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Re: 2019 Adventures Photo TR

Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:25 pm

really fun trip report. . and yep, I too now am hearing Vanjie in my head re: Apple Zapple!

Re: 2019 Adventures Photo TR

Thu Jun 13, 2019 9:41 am

i305 is one of the few coasters I see and it hurts me not to be there riding it right now. I love that ride so much. Glad to hear TT was running at captain insano levels. TT and Skyrush have such extreme airtime I think there's a little bit of tolerance needed to truly appreciate them. The more I rode, the more I loved! Great report!!

Re: 2019 Adventures Photo TR

Thu Jun 13, 2019 11:10 am

Wow, thanks for all the comments and the front page love! You guys are awesome!

About two weekends after the BGW/KD trip, I continued making good use out of my 2019 Cedar Fair pass renewal, with a quick day trip to:


Literally, day trip. My friend and I scored crazy-cheap AM flights from MCO to CLT, and also-crazy-cheap return flights that same night. The timing was even perfect; we'd land early enough to get to the park just after opening, and we'd have about 6-7 hours in the park before we had to head back out. We were a little nervous, as about two days before the trip, The Weather Channel started calling for rain/thunderstorms all day, and the night before, it was sitting at an 80% chance for the entire afternoon/evening.

We did end up losing about 3ish hours of park time due to a massive storm system that rolled through. It ended up being a net positive, though, as the longer the storms went on, the more the park bled guests. By the time it ended, we still had about 2 hours of ride time with virtually zero waits. The park also did a fantastic job of getting every single ride and coaster back up and running very quickly after the storms passed.

Carowinds as a park is quickly cementing their status as one of the top in the Cedar Fair chain. I'm sure this has all been said before (even by me in last year's report), but it went from being a somewhat forgettable park for me just 10 years ago to a park I very much enjoy visiting. It's more than the addition of Fury- the park has greatly improved almost every area. Re-themes have added atmosphere, the entire park looks fresh and new, the new entrance looks just like Cedar Point's, and operations and customer service are consistently strong.

Copperhead Strike is a brilliant addition. It's not crazy intense or anything, but it's fun and weird, has hangtime all over the place, an airtime hill in the middle of a launch, and would make a perfect "first coaster with inversions". We rode it a bunch of times.

I would consider this to be more of a mini-trip, since in total we only had about 4 hours of time to do rides and attractions, so it was mostly marathoning the things we love.
Welcome to Carowinds! Don't mind the ominous clouds, everything's open for now!
Fury running with riders was a good sign, but we wanted to hurry up just in case this didn't last long
But before we could go ride Fury, we had to go get bit by a snake in the back of the park. Look ma, a vertical loop!

As I said above, while it's not super intense, Copperhead Strike is just plain *fun*. They did a nice job theming and landscaping, the launch shed is a cool spot, and the ride goes upside down quite a few times. It's also WAY longer than it looks
A shot of the station area before we had to give up our stuff and a couple of our dollars to Cedar Fair, as this coaster requires a you-know-what if you have a bag or loose articles on you. Nothing goes into the station.

One thing I really wish Carowinds and other Cedar Fair parks would do- offer a "Rent a Multi-Use L*cker" like Six Flags and other parks do. I'd much rather pay $6-8 all at once and re-locate than have to get a fraud alert from Wells Fargo because I got 5 separate $2 charges from the park.
With threatening weather quickly approaching, we hurried over and got about 5-6 rides in a row on Fury. On one of the last rides before it went down for weather, we could actually see a few flashes of lightning in the distance. This was kind of freaky, as when you're on top of Fury and look around you, it's the tallest structure for miles. The only thing in the distance that's as tall or comes close is the air traffic control tower at CLT airport, which is visible from the lift.
I think I took this photo out of order, but I never realized that this turn on Fury is kind of like an elongated hammerhead turn-around.

Oh, I should probably talk about the ride. Fury is pretty darn awesome. It's not i305, but there are actually moments, particularly the HUGE drop, this turnaround, the low-ground turn, and treble clef, where this B&M is...dare I say...scary?

Riding in the outer left seat in the back row is particularly out-of-control feeling, as you really get flung to the side in the turns.

I'm a big Intamin fan, so naturally I also love Millennium Force. Fury is probably a better coaster than Millennium Force, but I like Millennium Force more, if that makes any sense at all.
Mama Ru decided we'd been lucky enough, so she abruptly ended our riding streak with some flashes of lightning. Or maybe it was Mother Nature? Maybe both?

As it started to sprinkle, we just barely made it under the awning of the restaurant at the end of the main entrance plaza, and it poured. like. hell.
Fast forward a few hours and we lost the rain and about 10-15 degrees in temperature, but gained some sunlight.

We headed back to Afterburn immediately. I don't know if this is me lamenting what's now nearly 2 years since Universal cruelly ripped Dueling Dragons from our hearts like a lover abruptly packing their bags and telling you it's over without explanation, but Afterburn has skyrocketed up my list of B&M Inverts the past few years. It seems to be more intense every time I ride it, and honestly, I think I like it more than Montu. We got several rides on the back row and the forces were just spectacular. Extreme positive Gs, crazy quick snaps in the batwing and flat spin.
We then proceeded to get about 8-10 rides on Copperhead Strike with zero line, which normally is just about impossible on a brand-new ride on a weekend. We rode in almost every row, having a blast as we did so. Once you let the snake bite you, it's hard to get it to stop.
This corkscrewy bullsh*t is still here, I guess. It makes for a good midway ornament and photo op.
How far down the RMC waiting list is this thing?

I just want to say that if and when Carowinds chose to RMC Hurler, they'd deserve a standing ovation. Still, it would be cool to see them do a unique layout and not just clone Twisted Timbers, but also they can totally clone Twisted Timbers and I'd be happy.
After a few more marathon rides on Fury, it was time to dip. Carowinds- where the Carolinas are next to each other!
One last look at Fury and it's awesome "treble clef" element. I hope the Kings Island giga coaster has one of these
Oops...when we got back to the car, we realized we'd completely forgotten to ride InTRIMidator on this trip. Oh well.

Thanks for reading!

Re: 2019 Adventures Photo TR

Thu Jun 13, 2019 12:55 pm

Afterburn :lover: Carowinds is a GREAT park for that one day trip. It's so convenient to the airport and typically the crowds are small enough so you can ride whatever you want as many time as you want. Glad you were able to crush a bunch of rides even with the rain delay.

Re: 2019 Adventures Photo TR

Fri Jun 14, 2019 11:05 am

Great report! I just had a visit at Kings Island where I rode some coasters with lightning in the distance and it's definitely a bit freaky.

I'm envious of all the rerides you got on Copperhead Strike. It's a really great coaster, but the line was rough on the day I went (FastLane was 45 min).

Re: 2019 Adventures Photo TR

Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:50 pm

Moving right along, I'm really keeping up the pace with my trip reports this year!

After a lot of crazy One Magical Weekend activities at Disney and their host hotel for the first weekend in June, in which they host LGBT-friendly events in and around Walt Disney World that attract thousands, all the partying and day drinking got me in the mood for a little solo trip.

Like many others on here, I'm pretty frugal and try to "cheapskate" my way into doing a large quantity of short trips, instead of spending a thousand bucks each on fewer, longer trips. One of the ways to achieve this is by flying the budget airlines. It's nice flying with an Even-More-Space seat on JetBlue showered in unlimited snacks, but the plane ultimately gets you to the same place as Frontier, where you're basically told to "sit down and shut the hell up" by overworked flight attendants who will slap the sh*t out of you if your bag doesn't fit under the seat. So I booked a trip from Orlando to Philadelphia on a whim for about $75 RT, giving me a day and a half for parks. It's only a two-hour flight, how bad can it be?

Well, sometimes flying a cheapskate airline such as Frontier or Spirit really teaches you a lesson in the dice you're rolling on them. On the day of my trip, I woke up at 5am due to my phone getting a message saying that my flight had been canceled. Grudgingly, knowing I better take action immediately, I shook myself awake and waited on hold for 45 minutes until I got a Frontier agent on the phone. Turns out, they canceled both their 10:40am and 1:00pm flights from MCO to PHL, and the agent told me "nothing else is available today" and that they could book me the following morning for 6am. Luckily, I had already checked online to find that they were taking advantage of people who really needed to get home by jacking up the one-way cost of their 5:55pm flight to $399 one-way. I promptly told the agent that seats on this flight were still available for purchase, and they "checked" and miraculously found that I was right. Funny how that works!

Fast forward several hours and checking MCO's flight status, I found that the flight had been delayed to 7:30pm, even though f*cking Frontier never sent out any kind of alert. Then, a little bit later, I checked and it was un-delayed. Then again, about 45 minutes after that, I finally got a text from Frontier saying it was delayed to 7:45pm. Checking over and over again, I decided to finally just get there to be on time for the 7:45pm flight time.

Well...I get to the gate, and the flight is now delayed until 9:15pm. But I was able to witness a very amusing moment of citizen justice. It turns out, the further delay was due to Frontier deciding that the aircraft that was already parked at the gate was now going to Indianapolis instead of Philadelphia. A bunch of extremely-pissed Philadelphians who had been apparently there since 9am that morning stormed the ticket counter, screaming at the gate agent, and then blocked the gate and door area from being able to be used for the other flight, resulting in police and airport security being called. Eventually, some higher manager for Frontier at the airport came, called corporate, and the aircraft was re-assigned to Philadelphia once again. Only one problem...now there was no crew members to work it, as they'd already been re-allocated elsewhere. Finally, around 9:30pm, a crew that had landed from elsewhere got our plane ready, and we were finally on our way. What a mess.

Well, moving on, my plans got totally messed up but I was still determined to make two parks happen. So after finally making it to Philadelphia, I got up early the next morning in order to arrive close to opening time at:

Dorney Park

This would be my first visit to Dorney in a number of years, since about 2014 or so. I know a lot of people feel it's mediocre because it kind of is, but it's a cute little park that you can visit with zero wait times for a handful of halfway-decent coasters. Despite being Cedar Fair corporatized, it does have a decent and cute setting, sandwiched between two hillsides with a river running through the center.

In continuing Cedar Fair consistency of the last two years or so, the park was impeccably clean, operations were pretty consistent, and the park looked freshly painted and landscaped everywhere. It would be nice to see this park receive a thing or two, like maybe a medium-sized GCI woodie as has been the rumor for ages now, but I just don't see too much happening any time soon. It's a business, and Cedar Fair clearly doesn't see a bigger investment generating that much in the way of a return.

Anyway, here's a bunch of photos I took as I leisurely made my way through this laid-back park.
The view of the park from the stop light on Hamilton Blvd. This park can also be seen from I-78.
Steel Force going up the lift as I got out of the car
The star attraction of this park is arguably Talon, their above-average B&M Invert. It's right in your face as soon as you walk in. The best part of the ride is the ending. A quick, snappy corkscrew followed by some low-ground turns. For me, the greatest B&M Inverts are made not by their giant inversions, but by being able to ride in the back row and have no idea where the train is going, with fast turns and snappy, surprise inversions. If Talon did just a little more of this, it would be a higher-tier coaster for me. I do really love this ride, though!
Hold. The. Phone.

Is there a line...at Dorney? Holy crap, I've never, ever seen this before and I've been to this park like 4 or 5 times. Turns out, this was just the opening rush with a bunch of schools visiting the park that day. An hour later, there'd be no wait at all.
Like I said above, I really love and enjoy Talon, I always look forward to this coaster every few years. It has some uniqueness to it and I love the little trenches at the bottom of the first few inversions. The paint still pops and looks on point, and this coaster opened in 2001!
I also really love Hydra. It has a unique hillside setting and it uses the terrain really well. It's not the most forceful, but the unique layout makes this one of my favorite of the B&M floorless coasters.
Dorney owns in the paint scheme department. It's not every day you see a B&M that has a corkscrew inversion before the cobra roll
Hydra also has a crowd-pleasing pass right past the station with this turn and then an airtime hill
An artsy shot next to Hydra's cobra roll. A fun and unique cobra roll, you're *almost* not upside down on either side. Both inversions in the roll kind of blur the line between over-bank turn and upside down.
Also featured is the famous "Jojo roll" not used again until just this year on Copperhead strike. The slow roll is super disorienting and weird. You don't want anything in your pockets here!
Dorney Park also keeps it classic, featuring older flats such as Tilt-A-Whirl and Music Express. Notice how, despite these being older rides, Dorney keeps them looking 100% new.

Question for the Dorney Park aficionados- thinking of it now, I don't remember seeing the Whip when I was there. Was this ride removed or did I just miss it?
This S&S triple-tower complex actually isn't! Notice the lack of electronics in the third "hollow" tower in the back. I've seen S&S do two-tower complexes like at Universal and Great Escape, and Great Escape's is even joined at the top with just two. These two towers also don't seem to run Combo mode- the left tower is space shot-only, the right is a turbo drop.
A little bit of Dorney Park herstory
Steel Force doing it's thing. This coaster makes up the entire length of the park, but they have a lot in this small-ish park
It's nice to see Cedar Point's old first-gen Intamin freefall enjoying it's retirement in the Lehigh Valley. These rides are still genuinely terrifying. If you haven't been on one, don't discount the amount of a$$-clenching terror they manage to give as you bump-bump loudly into the drop position. Then, when the drop gives way, it's real, honest freefall.
A little more herstory, this time about an old dance hall that burned down
I guess they keep the Haunt buildings up year-round now, but I'm sure this just makes financial sense.

The last time I did CornStalkers at Dorney (about 10+ years ago), it was in the water park entry path behind Talon, and my friends and I got genuinely terrified several times
"Possessed", the coaster awkwardly named an adjective. I wonder why this got changed from it's original name, Voodoo. Maybe something to do with all the religious people in PA?
Hey, Six Flags New England, our lawn is always working, unlike your big Boomerang!

Sometimes you have to know when to quit while you're ahead, and Dorney/Cedar Fair did just that. I feel like this is an unpopular opinion, but I've never found Invertigos to be smooth at all, they smash my head over and over.
Some pretty landscaping next to the rough old wood coaster and stream that runs through the center of the park
Steel Force is a great way to get some nice views of the park and surrounding area, between it's 25-minute lift hill and big mine train ride style. I find these Morgan hypers to be dull, but nothing bad about them.
The Dinosaurs walk-through attraction has become simply a nice nature path. Oh well.

This area and the adjacent former Stinger site could make a great spot for a future new coaster/land/attraction, but let's be honest, this is Dorney.

I remember reading all the way back when Prowler opened that "maybe they'll use this space for a GCI woodie"

It's good to have hopes and dreams.
Let's end with some nice shots of Talon, shall we?
Prepare to be gripped by fear! Hopefully not grabbed by the p*ssy.
This is more like it! I got 6 rides in a row before I left
Coming out of the big vertical loop
Thanks for reading! This entire visit was actually only about 3 hours, but it was more than enough time.

For risk of sounding like a broken record, the thing I keep saying about Cedar Fair parks also held true here. The park looks outstanding, better than ever. Everything was extremely clean, freshly painted, and landscaped. The little details really show in a small park like this, the place really shined. Thanks Dorney Park for a great visit, I'll be looking forward to a return trip!

Re: 2019 Adventures Photo TR

Thu Jun 20, 2019 4:01 am

Nice report. I like Dorney for basically all of the same reasons you do. Its certainly a very nice, clean park. Enthusiasts seem to trash the place I guess because no new coasters = sh*tty park or something, but I appreciate the place for what it is. It's just an hour away and I haven't been since 2015/6? and as a KD passholder for the first time this year I feel like I should get over to Allentown at least once before seasons end. Thanks for sharing.

Re: 2019 Adventures Photo TR

Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:51 am

Great report. Thank you for reaffirming my decision to avoid Frontier unless they offer a deal so good I'd be stupid to turn it down. That sounds like my experience with Spirit when they kept delaying and undelaying my flight.

I never realized that hill on Hydra was a pseudo station fly by. I've never had to wait in the station long enough to notice. :lol:

Re: 2019 Adventures Photo TR

Thu Jun 20, 2019 6:58 am

We've been lucky so far with Frontier but we know that we're playing with fire.

As for Dorney, it's so funny to me that pretty much every one of these pictures could have literally been taken in 2008.

Re: 2019 Adventures Photo TR

Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:48 am

Nice report! I thought Dorney was great. I wouldn't be mad if it was my home park. Though I wouldn't trade it for my current one. :lol:
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