Photo TR - larrygator's CaliforniVacation

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Re: Photo TR - larrygator's CaliforniVacation

Postby ABW » Wed Jul 11, 2018 8:24 pm

cfc wrote:Thanks for your take on Rail Blazer, as I've been curious about whether it lives up to the hype.


I didn't think it would, but it totally did. Really quite an astounding experience if you can get past the fact that it's incredibly short.
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Re: Photo TR - larrygator's CaliforniVacation

Postby jbottgen » Wed Jul 11, 2018 10:36 pm

Thanks for the report Larry. Makes me want to go back and visit these two parks, since it has been almost 20 years now.
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Re: Photo TR - larrygator's CaliforniVacation

Postby larrygator » Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:10 pm

In the past I would have just kept a rental car for the drive to LA and returned in to SFO one my final but this would have created an extra 15 hours of driving and forced me to drive too much when tired (yes this is a thing that happens as you get older). I also considered leaving the rental car in LA and paying the one way charge. Amtrak was only $62, which would save over $250 versus driving. In the end I decided to relax on Amtrak and enjoy the ride, of course it is hard to enjoy the 10 hour ride knowing that your friends are in Japan traveling the same distance by train in only 3 hours.

On June 29th, after dropping my rental car off at SFO, I used BART and CalTrain to contact to the Amtrak station in San Jose, very easy to use to make the connections. Amtrak seats are spacious, recline far without interfering with others and make it easy to sleep or relax.

Here are some of the pictures I took from the train window, I was going to take some pictures from the viewing car, but was too lazy to move the three cars. The scenario is much nicer in person than viewed through my Samsung and a train window.
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CalTrain from San Fran to San Jose
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Desert and hills to the left of me
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Water to the right of me
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Elon Musk's SpaceX complex
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View from the Dining Car
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The cars are passing the train.
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LA Union Station is beautiful architectually
Last edited by larrygator on Thu Jul 12, 2018 2:15 pm.
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Re: Photo TR - larrygator's CaliforniVacation

Postby pfalcioni » Thu Jul 12, 2018 3:55 pm

I've always wanted to do that train ride, and also continue on from Los Angeles to San Diego. I had no idea it was so cheap.

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Re: Photo TR - larrygator's CaliforniVacation

Postby bert425 » Thu Jul 12, 2018 4:03 pm

Wonderful TR. . just getting caught up.

re: Railblazer
at SFFT, for the first couple of weeks on Wonder Woman, they also initially used the Flash Pass Line as a single rider line.
they've stopped doing that now, only allowing that line for Flash Pass (guess they got complaints that single riders were taking advantage of the shorter line. . . after all, by definition of this kind of coaster EVERYONE is a single rider).

Only speaking of the WW version, I've found the back seat to have extreme ejector air -- but the closer you get to the front of the car, it gets to be more floater air. The Texas version runs w/ no brakes at all, and since you defined Railblazer as "zippy" I'd assume that's true there too?

my legs hurt after multiple rides due to the seating configuration, but thanks for sharing your take on the ride. . love hearing other's opinions. . .especially since Railblazer is a mirror image.
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Re: Photo TR - larrygator's CaliforniVacation

Postby larrygator » Thu Jul 12, 2018 6:46 pm

pfalcioni wrote:I've always wanted to do that train ride, and also continue on from Los Angeles to San Diego. I had no idea it was so cheap.


Certain days it could cost a little more and you can add amenities like a sleeping room and lunch/dinner. I brought lunch with me, but did spend about $25 for dinner (Salmon) in the dining car.
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Re: Photo TR - larrygator's CaliforniVacation

Postby larrygator » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:05 pm

June 30, I got to Knotts at opening and stayed til close, I could tell right away that crowds were going to be huge so I tried to get the rides that I expected to have long lines out of the way right away and then ride anything with a shorter line as I walked past the attraction. With that said I wanted to get the 2 new credits for me (Coast Rider and Hang Time) out of the way first followed by Xcelerator and Ghost Rider.

I got two rides on Hang Time and one on Coast Rider out of the way in about 90 minutes and the Hang Time queue built up very fast. Then I walked over the XCelerator and it was listed as an hour but the line didn't look that long so I got on line. However, one train operations, and 4 minutes between dispatches and about a dozen people going past me on Fast Lane with each cycle, I knew this was something to come back to later in the day. While walking over to Ghost Rider I saw Voyage to Iron Reef had only a 15 minute wait. I rode it and loved it and rode it again because the line is shaded and the ride is air conditioned, then I rode it again because the line was still relatively short then (we you get the idea).. When I finally stopped riding the I was ready for a late lunch and am happy to report a former favorite food location (Fireman's BBQ) and had a great BBQ sandwich and Boysenberry Punch.

I had to experience Mystery Lodge again because I enjoy it (and to escape the sun). The show seemed shorter then last time, maybe I was just hoping to stay out of the sun longer. Since the Pony Express line was too long, and went to Ghost Rider and it was listed as 2 hours, I asked people who had gotten off the ride and confirmed the wait time, I watched for awhile and saw incredibly slow dispatches and only one train. I really wanted to ride it since many say it has improved, so I decided to return a little later.

I rode random stuff the rest of the afternoon based on size of line and shading. Montezooma's Revege, Calico Mine Ride and the train were acceptable. However, I could not bring myself to wait for Silver Bullet or any of the other coasters. I Voyaged to Iron Reef a couple more times.

After having Honey Walnut Shrimp at Panda Express I decided to bit the bullet with Ghost Rider. It was the the most excruciating wait I have ever had. The line barely moved as people were entering the queue from every possible direction. Every time I passed one of those cut-in points was a reason to celebrate. Then after waiting the first hour downstairs I had to contend with the Fast Lane people (there were not many) and guests being lead up to elevator by the ride ops. So I finally think I'm past all the cut-ins points while upstairs and guests kept coming up the stairs on the right side of the station unchecked and there was a backlog of people on the exit platform with disability and exit passes. Overall the coaster is much improved, but the line was brutal. if it wasn't shaded I probably would have left the line. Fast Lane would certainly have helped but I was adamant about sticking to my budget this trip and also had another half day to return to Knotts is needed.

As the sun set I returned to a shorter line for XCelerator and a return ride on Hang Time. With 30 minutes to go before park closing I rode Iron Reef one last time, and got in line for Hang Time right before they closed it off. Overall, I got everything done that I wanted and really enjoyed taking to park at a relaxing pace, i spent a lot of time exploring the nooks of Ghost Town which you'll see in the photos.
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Wonderful addition to the park
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What can I say. I loved the hang time moments on Hang Time.
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It's a credit, so I'm obligated to ride.
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Insane line and slow operations only allowed me to ride once. I did not see MantisMan.
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The rides in the beach area and their signage convey the beach vibe of the boardwalk area.
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Beachy signs
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Time for lunch
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A winning selection for lunch
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Is the wait for Ghost Rider really 2 hours?
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OK, let's go into the Calico Mine
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I did not ride the Silver Blank on this day
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How long has this been at the park?
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I don't know why I love this attraction?
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I wanted to ride the log ride, but the line did not let up until dark.
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They had dozens of actors roaming the street of Ghost Town and interacting with the guests. This was an impromptu horse race.
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I remember hearing on Howard Stern that I am too stupid to spell Steel Vengeance so I'll just write SteVe and pretend I'm being cool Martin's first regular gig was at a theme park, I assumed it was Disney but it appears to be Knotts.
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A Panda Express with a complete menu on the dining plan is a win.
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I went into this building and remembered it was unexpected what they had, but now I forgot what was inside.
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The train weren't headed in my direction.
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Re: Photo TR - larrygator's CaliforniVacation

Postby bert425 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:21 pm

you are continuing to provide a GREAT report. . but I do not like this at ALL

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I don't wanna feel guilty while eating at a theme park. . . and those calorie counts are insane (as are the prices. .but it's a theme park, and i recall Knott's being on the higher price end when we visited 6 years ago).

the calorie counts would put me off what I wanna eat :(
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Re: Photo TR - larrygator's CaliforniVacation

Postby larrygator » Fri Jul 13, 2018 8:55 pm

bert425 wrote:you are continuing to provide a GREAT report. . but I do not like this at ALL

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I don't wanna feel guilty while eating at a theme park. . . and those calorie counts are insane (as are the prices. .but it's a theme park, and i recall Knott's being on the higher price end when we visited 6 years ago).

the calorie counts would put me off what I wanna eat :(


I try to cut calories a little.

I got the BBQ Flank sandwich but didn't eat the bread or chips, I also don't put extra BBQ sauce on the meat.

I bought the All Season Dining Pass knowing I would be visiting Cedar Fair parks on numerous occasions this year. To date:
Dorney: 1 meal
Carowinds: 1 meal
CGA: 1 meal
Kings Dominion: 2 meals
KBF: 3 meals

Upcoming trips - 3 days at Cedar Point, 1 day at Kings Island. 1 day Kings Dominion

8 meals to date and 7 more potentially = 15 meals and unlimited drinks for about $120

If I buy the dining pass I make sure I maximize the value.
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Re: Photo TR - larrygator's CaliforniVacation

Postby bert425 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 9:44 pm

oh I get that. . . I was meaning I don't like the new trend of the calorie counts being on the menu :(

(I have the Six Flags Dining Pass at Fiesta Texas, and make sure to use it each time I go. . if they have the calorie counts on their menus, they must be so tiny I just haven't noticed)
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