Discuss theme parks, roller coasters, and mules!
Fri Feb 15, 2019 7:16 am
Canobie Coaster wrote:Excellent report! I agree Washuzan was one of the weaker parks on the trip but the Brazilian show was quite interesting...especially since I was solicited into performing.
That whole experience was just perfectly strange in the best way.
Once again, great TR! Really love reliving the trip through your eyes...wait did that sound creepy?!?!
Naw! I'm glad you''re enjoying my long-winded approach to writing these. I am a detail guy and this is partly for me to remember the trip for when I return.
Ah, so THAT'S the park with the pedal-powered tracked ride that's always in clickbait videos and articles
great trip report though, fun read as always.
Yeah, I remember Robb discussing how viral the ride went. And that there were people traveling there to experience it... I would say for the average person, it would not be worth going there for it. Going with a large group like TPR, the whole experience was bumped up a notch. Plus, we are crazy.
I love love LOVEd your cocktail experience! (edit, ADVENTURE!) What an awesome place to find!
<sigh> I miss Japan so much.
Yeah, it was truly amazing. I love finding places like that. I went to a Speakeasy in Brooklyn that was hidden in the back of a normal functioning laundromat. This place, though, had the mystique and also delivered the goods.
Sat Feb 16, 2019 10:21 pm
Thanks for the shout-out, Taylor. It was truly an incredible trip! I'm usually the compulsive planner, when it comes time to travel. It was so great not having to worry about all that on this trip. Robb and Elissa had all of the parks, travel, and accommodations planned out perfectly, and even had contingency plans for when mother nature disagreed with the originals. In the evenings, it was awesome being able to tack onto your plans. The food and bar choices were top notch!
P.S. It appears that the back of my head has been very well-documented.
Sun Feb 17, 2019 10:30 am
^That's what I so love about the way we've been doing Japan trips lately! Everyone goes to parks together and doesn't have to worry about anything. Then there's free time to explore and do other stuff and share what you've found with friends! Ugh, I love Japan!!!
Tue Feb 26, 2019 5:33 pm
Late to the party but just read the whole thread... thanks for sharing your experience and insight! I have always wanted to go to Japan so I always love reading these reports and seeing all the great photos.
Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:42 pm
Day 9: Hirakata Park, and Kyoto
So today was our do over day at Universal. By now, we were hopeful that the coasters would be open again after the Earthquake. We had been given 9000 yen and had the option to put that toward a new ticket. I figured I was there and it wasn't really any more money than I had already paid, so I went into the park that morning. I was looking for pictures and didn't take any from the park. I realize now that was because my one contact bugged out on me and so I was walking around with incredibly blurred vision. However, the coasters DID open up for us. So I got a couple spins each on Flying Dinosaur, Hollywood Dream, and Backdraft. I dunno if I hit anything else that morning. But I feel like I didn't, because my eyes were so irritated. Either way, it was really great to get a second shot at the park. A smaller trip like this with folks who are very flexible means plans can change much easier.
So I left the park around noon maybe and went back to the hotel, switched contacts, and we were on our way to Hirakata (which we had originally planned to be at around 10 at park open). Instead, we got there around 1, 1:30 and had three hours there. As you'll see in my pictures (look for people that aren't clearly from our group, you'll see very few), that was enough time to do most ALL of what they had to offer, which was a lot. I would really say if you are traveling to Japan and want to seamlessly blend amusement parks and culture, Hirakata makes a lot of sense, as it falls kind of en route to Kyoto from Osaka and is right outside the train station.
This park has so much to offer. Has a good number of credits for a Japanese park if that's what you're into. But they are quality. Elf was a fun little Junior Woodie (also, the only wooden coaster of the trip for me). Red Falcon was definitely my favorite jet coaster for sheer WTF factor. It was just a mess of track in the worst way. And then there was Fantastic Coaster Rowdy which was absolutely unpleasant, but again, a blast in its own way. A really nice assortment of flats, dark rides, and an overall super clean and great place.
This experience deserves some explanation. Basically, we approached the entrance and the lady gestured that it would be a couple minutes. It seemed like quite a bit of time, so I assumed it wasn't just like a normal walk through attraction where they were trying to just space you out. I was correct there, but I never could've known what was in store. Basically, she escorted us into a room that had sarcophagi lining the walls. They were all open and she instructed us to sit inside them on a chair and gave us a pair of headphones. The door was then shut and our hands were placed through some openings so that they were on the outside of the sarcophagus. It was dark inside the space, except for a small TV screen that began to play some weird creepy clips and sounds. At one point, something kind of slapped my hands but it was so cheesy I didn't really flinch. None of it really 'scared' me, but it was just bizarre in the best way. When we were done, the employee came out after a minute with print outs for each of us. I can't really say for sure what was said on the print out, except that it seemed to be some kind of measure of how frightened you were during the whole ordeal. Just great stuff.
Okay, so the last thing we decided to do on our way out of the park was find out what was in this mysterious mountain. To our surprise, it was a bit of a scavenger hunt. We kind of kept walking around the initial room clueless after being given a map of sorts. Eventually, someone came over and was super enthusiastic about helping us along. I can't really recall all the details, but I can remember at one point like doing things like "find the odd one out" and other things like that. You would sort of punch out the answers to the various questions throughout the hunt and then at the end you would insert the map back into a machine which would check to see that the right answers had been punched out. Think we got a little trading card at the end. But the best part was the boss battle. It was some kind of lava monster thing. And there was a room we entered with a little mini volcano type thing in the middle and four touch screens at each corner. The object was simple for this boss battle. Well, not really. We had to do two things.
1. Frantically destroy these lava things on the screen by tapping them quickly.
2. Throw these blue 'ball pit' balls into the center of the volcano. They would dispense into a little pond of sorts in each corner and as you would throw them into the center, the lava would also subside on the screen. You were fighting with water, I guess. I remember getting SO into it and I think we maybe won? After, I felt bad because there were a bunch of the balls all over the ground. We started to help clean up, but they insisted we leave and let them take care of it.
Sorry that none of this really amounts to much for readers who didn't visit this park. Just thought I ought to at least try to explain for my own recollection later on.
Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:21 pm
That Legend of Luxor sarcophagus ride was so messed up in the best way possible. I thought the employee was kidding when she told us to enter the sarcophagus and I honestly thought the 1980s quality graphics made it creepier.
I think the printout was a measure of how pure your heart is as it's based upon the story whether or not your heart is heavier or lighter than a feather.
Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:05 am
Day 10: Nagashima Spa Land
Welcome back! So, today we headed out from Osaka to Nagoya. Nagoya actually falls between Tokyo and Osaka on the map. We had a couple great parks planned for this region and I was looking forward especially to Nagashima Spa Land since I joined the trip. Steel Dragon is certainly one of the coasters that I knew of long before I became an 'enthusiast,' along with The Beast, Volcano, and probably some others. Also, I was desperately hoping I would finally get my Ultra Twister fix. Read on to find out!
Tue Mar 05, 2019 8:25 am
Just getting caught up...
The log flume was closed at Hirakata because it actually had damage from the earthquake a few days prior! Props to the rest of the park for getting everything open and running when Hirakata was VERY close to the epicenter of the strong quake.
Nagashima is a ridiculous Japanese version of CP and getting the RMC just makes it even funnier!
The vending machine prices annoy me so much!!! How is it just fine and it works awesome in Japan, but in the US Six Flags and Cedar Fair will charge me $5 for a medium soda with mostly ice!?!
Tue Mar 05, 2019 9:42 am
Great report! The Steel Dragon ERT session was my favorite of the trip because of the operations you mentioned and because it was a great ride.
I really liked the aerial shots from the wheel.
Tue Mar 05, 2019 1:33 pm
Taylor Finn wrote: I actually just signed up for Bokksu, which is a subscription box filled with Japanese snacks. Gonna give it a shot. Need a little fix.
Let us know how that is. I hadn't heard of that box before but I just signed up for six months of Tokyo Treat's premium boxes which include a drink as well as snacks and candy. I compared the past Tokyo Treat and Japan Crate boxes that were sent out and Tokyo Treat looked like it had the better drink choices overall and Japan Crate looked like it was sending out a lot of snacks that I could get at Asian grocery stores in the LA or Bay Area so I went with Tokyo Treat.
Taylor Finn wrote:I will leave you with a great anecdote about how the only time I truly got sick in Japan from food was from American style BBQ.
I didn't miss American food at all when I was in Japan and stuck mostly to Japanese and other Asian cuisines or whatever foods Japanese in general were good at (they do French pastries really well). If I went to an American fast food chain like McDs or KFC (which I did a few times) I only got the menu items I couldn't get at their US locations. With yakitori and the various forms of Japanese BBQ I have no desire to try American style BBQ in Japan but it looks like you learned your lesson. Great report by the way.
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