Given the way things have been going, I knew I had good alternatives to another summer in China where, among other things, foreigners can't even get something simple such as a motel room without being turned away. I decided to go back to America for five weeks and enjoy simple things such as being able to do a five minute banking procedure that only takes five minutes (none of this three hour crap for a simple banking visit like I have grown used to). I visited parks, one county fair, played some music and saw friends and family members. Check out my comments and notes about each park below.
Marshall County Fair (Warren, Minnesota)
My reason for going here was to see Diamond Rio. As it turns out, the midway had a wacky worm coaster. This would be my first coaster of the trip.
I had been to Valleyfair before. This place has changed a lot. Since my last visit, the powered coaster from Dorney has been moved here and Renegade has been built. Some flat rides have been moved around. One highlight of the visit was talking to a supervisor about Excalibur. According to him, the ride will stay a while longer as it is still popular enough and is not costing the park money. Although Valleyfair is not a large park, there is still a lot to do here and it is one of my favorite parks.
I stopped in the Wisconsin Dells before, but it was in winter. I am very happy to finally experience this place. The kiddie coaster is off limits to adults, but there are four wooden coasters here. Cyclops, Pegasus and Zeus have a lot of potential, but need some work. Hades 360 is an awesome ride. One sour note is that all of the coasters appear to only operate with one train. That is not good on a Sunday.
I grew up going here and have now visited 98 times. Mystic Timbers is an awesome ride that turns the brake run into a themed environment. The ride is easily the best wooden coaster in the park. Diamondback is a great coaster as well. Banshee is one of the best inverted coasters I have ridden. Bat, Adventure Express, Racer and Flight Of Fear have been long time favorites of mine and it was nice to enjoy them again.
This was probably my favorite park in Pennsylvania. At least it used to be. Wild Mouse was closed on my visit and many of my favorite attractions have been closed and removed. Rollo Coaster, despite the new trains, is still great fun.
Steel Vengeance is an excellent ride. I waited nearly 2 hours for it. With that being said, Blue Streak is still the best ride there. Maverick is actually a fantastic coaster that is marred by low capacity. Who the hell thought it was a good idea to put 12 passenger trains on a coaster in a park with the types of crowds CP gets? Valravn is the best dive coaster I have ridden. Magnum XL-200 is still a force to be reckoned with. Gatekeeper seemed a bit rough, maybe I should give it a second chance sometime. Raptor has gotten rougher over the years.
This is where my love affair with coasters officially began. The Big Dipper still looks as ragged as ever, but it is still great fun. Slingshot was the first of its type of coaster that I have ridden. It is a nice ride for what it is. The Whip is still the best Whip that I have been on. I hope Camden stays around for many years.
I have been wanting to get here here to ride Fury 325. This ride did not disappoint at all. Carowinds has added a lot of flat rides since my last visit. I can remember a total of about four flat rides being here when I first visited. The most interesting thing I learned about this visit was about the Carolina Cyclone. I did not know that it held the record for the most inversions when it opened. What many may regard as just a basic Arrow Looper was, in 1980, a world class ride.
Santa's Village The Azoosment Park
I arrived in Chicago a few days before my flight and decided to go to Santa's Village. This is a small park just outside of Chicago. There are two coasters here. There is a zyklon and a wacky worm. The zyklon is called Super Cyclone and is a basic portable coaster. The wacky worm is called Wacky Worm and would round out my coastering on this trip, which is appropriate as my first coaster was a wacky worm at the fair in Minnesota. One sour note here is that I was denied a ride on the Scrambler due to the No Single Riders policy. I informed the ride op that I was not single and showed him my wedding ring. He still would not let me ride. At least this BS is few and far between in MOST COUNTRIES.
All good things must come to an end and I am now back in China. I have learned how to handle life here. A couple of months ago, I has asked to perform at a fundraiser for Chinese children. As I have been turned away from motels many times because I am a foreigner and China Post refuses to deliver my mail most of time, I politely turned them down and as I have been turned away from coasters in China after I was told I could ride (and Chinese enthusiasts can't understand why I would be angry about that), I spent my money at parks outside of China this summer.
I have now ridden 1170 coasters.
No Sneetch is the best on the beach, but some are certainly better than others.
My first point of interest is the Marshall County Fair in Warren, Minnesota.
I have not seen one of these in ages.
There was a Wacky Worm here.
It would be my first coaster of the trip.
I love these guys.
Diamond Rio always puts on a great show. It was my 12th time to see them.
This is my Debbie at the fair.
This was my second stop on the trip. Where am I?
I am at Valleyfair.
This is my favorite ride here.
The good word from a supervisor is that is safe and will not be removed for a while.
This is the king of carnival rides.
I remember riding this at Dorney.
Wild Thing is great fun.
I like this ride.
It is excellent.
I wish more of these had been built.
The mouse had the longest wait due to low capacity.
Renegade if a very intense GCI.
Check it out when you visit Valleyfair.
High Roller gives the park a traditional feel.
It is a fun out and back from the park's opening year.
Corkscrew still awaits visitors.
It is the only looping coaster at Valleyfair.
My next coaster outing took me to this place.
This is the only really good coaster in the park.
This is a fun ride, but a little rough.
It was the first coaster built here.
Here is my wife at Kings Island.
Here I am enjoying my favorite mine train.
This is still as turbulent as ever, but I like it.
Diamondback really adds a lot to the park.
I would take this boat the Blennerhasset Island on the Ohio River.
This is the mansion on the island.
I went to Idlewild the next day.
This was my first ride of the day.
This is still a fun ride.
The new train looks horrible.
It is my favorite junior woodie.
Rollo Coaster is fun.
These are fun.
I will visit this place today.
Everybody is talking about this ride. It is good, but not the greatest.
This is the greatest!
Blue Streak is still the best ride in the park.
I love how basic the station is.
I hope it runs forever.
Valravn is excellent.
This is another ride that I hope stays forever.
This is the original family suspended coaster.
This was very popular the day I was there.
Big thrills in a small space.
It almost reaches the sky.
This is a fun place.
I have not been to this place in 17 years.
Is it a coaster? Yes. It is.
Here is Camden's newest coaster.
It has spinning cars.
The log flume still awaits. I can still remember the year they added it.
The Big Dipper is still the king of this park.
This is the ride that started my love affair with coasters.
This is one of the newest rides at the park.
This is another new ride here.
This is the last ride of its type.
During my adventure, I managed to stop by the place where Buddy Holly gave his final concert.
Another coaster outing took me to the home of this thing.
Fury 325 is also here.
It certainly lives up to its hype!
It is a fun ride.
I rode this here and at Geauga Lake. Curse you Dick!
It is hard to believe that this is Carowinds' major wooden coaster.
Here is the world's first flying coaster at it's current home. What is happening in the upper right hand corner?
In 1980, this was a world class thrill ride. It had more inversions than any other coaster when it opened.
How much longer will this ride "stand"?
Before heading back to China, I had time to stop at Santa's Village.
This is the main attraction at this place.
It is an okay ride, but nothing special, unless you do not have a lot of experience with coasters.
Santa doesn't need a sleigh. He has a Troika oika oika.
This is one of the first attractions you come to upon entering the park.
This would be my last coaster of the trip.
My first coaster on this trip was a wacky worm and so is my last coaster. This will finish the TR.
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