Hello all, this is my second time doing a thread for my trip reports. Last year it was just for my trip to Missouri, but this year I'm gonna try to do it for all the coaster road trips we make. I enjoy writing these and hope you all enjoy reading them!
So first off, we are from Cleveland. Most of the time people think that's a bad thing but being so close to Cedar Point, it's a great location. The one drawback though is that we have one of the longest off-seasons of any regional park. It sucks. So, as you can well imagine by this time of year we are absolutely itching to get on our first coasters of the year. And watching Steel Vengeance rise has only added to the anticipation.
Finally we decided we couldn't take it and started trip planning. We have Cedar Fair Platinum passes and Six Flags Gold or premium or whatever passes so we knew we could easily do a quick weekend trip to Kings Dominion and Six Flags America. That trip started today, Friday April 6th. So at 6am we started the 7 hour drive to Kings Dominion to get our first rides of the year.
The weekend schedule looked like this: Today Drive straight to KD from home and spend the remainder of the day at the park. Saturday all day at KD. Sunday get up early and drive to SFA to get those credits before driving home. It's a sprint but should be a lot of fun.
We arrived at KD today at just about 2 o'clock leaving us with 8 hours to enjoy the park. We have been here before so the only credit we were missing was twisted timbers, so off we went. We arrived at the ride and were greeted with a half hour wait. Not bad at all. The line moved super smoothly and in what seemed like no time we were in our seats in the second to last car and off we went. The ride seemed like and absolute whirlwind but it was outstanding! So amazingly smooth and the airtime was insane! Such a home run.
We wanted to hop right back in line but knowing that the weather looks like absolute crap for tomorrow, we wanted to make sure we got on everything before really getting rerides. We would regret that because by the time we made it back to TT it was broke and remained down the rest of the evening.
Also of note, being very familiar with Mystic Timbers since it's close to home, we found it funny the similarities between the two as far as theming goes. Even the same paint colors on the trains lol.
So after our long awaited first ride of the season we moved on to rebel... I mean Racer75. What a nice surprise! I don't remember it being a bad ride but they did a load of track work and it was running great!
We then continued around the park going towards I305 and Volcano. I305 had a fairly short wait and was a blast as always. I think it barely beats TT for my favorite in the park. Volcano had the longest line of the day at about 45 minutes (thanks to coasterbill for the tip on how long the wait would be or else we would've bailed because the line seemed ridiculous). We've always been big fans of Volcano and still are. Those launches are just tons of fun.
On to dominator which proved yet again to be one of my favorite floorless coasters. Running like new. It's amazing how fast this ride goes all the way through. It keeps it's speed incredibly well.
Aside from that we didn't do a whole lot. Grizzly and Avalanche were both quite fun and a lot faster than we remembered and Anaconda was well... It was Anaconda. Lol.
Operations were pretty decent all the way around. Not Cedar Point but not bad either, which was a relief because we had heard ops were struggling to start the year.
Food was also pretty good. We had the Mac and cheese bar and then pot roast. Both of which were hot and tasty.
As stated twisted timbers was down a majority of the day as was Drop Tower but it didn't really hurt our day. Really had a great time and was a good way to start the coaster season.
Final ride count for the day: Timbers: 1x I305: 3x including an incredible ride in row one in the pitch black to end the night. Dominator: 2x Anaconda: 1x Racer75: 2x Apple Zapple/Ricochet: 1x Grizzly: 1x Flyers: 1x Volcano: 1x Avalanche: 1x
Hopefully tomorrows crappy forecast gets a little better and the day turns out ok. I wonder what Kings Dominions snow policies are hahaha. Thanks for reading!
Not a whole lot to report on today since Kings Dominion closed at 1 due to the weather. Very understandable because honestly saying 50 people were in the park is pushing it. I've never seen a park so empty. On top of that, they were staffed for a busy Saturday.
In our 3 hours there we had a blast though. Timbers was the only ride that was closed which sucked but instead we got 10 rides on Intimidator 305 to make up for it. We're off to Busch Gardens just for something to do and maybe to get an unexpected credit this trip on Invadr.
Busch Gardens turned out to be well worth it. As we pulled in we were informed that Busch Gardens would be closing at 7, leaving us with about 4 hours to enjoy the park. We found discount tickets online for $65 and into the park we went.
Busch is another park we've been to multiple times. It's such a gorgeous park and while few coasters, the ones they have are outstanding. This was however the first time we've been to BGW without it being packed. There weren't many more people here than Kings Dominion. The Guest Services lady we talked with said the only reason they stayed open as late as they did was because there were bus groups there that they couldn't kick out. A bit of good luck for us that those groups were there.
The only credits we were missing was Invadr and Grover's Alpine Express which I didn't even know was there until a couple months ago. Both of which were fun for what they are. Obviously not much to say about the family coaster but Invadr is everything you expect from a mid-tier GCI. Super fun with some great airtime and gave a super smooth ride. The drop with the tunnel was also awesome. Great ride.
Other than that we were able to hit everything besides Apollo's Chariot. Apollo was open when we arrived but since we went counterclockwise around the park, we got there last and by that time it had closed for weather, as did Griffon and Invadr a little later.
Griffon was great when we rode it before it closed. I'm one of the few big fans of Valravn but I forgot just how fun Griffon is. Definitely think it beats out Valravn for the better dive coaster.
Alpengeist has always been my least favorite inverted coaster. I've just never had a really good ride on it. It's either been fast and rough or slow and boring. This time was a little better but still not my favorite. Better than inverts like Patriot but nowhere near Raptor, Batman, or Banshee.
On to Verbolten. The first time I rode this was it's opening year. I thought it was great. Very smooth and fun family coaster. Unfortunately when I rode it again in 2015 I thought it was very bumpy and showing square wheel syndrome. Thankfully this was not the case this time around. Very smooth and running like new again. Much enjoyed!
Nesse was fun as always. Feels like an arrow but is just somehow better than the others. Blows Anaconda out of the water (pun not intended) for sure.
Tempesto was fun but another ride like Alpengeist that I have a hard time really liking. Also a strange ride for a park like Busch Gardens to install but good for looks and for families.
I never ever thought I'd see Mach Tower running in this weather but it was and I jumped on the opportunity. Not my favorite drop tower but still a fun ride. Always love drop towers.
Didn't get any food or drink besides a hot chocolate so can't really comment on that. Past experience makes me wish that we had more time because the food here is just great. Probably the best amusement park food we've ever had.
Operations were good but you'd hope they would be when they're sending trains out with like 4 people on them lol.
We stopped at guest services on the way out on a recommendation from a worker when we got there earlier in the day to get rain check passes for a free return trip to the park sometime this summer. Awesome! 2 visits to a park like BGW for $65 is a steal. Can't wait to come back!
Tomorrow is a quick stop at Six Flags America before heading home. Been a great trip so far, especially with a surprise trip to Busch Gardens.
Thanks for reading and sorry again for the lack of pictures. I'm doing this all on my phone and it's having trouble uploading photos. I'll have a ton to upload when I get home to my laptop.
That sucks that you went looking to get away from this crappy Great Lakes weather and pretty much had the same type of weather in Virginia. Doesn't seem to have spoiled your fun too much though which is good...looking forward to the pics.
On the way back home from a great weekend, and what better thing to do while driving in the hills of PA than to type up my report from Six Flags America!
So first off, today was clear and sunny thank goodness but still cold. Infact, it was so cold that all Gotham City roller coasters were shut down. We had never been to this park and missing out on 3 of the better rides painted a grim picture. Thankfully though the ride operator at Jokers Jinx who stopped us from walking past the ride to superman told us that once it warms up a little all three coasters should open. Phew.
So after walking all the way back there for nothing we decided that Wild One would be our first ride. Through our quick little trip through a small part of the park we were actually surprised at how nice the park looked, unfortunately though once we branched off towards Wild One into Mardi Gras and then later on towards Roar and Superman, that's where the visual appeal stopped. Granted we aren't there for visuals, coming from Busch Gardens the day before, it's hard not to notice. Not a big deal, but worth mentioning that some of the buildings and rides just didn't look fresh or clean. Oh well, we're here for the rides anyways.
Greeted with no wait at all at Wild One, which would be a theme all over the park, we hopped on the front row. For a 100 year old coaster, it's in really great shape. The ride keeps good speed and has some good airtime. The helix was a little rough but all around a pretty good ride.
The spinning mouse was also closed for weather and voodoo drop was having maintenance issues so off to Apocalypse we went. It can be noted here and also on the way back to batwing how strange the layout of this park is with no real flow. That tiny little path from Mardi Gras to Gotham City then back to Apocalypse was just confusing.
Again greeted by no wait another front seat/position was taken. We knew it was definitely one of B&Ms worst creations so we had low expectations which turned out to be spot on. The ride absolutely beat the crap out of me. Once and done.
On to Roar which may have been the surprise of the day. I had read over in the SFA thread that Roar had gotten rough this year so like Apocalypse we went in with rather low expectations. Roar absolutely blew past those low expectations. While it's strange for a GCI to have trains you'd see on CCI coasters, it ran much like other modest sized GCIs like American Thunder. No it wasn't Mystic Timbers smooth but it was a lot of fun. I do see why Discovery Kingdom gave their Roar the RMC treatment as this layout has a lot of potential. But still, as is it's a fun ride.
With still no sign of life from Superman we kept heading down this strange sorta halfway themed path to Mind Eraser. Not a whole lot to say because well it's an SLC although it's better than T3 so it's got that going for it.
The next couple hours was spent walking back and forth between the two woodies and getting a ride on the drop tower once it opened. We even got really bored and rode the Flying Dutchman. Suddenly though we heard what almost sounded like a B&M inverted coaster roaring through the course, but really it was Jokers Jinx making test runs. Immediately looking at Superman to see if that meant it was opening and sure enough an empty train was going up the lift.
Soon enough joker was open. Having ridden flight of fear the day before which is the same as Joker except inside, it was cool to see the ride from the outside. It's even more compact and crazy than I had thought and had loads of head choppers. The ride itself I felt was similar to both Flight of Fears as far as smoothness but somehow I felt Joker was better.
Exiting joker we saw Superman sending it's first riders so off we went. We've ridden it's mirror at Darien Lake so we knew what to expect, a fast fun ride with great airtime. That's exactly what we got and it was such a relief to get on the ride. We rode it 3 times in a row over the next hour or so since this was the only ride in the park with any sort of wait. Well worth it and even got a front seat ride. I doubt it makes many top 10 lists but it's an awesome ride.
While we were back there we rode Batwing, the Firehawk clone. We thought Batwing was pretty bumpy and didn't need to ride again. Especially with the super long walk back to the ride. We ended with another round around the park, even hitting the spinning mouse which was spinning like crazy before grabbing one last ride on Superman before heading out.
Another thing I have seen on the forums was how bad the operations are here. I honestly didn't think they were that bad. No they weren't running but they also weren't taking their time. The train parked and was heading out again in about 80-90 seconds. The ops were also super friendly and even tried entertaining us while waiting for a short Superman breakdown.
Food service was another story. All we wanted was pop and something to snack on. We decided on the bacon cheddar ranch fries and while they were good, it took the 3 employees in the back 20 minutes to get our food. Not good.
So again, with proper expectations you can absolutely have a great time at the park. Don't expect Cedar Point or Busch Gardens and you'll have a good time.
That wraps up the first trip of the season, and it was a great way to start the year. My next report will come from the Steel Vengeance first rider benefit. Till then, thanks for reading! Pictures from all parks should be up tomorrow sometime!
Ride count: Superman 4x Batwing 1x Joker's Jinx 2x Wild One 3x Roar 4x Mind Eraser 1x Flying Dutchman 1x Spinning Mouse 1x Flyers 1x Voodoo Drop 1x
The photo frustration continues. My phone just didn't want to do it so I finally got to my laptop and.... Update. The infamous windows updates strike again. I promise they're coming! Hopefully my patience runs long enough that I get them up tonight
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