Niice TR! Kings Dominion does look like a pretty great park. And I concur about Woodstock Express, assuming it's the same as the one at Kings Island (looks the same at least). It's small, but it's legit.
Next up on the itinerary for the summer brought me to...
Six Flags New England
I kind of have an affinity for this park. Since I grew up in neighboring upstate New York, it was the nearest park to have some bigger coasters, particularly with Superman being my first "big coaster", having been lucky enough to ride it quite a lot back in it's original un-adulterated state. So, I may be a little biased, but
I freaking love Six Flags New England. I really think it's one of the better parks in the chain. The park is one of the smaller Six Flags parks for sure, but it's got a great atmosphere, packs a crap ton of rides into a small area, typically has decent operations, and they always seem to add something new. They really have a kick-ass top two rides with Superman and Wicked Cyclone. They even have a free waterpark with one of those water coasters we all collectively lose our sh!t over!
So anyways, here are some pictures of the place, along with a few words.
First, you must cross the M&Ms bridge from the faraway parking lot, to the very stately, New Englandish entrance
Well, that's a bit embarrassing.
Adopted a QBot for the day, immediately made a reservation. Moderate crowds on this day with Superman waits around 30-40 minutes and Wicked Cyclone around 45 to an hour.
I know there are some raspberry-blowing naysayers out there about skip-the-line systems, but I'll pretty much pick one of these up any time lines are more than 10-15 minutes for things.
Superman was running two trains all day with fast, consistent operations. For the most part, the train would be leaving the station just as the one before it was pulling into the brakes.
Superman...the Ride. I guess it makes it easier to look up on RCDB, but "Ride of Steel" was a much cooler name. I mean I guess it presents a clean break from Bizarro and all that. I don't really care.
The stairway to everything orgasmic about year-2000 Intamin coasters.
...but only after some greasy, lubed-up chain action.
Then you fly through some cool S-shields and sh!t
But for real, in case you were wondering, Superman is still awesome. It's one of the best-drawn layouts in my really not all that humble opinion. The tunnels are cool, the airtime is excellent, and it's a fun coaster you could ride all day...
...however, if we want to live in a fantasy world where all faults are corrected, please throw away the trains with the shitty thigh-resting restraints and replace them with originals that Intamin will clearly still make for you (see Darien Lake). They aren't Skyrush-killer, but they're incredibly awkward and can cause airtime to be painful. What's more, the trains really do take away a little bit from the ride experience. I'm no engineer, but they seem to track awkwardly, at times kind of like a Morgan coaster train turning a parabolic hill into one that suddenly has 2 sharp angles at the top which you crash into.
Sooooo...Superman is still awesome* but had you ridden it 15 years ago, it was like 10% more awesome and 100% more comfortable and never awkward. Fix it for us Six Flags, we'll even let you call it a "BRAND NEW COASTER" and everyone will go along with it.
They have some S&S towers and such, which are always nice to have. What's more, Six Flags was kindly running 2 of them in "combo" mode, so everyone is happy with both their space shot and their turbo drop. But hell will absolutely freeze over before they run that 3rd tower.
So, I thought I was going to have a nice day at Six Flags, until my friend told me that we needed to go on this, at which time my anxiety level shot through the roof, and probably more than just 425 feet in the air. So I swallowed my pride, grit my teeth, and took it.
I can review it for you easily. Every second of it is f*cking terrifying. I kinda sorta got to look at Wicked Cyclone or something, but you're hanging from a chain being twirled around a 425-foot tower. There are no substances on earth that can make me prepared for this.
Amazed that I survived, an airbag saved my life.
Jk, it was Wicked Cyclone, which I don't really think I need to tell you, is excellent.
Jeez, it's like a wicked bad storm came through here!
But in all realness, Wicked Cyclone is one of my favorite RMCs, if not my favorite steel RMC. It follows the original layout of Cyclone extremely well, but really puts a lot of kick into it. The airtime is insane in both the front and back, it's got head choppers, big airtime hills, the fake-out inversion whateverthef*ck, real inversions, pretty much everything.
M@ssholes be like, "I hope you got good insurance, pal!"
A pretty accurate depiction of how Massachusetts actually welcomes you.
Also on my list of "Make Six Flags New England Great Again", would be to bring back a new skyride in the place of the old one. This pretty building is wasted and I really thought the old skyride made the atmosphere in the North End a little more charming.
Very important update that should be posted to the SFNE thread immediately. The new spinning flat DOES INDEED get very close to Joker!
Formerly the "South End", and now "Gotham City", this area of the park changed a bit in the off season, but they did a good job fitting everything in.
In case you needed a reminder that the park still has an SLC you've spared yourself from since 1998, they painted it electric lime f*cking green.
...but they did also make it smoother by adding the new "vest style" restraints with bars too far away to thump your skull. Kids these days have it too easy.
Continuing down through Gotham City, we also rode the always-underrated Batman the Dark Knight. It's painted pretty colors, has some fun forces, and is like a little pocket-sized B&M floorless. The zero-g roll is one of the few that really feel "zero g", there's some snap to the corkscrews, and it's just an all around fun ride.
See? Zero geeeee
Gotham City is also home to one of these Joker S&S Free Fly clones that are now more common in SF parks than a Batman clone. Hope you enjoy the novelty of Wonder Woman, it's coming to a SF park near you!
And if that isn't the concentrated face of a poor bastard trying to hammer out a quick text before the boss comes around. Trying...to...get...these...bags...to...come...apart.....
I really dig the Rockville area of SFNE. It's got atmosphere with games everywhere, food, and people moving through it. It's got costume characters, some rides, and it just looks like you'd expect a park midway to look.
It had come to my attention that SFNE was the newest to adopt the JB's Smokehouse restaurant that we enjoyed at Great America last year. I made this our de-facto destination for when it came time for food, and just like in Chicago, it did not disappoint.
Aside from all the tacky Red Socks BS plastered to the walls in a fake attempt to make it seem like some local sports bar, JB's is exactly the kind of place that's great to split up a theme park day: an air-conditioned room to sit in a cushioned booth, drink a beer, stare at your phone, and eat some food that you'll regret at the gym later.
This was sold to me as a "snack sized" fries with pulled pork. It was absolutely delicious, the sauce was just right, the fries were good, there was plenty of pulled pork, and it was $9.99. But now I have to go and do like 27,000 squats tomorrow.
Best way to digest all that pulled pork? Take a stroll up the quiet streets of Crackaxle Canyon, check out Houdini, wonder when Tomahawk is going to get removed, look around, and you might as well be at Dollywood with some of the nice landscaping and western theming.
Apparently this hasn't opened all year? I know it's a cool big coaster and all that, but just rip it out and replace it with a Raptor Track or whatever. There you go, now you can say you RMC'd Goliath.
Another way to digest your pulled pork? Ride Wicked Cyclone again!
Look at me getting two trains in one shot. By this time of the day, Wicked Cyclone's line was down to about 15-20 minutes, but the Flash Pass considered it a 1 minute wait, so we just marathoned the sh*t out of it happily. It really warmed up and was giving some killer rides!
As the evening was wearing on and we were down to the last hour, we went the classic route and decided to marathon the Man of Steel
Yeah, we got that. Thanks for the sh*tty trains, Bizarro.
Some cool nighttime effects, but could've done without the mist, as it's still in the low 60s at night in Mass this time of year.
And I leave you with...a tunnel. Thanks Six Flags New England for a great day.
I don't find that Superman's trains track poorly in the least bit. The coaster was running a bit sluggish after it was converted to Bizarro, but it has been absolutely hauling the past two years. I do share the same sentiments on the restraints and wish they weren't quite as bulky. Really that's the ride's lone Achilles heel.
As for Scream running three towers, I only saw it once. And immediately after I captured the photograph, all three towers went down.
Top 3 Wood- Lightning Rod, Voyage, Coaster (PNE Playland) Top 3 Steel- Steel Vengeance, Untamed, Expedition GeForce Most Recent Trip Reports- Holiday World & Indiana Beach
^The trains seem to just kind of "bump" a bit in some spots in a way that Millennium Force's and Superman at SFA's don't in the small hills. Even i305's trains kind of do it at the very top of the second hill, only Superman's seem to in quite a few spots.
You found a hole in the matrix regarding Scream and immediately broke it!
Wow, looks great! I haven't paid much attention to SFNE, since it's about 1200 miles from me and there are about 8 Six Flags parks closer, but it looks really nice. I wish they all had landscaping like that.
Well. I'm going to be completely honest and say that for this next trip, I f*cked up. See, my home airport is MCO Orlando, and they're kind of awesome all the time. Christmas Eve? Monday morning? Freak thunderstorm with tornado watch? MCO always seems to get you out pretty much on time and I've long taken for granted the fact that you can show up 20 minutes prior to boarding and still have time to get to Starbucks once past security and over to the other side.
Or so I thought. It just so happened that there was some kind of problem with all of the body scanners and TSA requiring all passengers to metal detector it on this morning. I arrived around 6 AM for my 7 AM departure/630 AM boarding. Needless to say, I missed my flight.
Surely, they could get me to San Francisco on the next flight in about 40 minutes, right? Oh no, I was going to deal with the consequences on this one. The next flight that could get me to San Francisco would be at 5:55 PM that evening, involve traveling for about 10 hours and land me in San Francisco just after midnight, by way of both Albuquerque and Denver. All other flights I could hastily Google were sold out or cost like $700 and get me there too late anyway. So, I Ubered back home, went back to bed until the afternoon, then did it all over again.
The primary purpose of this trip was to attend San Francisco Pride with some Orlando friends who were coming a day later than me. My goal was to hit California's Great America on Thursday as they were closed on Friday, spend half a day at Six Flags on Friday, then start the weekend. Had I really learned my lesson from all the detentions I got in school for my tardiness, this post would be all sorts of gooey text about how hard I came when I rode Railblazer. With the weekend booked full of plans and only one park day happening, my one park for the trip would, of course, be
Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
I'm going to say some things that some people might yell at me for, possibly even activate the apparent Norcal hair-trigger touchery. This park doesn't really do it for me. I'd probably rather go to LaRonde or Six Flags America. I really hoped that this day could change my mind but it just didn't. Two of their major attractions (Joker and V2) weren't open when we got there around 11:30 AM. V2 didn't even have a train in the station so there was no hope for that. Their JB's is a fake-out. Security wouldn't let me in with an unopened and sealed herbal tea from the gas station, which even Six Flags over Texas let me through with. I had a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo that failed to open and had to wait 45 minutes for 3 employees to figure out how to radio the right person with a key. The only coaster that loaded quickly was Superman and they were total dicks about it. All other parks have given discounts of like 15-20% or a flat dollar amount like $20 off at SFNE with the Gold Membership on one-day tickets for friends tagging along and this one didn't do any. Just...come on dude.
Anyways, I promise I'll say nicer things from here on out, but this was my first visit to the park in 10 years. If I go back in 10 years, it'll be too soon.
I'm going to say something nice. If you walk instead of taking the tram, SFDK really makes sure you get your steps in before you eat hamburgers and chicken fingers at Fake JB's.
Many, many enduring hours of cardio later, Medusa appears! My friend literally said "oh look they painted it!", and my response was, "nope, actually it looks that way because they didn't!"
This was the part where I remembered it being funky and started to get excited about "weird V2", only to be let down by the fact that it was closed. In fact, there was not even a train in sight and the entrance path area was blocked off.
Mr. Giraffe says, "Hey you lot! Come to see the Dragons, have yeh?"
Oh nvm wrong quote
HAHAHAHA LOL! You stupid b*tches thought Six Flags cared about their #1 attraction opening within an hour of the park?! HAHAHAHA LOL go back to Florida
Luckily, we kind of meandered around the area for a bit and watched them finally do a test run, until they started letting riders into the queue at approximately 12:15 PM
I have two opinions about this ride. The first, which I'm sure numerous people have been torn new *ssholes over in the SFDK thread if there even is one, is why did they turn a perfectly smooth GCI woodie into an RMC? Did you see Dollywood do this? No, they kept the GCI and just built another coaster.
Anyway, any RMC is still an RMC. The first drop really gives a whip-crack to the right which is alarming, and theres the usual awkward twisty bits followed by some good moments of airtime. I'd probably say this is the slowest and least-eventful RMC overall, but that being said, it's still better than 90% of coasters out there.
Next we headed over to Superman Ultimate Flight. Would you know, it's not a B&M Flyer?
These rides pack a hell of a punch and this one is of the lapbar-only variety. Great launches, good hangtime, and lots of Premier winning!
Here's a picture of the same coaster in the middle of doing it's whole hangtime greatness.
You know how when you go on the Terminator ride at Universal and they speed up the loading process by pretending you're army recruits and being like "move out team!"?!
It's kind of like that here, except they're total dicks to guests about it and they literally say over and over on the loudspeaker that if you don't move fast enough, you don't get on. I think this photo was actually a capture of a ride op telling a girl tough sh*t. Do people need to hurry up for operations at all parks? Yes. But is there really a reason to treat your guests that way? Absolutely not.
Whoops I meant to post this in the SFNE thread. BUT LOOK HOW CLOSE IT GETS THO!
We decided to change the pace a little at this point. Looking on the app, I saw that there was a JB's in the park, then on the way I was hyping the sh*t out of it to my friend, saying how I have dreams about the $9 pulled pork fries, how you can sit in the AC, take a draft beer, etc
Oh, f*ck you Discovery Kingdom. You catfished me into thinking I was about to go to JB's Smokehouse BBQ and not JB's same-hamburger-stall-as-the-rest.
One of the coolest attractions in this park actually lies within here. Six Flags' attempt to make a Universal-style ride like Despicable Me resulted in a random seat that raises you up and shakes the fake JB's out of you in no particular direction to the movie, which was made on the budget of the Pirhana movies. Needless to say, it was awesome.
Here's a super blurry photo of the inside of the theatre room. You're held in by a seatbelt, and weighing only about 150 pounds, I started sinking during the ride like one of those fat-kid-on-slingshot videos. I was laughing my a$$ off the entire time.
On the back path next to the pretty lake, Discovery Kingdom has a series of "signs and logos of Six Flags parks better than this one" banners. Oh, how I wished there was a portal to Great Escape here.
It was at this point that we decided to head over toward Medusa. I don't think this floorless gets the credit it deserves. It starts out exactly the same as Kraken, but then does the "Sea Serpent Roll" or whatever instead of Kraken's cobra, then the second half is completely different, but honestly way better. You get a hell of an intense jolt out of the brake run, followed by a series of dizzying all-left turns. This is definitely a star for this park.
They even gave it a pretty station that is very reminiscent of Goliath at SFMM.
Girl, bye! Ain't nobpdy riding the roughest SLC in the states unless they desperately need the credit or something.
Also, girl, bye. This is the last photo that I took before we decided to dip and head back into San Francisco a little early to start the weekend of sightseeing and Pride. I'll probably post some of those photos many, many moons from now. Maybe I'll even make another trip to SFDK by then ;)
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