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Phil & Michael's 2018 Adventures

PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 12:23 pm
by Philrad71
Hey everyone!

A while back, I asked Michael, "Where do you want to go for a vacation in 2018?" Given that he has a thing for visiting presidential gravesites and homesteads, he immediately said, "Lincoln's Tomb in Springfield, Ill...and is there any way that we could tie in Branson?"

Lincoln's Tomb was the last of the four assassinated presidents of which Michael had not been to their grave, so I knew that it had been a bucket list place for him for quite some time. So in doing that, we also knew that theme parks were going to also tie into this trip because well...we just love theme parks!

So when he said Branson, I perked right up, because we all know what famous park resides there...plus they just happened to have a new one of a kind coaster there named Time Traveler. So hell yeah I wanted to go to Branson! :b


Given that I knew Michael would also want to see a couple of shows while there, I went online and booked tickets to see a Patsy Cline tribute concert as that is his favorite singer of all time.

For you young-un's that have no idea who Patsy Cline is, she is a country crooner that blazed a path for female country singers like Loretta Lynn, Dolly Parton (of course, you know HER! ;-)) and Tammy Wynette. While I am not the biggest fan of country music, I do appreciate her music and she really does have an incredible voice. This impersonator was really good too!


Giving in to our "Let's cram six days into five", we also scheduled in a stop at the St. Louis Gateway Arch. After a couple of cocktails at our hotel the night before, I used my Club TPR membership to go online to Tickets At Work and pre-purchased last minute tickets for SfStL for the following day - a park that neither of us had been to. Such a beautiful park and one that is one of the more under-appreciated parks in the chain due to it not having a lot of the record-breaking coasters like other SF parks have.

Overall, we thought operations were wonderful, the park was super clean and most of the employees were right up there with CP's, SDC or Dollywood... I shit you not, people - this is a really nice SF park!!!


After that, it was off to Branson for three nights. Two days at SDC and one afternoon spent sight-seeing and going to the aforementioned show.

After our first day at SDC, we even got to hook up with a fellow TPR member, Andrew (better known as ytterbiumanalyst) for a couple of pints at Branson Landing that evening. Thanks so much for coming down from Springfield, Andrew...it was a real pleasure meeting you!!! :)


We also got to see another show that we booked last minute at the Welk resort (where we were staying) called 'The Million Dollar Quartet' which was much like a documentary of the only time that Elvis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis ever performed together. The show was tight and featured a lot of their top hits. The Johnny Cash impersonator was the highlight of the show for me though - this guy NAILED the look and voice of this musical legend!



Once we left Branson, we then headed to Sandusky in hopes of me riding the new hotness. Given the "incident" and one train operations, I knew that it was going to be a super long wait. But despite that and the horrid weather, I did get to ride it Friday night (May 11th)...and I will go on record to say that it absolutely lives up to the hype!

All I can really say about Steel Vengeance is to go to CP and ride it for your yourself! It shot up to my new #1, but others may feel differently when having their own experience. Although I can't really imagine someone having a negative or even mediocre feeling about the ride after riding it.

The ride is relentless from start to finish, but butter-smooth and just a ton of fun to ride with your hands thrown in the air - don't wait, book your trip to CP now!!!


While it did turn out to be a bummer because Michael was basically worn down and the weather was absolute crap, CP went above and beyond in our checking out of the Breakers on Saturday versus Sunday. They refunded the cost of the room, our tickets, our FL+ and even the ECV that I had rented for Michael!

We were both blown out of the water as we really had already understood the rules and had accepted that we would lose everything that we had booked. The fact that we never asked for a refund for anything but my FL+ ticket (given that they were refunding them because of the SV incident), just reinforced why CP is my #1 park.

The addition of SV is just a bonus for a park that literally has everything that one could want, crammed onto a peninsula outside of a small Ohio city. I can't say enough about the friendly staff at this park - they truly are one of the best (if not, THE best) staffed parks in the world. Truly amazing customer service goes a looooong way in my book!


So with that said, let's begin our journey, shall we?

Re: Phil & Michael's 2018 Adventures

PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 1:24 pm
by ThemeParkJunkie51290
Such a great start for a wonderful report! =) Those pictures were amazing! Can't wait for the next trip reports!

Re: Phil & Michael's 2018 Adventures

PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 1:34 pm
by bert425
without even reading the caption, my first thought at the picture by the Lincoln statue was: Dang, Michel looks SO happy.

:)

can't wait to read the rest of your report. . did you go up into the Gateway Arch? It's something i've always wanted to go do, but simply haven't found enough to do there to justify a trip to St. Louis for us.

Re: Phil & Michael's 2018 Adventures

PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 1:38 pm
by Philrad71
^^ Thank you!

You do some great reports yourself! :)


^ Thanks Bert!

We couldn't get up in the Arch because the website said that you needed to be able to walk 90+ steps and that it wasn't wheelchair accessible. Michael wanted me to go alone and I was tempted, but the line was insanely long just to buy the tickets.

Actually the entire area around the arch is not handicap friendly, but it looks like that will change once the new part opens. I was bummed that we couldn't even go into the museum or the gift shop without a ticket, so we didn't get our fridge magnet or Christmas ornament like we always like to get when we visit places. :(

But it was cool to see it close-up and at least walk around it and underneath it...it's a very impressive structure!

Re: Phil & Michael's 2018 Adventures

PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 3:11 pm
by tinaalsgirl
Ah, yeah, I can understand their restrictions regarding going up to the top of the Arch. Even though they take you up in a sorta elevator, the possibility of it breaking down means you'd have to traverse stairs for an emergency exit. Plus, those little pods they use have 5 seats, but dang if you can barely fit 3 adults in there comfortably.

I wonder when all this work on the Arch is gonna finally be finished. It's been going for quite a while now.

Apparently once everything has been finished, the museum will once again be free admission (I guess stuff requires a ticket right now because of the renovations...?). Sounds like what they're doing is gonna be pretty cool once it's done; they're even gonna have a replica of the top portion of the Arch with live webcam views in the windows for people who can't take the elevators/pods up to the top!

http://www.stltoday.com/entertainment/arts-and-theatre/hotlist/gateway-arch-museum-visitors-center-to-open-in-time-for/article_9222e6c1-b789-54ac-93af-241ea9abeccd.html

Loved your pics of Lincoln's Home and stuff; can't wait to see your Branson pics!

Re: Phil & Michael's 2018 Adventures

PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 3:15 pm
by Philrad71
Time for some Six Flags St. Louis!!

Re: Phil & Michael's 2018 Adventures

PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 3:21 pm
by Philrad71
tinaalsgirl wrote:Ah, yeah, I can understand their restrictions regarding going up to the top of the Arch. Even though they take you up in a sorta elevator, the possibility of it breaking down means you'd have to traverse stairs for an emergency exit. Plus, those little pods they use have 5 seats, but dang if you can barely fit 3 adults in there comfortably.

I wonder when all this work on the Arch is gonna finally be finished. It's been going for quite a while now.

Apparently once everything has been finished, the museum will once again be free admission (I guess stuff requires a ticket right now because of the renovations...?). Sounds like what they're doing is gonna be pretty cool once it's done; they're even gonna have a replica of the top portion of the Arch with live webcam views in the windows for people who can't take the elevators/pods up to the top!

http://www.stltoday.com/entertainment/arts-and-theatre/hotlist/gateway-arch-museum-visitors-center-to-open-in-time-for/article_9222e6c1-b789-54ac-93af-241ea9abeccd.html

Loved your pics of Lincoln's Home and stuff; can't wait to see your Branson pics!


Thanks for the nice comments and for posting that link - a very interesting read!

We were wondering when the renovation would open as the signs said opening in 2017, which contradicts the article stating that it was set to open in 2015. :lol:

I figured that they must have hit some red tape with funding or something.

Re: Phil & Michael's 2018 Adventures

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 5:51 am
by Canobie Coaster
Great report! I'll be reliving your same trip minus the history next weekend. I will be doing the Arch though and your report affirms my decision to buy tickets in advance online. I also have the 8 am tour which I feel like people won't want to wake up for.

Shocked (and happy) to hear that SFSTL is that friendly. Looking forward to seeing more on their other two woodies.

Re: Phil & Michael's 2018 Adventures

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 3:04 pm
by Philrad71
^ Yes, definitely pre-purchase your Arch tickets online to be safe!

In terms of the other two coasters, let's see what I have in the vault here...

Re: Phil & Michael's 2018 Adventures

PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 6:00 pm
by Canobie Coaster
Glad to hear American Thunder is still smooth! Some of the GCIs I've ridden haven't aged too well like Thunderhead (still rideable but not exactly smooth). As for the Boss, I'll come prepared. Was the new turn at the end smooth at least?