMC impression. The start of this ride really does remind me of a smaller Wildfire.

The ride does shuffle a bit around the corners, but when you see how tight the turns are, you really should be impressed Gravity Group was able to fit any sort of coaster into this spot, especially one that's as intense as this. The rest of the layout probably has another 9-10 pops of airtime with the airtime of each subsequent hill becoming more and more abrupt. The last 2-3 leading into the brake run really do feel like a buckling bronco. 9 out of 10

Ok I know it's technically not Fun Spot, but it sure does feel like it.

Ok I know my title was a bit deceptive. I said I rode the most terrifying ride in Kissimmee and you probably thought it was Fun Spot's SkyCoaster. You also probably thought it was at Fun Spot. The Vomatron is not located at Fun Spot, so it cost an extra $15-20 to ride. Since work had covered my hotel and flight down to Orlando, I decided to spend half of the cost of a Spirit flight on the Vomatron. I've ridden similar ones in a portable KMG Speed, the Zenobio at Coney Island, a miniature one at Skyline Park, and the oddly resistant-to-looping CyperSpace at Oktoberfest.

But this one was a bit different. At the end of each arm, there were only two seats instead of the 4 person back-to-back seating arrangement. I wasn't sure if the seating arrangement would result in a wilder ride. It's hard to say whether or not it did. While the others were much more unpredictable, Vomatron performed the same flip in the same location every time. So while I knew exactly when the flip was coming, it was one heck of a fantastic flip. It was much longer and more drawn out than flips on similar rides.

The operator also ran a nice, long cycle for this type of attraction. Not sure if that's the norm or not, but I was literally the only person by this attraction and the Slingshot. I think I prefer the more unpredictable nature of the KMG Speed, but this was still one heck of an intense flat. 9 out of 10

Yet it still wasn't the scariest ride in Kissimmee. Ok I've drawn it out long enough. It was none other than...their go karts! I kid you not. The most terrifying attraction at a park with an inverting wooden coaster and the world's tallest skycoaster is a go kart track. Specifically their Vortex track.

But these are no ordinary go karts.

Chaos Welding.jpg
I much prefer burning rubber, but I guess a blowtorch will do.

These are the fastest go karts I've ever ridden. I remember hearing stories about the old Action Park how employees wedged tennis balls into the governors to increase the speed of the carts. I'm not saying Fun Spot is circumventing the governors, but I am saying that these carts have significantly more power than the others I've ridden.

Vortex Start.jpg
I know the ride has yet to begin, but the employee very well could be on the track mid-race.

There are also moving obstacles known as the employees. While every other go kart track I've seen usually has a nice grassy pathway adjacent to the track for the safety of their employees in sue-happy America, Fun Spot doesn't have room for that. Since they have multilevel tracks that (in many cases) are built right on top of each other, the employees must play a game of Crossy Road to help stranded carts. And because of the track design, crashes are abundant. Why?

Vortex Overview.jpg
They have a freaking 25-30 foot plunge followed by an overbank, another 15-20 foot plunge, and a hairpin turn.

Vortex was designed by a mad genius. The track begins innocently enough with a 4 story helix. I've seen that before. But what I have never seen any park have the balls to construct is a colossal (by go kart standards) 30 foot plunge followed by a banked turn. Yes you read that right. I'm not describing a coaster here. I'm describing a user controlled set of go karts.

Every single time I crested that hill, I prepared for one of the most terrifying moments of airtime ever. I've definitely experienced more negative Gs on roller coasters, but there the train is fastened to the track. This felt more like airtime on a water slide. When you physically feel the cart go slightly airborne and bounce wildly down a 30 foot ramp, it's truly a unique experience. I prayed every single time that I gunned it over that hill that there wouldn't be a multi-car pile-up at the bottom because quite frankly, I don't know if I could stop in time. :lol:

The banked turn afterwards is perfectly designed such that almost everyone fishtails around it. And if you take the turn really tightly, there's a decent chance you'll still be skidding as you careen down the subsequent 15-20 foot plunge. That alone is insane. Honestly any of the last three elements are insane. But Fun Spot added a fourth in another hairpin turn after this second drop. I laughed how the park had helmets available upon request, but I honestly wouldn't blame one for taking one after driving Vortex.

It was one of the most wild and unexpected experiences I've had at any amusement park. I can't believe I skipped Fun Spot's go karts in my past visits, but I'll never make that mistake again. After I got my driver's license, go karts sort of lost their luster. They felt slow and boring. Fun Spot restored my faith in go karts. 10 out of 10

I was on a go kart high. I needed more.

With a renewed faith in go karts, I had to try Chaos. Now you'd think a track named Chaos would be wilder than something called Vortex, but it wasn't. The carts were equally as fast, but it lacked the signature WTF moment of Vortex. Instead of building up to a crescendo, Chaos was consistently great. I honestly couldn't recollect the layout as it was an endless array of turns and drops with seemingly no coherent pattern. 9 out of 10

Hot Seat.jpg
Eureka, it's open!

I was stunned to see the park's screamin' swing operational. This was my fourth visit to the park and this is the first time I've seen Hot Seat open. And if I remember correctly, I think the board actually listed it as closed. I certainly wasn't going to complain about one of the best style of flats being open.

I rode twice, both times facing the water during the maximum swings. The ride's Achilles heel is shared by all screamin' swings- the cycle length. These things are always short, but you get 3-4 really great moments of floater air. 8 out of 10

Screaming Eagles Cat.jpg
Meet the best employee at Fun Spot.

All kidding aside, the employees of Fun Spot Kissimmee are quite good. But I still found it hysterical that this cat basically set up camp inside the flying scooters. As I waited for an operator, I began to think the cat was the ride operator. Eventually an operator did arrive and joked the cat was the park's mascot. I guess they wanted a mascot that can hunt mice. :mickey:

I visited the park on a very windy day. Flyer fans like myself lick their lips for conditions like this. With the added boost of 20-25 mph wind gusts, I was able to get some light snapping. Granted everything is light after experiencing the insanity of the Knoebels Flyer, but this was still a really fun ride. 8 out of 10

Rockstar Coaster Turn.jpg
Oh yeah, the park has another larger coaster too.

I did ride the Rockstar Coaster twice. As far as these Zamperla/Reverchon wild mice go, Rockstar is among the best. It's quite smooth and tends to spin a ton. I can say the spinning is consistently wild on this one because of the park's crowd levels. While most parks try and load these vehicles to the max to compensate for their 4 person cars, Fun Spot is perfectly fine sending out single riders, which results in spinning levels rivaling those of tea cups. 6 out of 10

Big Bone.jpg
The Big Bone really does look like something.

Every time I visit Fun Spot, I discover another awesome reason to love the park. This time I discovered the insane go karts and the park's lovable unofficial mascot. Not sure what I'll discover next time, but I'm guessing it'll involve more rides on Mine Blower, that SkyCoaster, and the go karts.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's 2018 US Adventures

Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:52 pm

Great update! Love the cat ride op!

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's 2018 US Adventures

Wed Apr 04, 2018 6:57 pm

^^ I don't agree with how Disney inflates their wait times near the end of the night. It helps them control the crowds and close down the rides earlier, but I hate that they mislead everyone in the process by posting inaccurate times. As someone who knows they are inflated, it's great since crowds are thinning out, but kind of unfair to those not in the know. Maybe this belongs in the rant thread :-p

Great reports as always.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's 2018 US Adventures

Wed Apr 04, 2018 7:31 pm

The first time I did Vortex, I had no idea that drop existed. So when I crested that hill and gained a split second of airtime before plummeting down that drop...
200.gif (484.66 KiB) Viewed 2065 times

Though I'm not sure which is the bigger what in the holy sh!t just happened moment in the park is: That Vortex drop, or pretty much the entirety of Mine Blower.

This report also reminds me that I really need to get cracking on my Fun Spot trip report from last month. :lmao: ;)

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's 2018 US Adventures

Wed Apr 04, 2018 9:43 pm

boldikus wrote:Great update! Love the cat ride op!

Thanks! Six Flags should look into hiring him. He may help with dispatch times.

anonymouscactus wrote:^^ I don't agree with how Disney inflates their wait times near the end of the night. It helps them control the crowds and close down the rides earlier, but I hate that they mislead everyone in the process by posting inaccurate times. As someone who knows they are inflated, it's great since crowds are thinning out, but kind of unfair to those not in the know. Maybe this belongs in the rant thread :-p

Great reports as always.

Thanks! I do feel bad for those unaware that Disney lies at the end of the night, but I'm happy to exploit it as long as they continue doing it. Again I understand why they do it since the moment they post a 5 minute wait for Rock "n" Roller Coaster, that queue would be flooded.

CaptainUnknown wrote:The first time I did Vortex, I had no idea that drop existed. So when I crested that hill and gained a split second of airtime before plummeting down that drop...

Though I'm not sure which is the bigger what in the holy sh!t just happened moment in the park is: That Vortex drop, or pretty much the entirety of Mine Blower.

This report also reminds me that I really need to get cracking on my Fun Spot trip report from last month. :lmao: ;)

Mine Blower is fantastic all-around, but I was expecting that since the mini Gravity Group woodies in New England have some wonderful airtime. They aren't quite as intense as Mine Blower, but I knew what Gravity Group was capable of.

Meanwhile I had no clue those go karts would be as intense as they were.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's 2018 US Adventures

Wed Apr 04, 2018 11:12 pm

The go karts I did at both Fun Spots are best go karts I've ever done. On the downhill section of the Vortex track right before the curve I had to slow down everytime or I felt I would get out of control.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's 2018 US Adventures

Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:20 am

^ For a split second I thought about slowing up, but I decided to floor it. How often are you allowed to get airtime in a car?

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's 2018 US Adventures

Thu Apr 05, 2018 6:37 am

This might be my favorite annual thread! Love reading each chapter as you paint a great picture in between the photos. Go karts are a very underrated attraction. It took a visit to Mt Olympus to open my eyes to what hilarity, scariness, and fun can be had on custom kart tracks.
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