Photo TR: NC to NYC Park Extravaganza

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Re: Photo TR: NC to NYC Park Extravaganza

Postby SFOG1991 » Tue Aug 23, 2016 12:41 pm

Glad you enjoyed Six Flags Over Georgia. Other than the operations (rides, events, food service, etc.) I am so glad it is my home park as I find the coaster line up to be overall of higher quality and intensity than most parks I travel to visit.

I've been on every B&M in the US, and I completely agree, Goliath is by far the best B&M hyper. The airtime is strong and it even ejects you on the last set of bunny hills. Plus, the helix is very intense and gains intensity instead of fading in intensity as you reach the end of it. I mostly agreed 100% with your reviews except that I love GASM and don't find it rough in non-wheel seats. I do agree it has some jackhammering in the valleys at times. That can be fixed and hopefully will be because when it is smooth the airtime is even more noticeable and it is a great classic.

Did you ride Thunder River? I find it to be one of the best rapids rides and definitely the most realistic. In some areas you can't even tell it's a rapids ride, it just looks like a natural river. The rapids at the end are the best I've ever seen on a rapids ride and the approach is great.

Anyways, glad you enjoyed the park and I agree Superman is a complete mess at the moment (It was built with a dual station and three train ops so it is very frustrating) and Dare Devil Dive is a lot of fun but VR has ruined it. Anyone who complains about VR at other Six Flags parks have no idea how bad it really could be. Your capacity calculation is absolutely correct, and usually half those people are flash pass. If the line is at the bottom of the ramp into the station, expect a two hour wait.

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Re: Photo TR: NC to NYC Park Extravaganza

Postby Canobie Coaster » Tue Aug 23, 2016 1:18 pm

SFOG1991 wrote:Glad you enjoyed Six Flags Over Georgia. Other than the operations (rides, events, food service, etc.) I am so glad it is my home park as I find the coaster line up to be overall of higher quality and intensity than most parks I travel to visit.

I've been on every B&M in the US, and I completely agree, Goliath is by far the best B&M hyper. The airtime is strong and it even ejects you on the last set of bunny hills. Plus, the helix is very intense and gains intensity instead of fading in intensity as you reach the end of it. I mostly agreed 100% with your reviews except that I love GASM and don't find it rough in non-wheel seats. I do agree it has some jackhammering in the valleys at times. That can be fixed and hopefully will be because when it is smooth the airtime is even more noticeable and it is a great classic.

Did you ride Thunder River? I find it to be one of the best rapids rides and definitely the most realistic. In some areas you can't even tell it's a rapids ride, it just looks like a natural river. The rapids at the end are the best I've ever seen on a rapids ride and the approach is great.

Anyways, glad you enjoyed the park and I agree Superman is a complete mess at the moment (It was built with a dual station and three train ops so it is very frustrating) and Dare Devil Dive is a lot of fun but VR has ruined it. Anyone who complains about VR at other Six Flags parks have no idea how bad it really could be. Your capacity calculation is absolutely correct, and usually half those people are flash pass. If the line is at the bottom of the ramp into the station, expect a two hour wait.


I rode GASM in the second row and second from the back. Both seats were bumpy for me.

I wanted to ride Thunder River, but the line was incredibly long since it was 95 degrees out. I had to wait 2 minutes just to get one raft to come by to take the photo in my TR, so I didn't want to try waiting. I used Splashwater Falls to cool off instead.

Dare Devil Dive has the worst capacity, but at least the park didn't neuter the capacity of a coaster that once was considered the top steel coaster on the planet (cough: SFNE cough).
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Re: Photo TR: NC to NYC Park Extravaganza

Postby SFOG1991 » Tue Aug 23, 2016 1:41 pm

^I do completely agree with that. I can get over VR on DDD because while I enjoy the ride, I can deal with not riding it as much. If VR was on Goliath, Mind Bender, or really any other coaster in the park I would be disappointed. They just need to make VR a reservation only system that only runs part of the day.

It's too bad you didn't get to do Thunder River as it is a stand out in the park in my opinion (very immersive) but I understand your decision. The line does reach two hours if it is backed up to the entrance. It is a long walk through the bamboo forest to get to the station lol.

Those are the best seats on GASM so I guess it was just running even worse than usual. It really is a great woodie so hopefully they will just catch up on maintaining it. When it is running smooth the entire experience is beautiful.

I'm glad operations were overall good for you because that is the weakest part of the SFOG experience. Their weather policy is all over the place. I've had an unpleasant chat with the director of ride operations about that one. Basically he couldn't give a clear policy and nothing he said made any sense.

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Re: Photo TR: NC to NYC Park Extravaganza

Postby prozach626 » Tue Aug 23, 2016 5:24 pm

Canobie Coaster wrote: I personally would rather have a park filled with things I want to constantly reride since it adds more variety to the day and encourages me to return sooner.


Yeah, no doubt that's how normal people think. I'm just kind of an odd duck. My perfect park would be Fury 325 wrapped around Le Scoot, with a beer man and a sh*tter. That's pretty much it. Toss in Banshee to break up the monotony and I'd have to carry around a massive notebook to cover up my excitement.

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Re: Photo TR: NC to NYC Park Extravaganza

Postby Canobie Coaster » Tue Aug 23, 2016 7:33 pm

Pigeon Forge

A short update for tonight. After meeting up with Robb & Elissa, we had the first bus ride of the tour to Pigeon Forge. Having never been to Pigeon Forge, I was amazed how many tourist trap attractions and shops there were. It was like Lake George, Fisherman's Wharf, and Clifton Hill (Niagara) had a love child. It was amazing! I saw the Jurassic Jungle Cruise in all of its glory, dozens of go kart tracks, arcades, and much more. Once we dropped our bags off at the hotel, we went out to ride Pigeon Forge's two mountain coasters.

The first one we hit was at Goats on the Roof. I have no clue how someone thought of the concept for Goats on the Roof, but it was so weird that it was awesome. As the name suggests, the attraction consists of a building with goats on the roof. Then they have this awkward inclined bicycle that you can peddle to send a tin can with food up onto the roof to feed the goats. Oh yeah, they also have a mountain coaster. The Goat Coaster was my second mountain coaster; my first was the one at Jiminy Peak a few years back. I liked how open several of the turns were since you really got a sense of how high up you were. The speed was pretty good, but the ride didn't have any of the little dips that Jiminy's coaster had. The ride made up for it with an adorable goat cutout though!

The second one was the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster. In my opinion, this one was a far superior ride. The ride begins with 5 minutes of lift hill porn through a dense forest. One the descent began, I found SMAC hit its top speed almost right away and really hauled down the mountain. There were several small dips along the way and two tight, downward helices.
Wonderworks.JPG
It's the 8th wonder of the world...a truck!
Shark Store.JPG
I want a live shark!
Try my Nuts.JPG
Oooh nuts.
Christmas Store.JPG
South = Jesus land so this store makes sense.
Biblical Times Dinner Theater.JPG
I'm speechless.
Goats on the Roof.JPG
Yes this is really a thing, Goats on the Roof. And it's awesome.
Goats on the Roof Coaster.JPG
The coaster travels quite a bit up the mountain and has a nice layout.
Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster.JPG
The other alpine coaster down the road (Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster) was the better of the two. This one had a better setting, was a longer ride, and maintained its speed better through the course.
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Re: Photo TR: NC to NYC Park Extravaganza

Postby coasterbill » Wed Aug 24, 2016 6:56 am

I love tourist traps way more than anyone should so this report is right up my alley. Great stuff!

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Re: Photo TR: NC to NYC Park Extravaganza

Postby Trogdor: The Burninator!! » Wed Aug 24, 2016 10:54 am

Nighthawk- The first Vekoma flyer is bumpier than the other one I had been on (Batwing), but seemed a little faster. The vertical loop and barrel rolls were very intense, but the transitions from lying to flying were pretty bumpy. I prefer the layouts of the Vekoma flyers to the B&M counterparts, but the B&M flyers are better rides because of the restraints and smoothness. 8 out of 10

This.
Glad to know I'm not the only one who thought the same thing. That and while you wait to come back into the station is much more comfortable on lying on your back than on your stomach!

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Re: Photo TR: NC to NYC Park Extravaganza

Postby Canobie Coaster » Sun Aug 28, 2016 8:13 pm

Dollywood

Dollywood was the most anticipated park on the trip for me. Enthusiasts raved about the park's food, theming, and ride selection for years. The park was always on my bucket list, but the addition of Lightning Rod pushed it over the edge and forced me to finally visit. My visit was in late July and unfortunately as many of you know, Lightning Rod was listed in "technical rehearsal" but it was really down. That was a major bummer since the ride looked amazing and has received rave reviews, but I didn't let that ruin my day. Dollywood is one of the nicest parks in the country!

The theming and food were as good as advertised. Due to my dislike of sweets, I was able to resist the cinnamon bread. I did indulge in the meats though. I really liked the cheesesteak that I ordered and liked the all-you-can-eat buffet even more. Walking around the park was a real treat since every area, except possibly the County Fair area, was incredibly well themed.

Coasters are the highlight of any park, but Dollywood had some standout non-coasters too. Smoky Mountain River Rampage was one of the best river rapids rides I've been on. The rapids absolutely soaked everyone in the boat and ruined my shoes for the rest of the day. The Mountainside Slidewinder was a very weird water slide that really drifted up the turns. The screamin' swing (Barnstormer) was also better than average thanks to the nice theming around the ride. As for the coasters:

Tennessee Tornado- This was my favorite ride at Dollywood. You'd think a mega Arrow looper would be rough, but this one was glass smooth. The ride's setting is amazing and keeps the layout fairly well hidden before riding. The first drop is one of the best on any coaster and it's followed by 3 large and forceful loops. The only drawback is the ride's short length. 9 out of 10

Mystery Mine- The theming was on par with a Disney coaster and really immersive. Thanks to having Untamed at my home park, I was able to avoid headbanging during the transitions by leaning forwards. The first half was pretty slow, but the quirky layout was pretty enjoyable. No doubt the second half is the ride's highlight. The climactic plunge is well-timed and intense. It's followed by a dive loop with plenty of hang time. 9 out of 10

Wild Eagle- Like all of Dollywood's coasters, Wild Eagle had a great setting. This one towers over the park thanks to its location atop a hill. The first drop is outstanding and the ride's inversions were graceful and well paced. Unfortunately this wing coaster had some bumpiness during the ride and the restraints got quite tight while waiting on the brake run. Wild Eagle was still a very good ride, but these two things dragged it down a bit. 8 out of 10

Firechaser Express- This is the perfect family coaster. The ride's layout is very unique. Both launches aren't overly intense, but they are fast enough to generate the speed needed to give some pops of air. The whole ride is perfectly smooth and it's a pretty long ride. 8 out of 10

Thunderhead- I really wanted to like this wooden coaster more, but I couldn't look past the bumpiness. The layout was fantastic and my ride in the front had several good moments of air, but again it wasn't the most comfortable coaster around. I really hope Dollywood can retrack this ride and restore it to its former glory. 7 out of 10

Blazing Fury- More dark ride than coaster, Blazing Fury does have a coaster section as the finale. The ride's scenes have plenty going on, but a few are pretty dark to see. The coaster section at the end was better than expected. The drops had some punch and when I rode in the front, I even got a pop of air. There was no splashdown though. Did this ride used to have a splashdown effect? 7 out of 10

Slideshow Spin- Yes I rode it. As far as kiddie coasters go, this one was pretty uncomfortable. One ride was enough. 2 out of 10
Palace Theater.JPG
Dollywood broke the mold of the cheap-feeling tourist traps in Pigeon Forge. It's one of the best looking parks anywhere!
Cheesesteak Skillet.JPG
Mmmm cheesesteak.
Grist Mill.JPG
Dollywood has a cult of cinnamon bread worshipers.
Cinnamon Bread.JPG
I resisted joining the cult and didn't even have a bite. Blasphemy I know, but I hate sweets.
Lightning Rod.JPG
They have coasters too.
Tennessee Tornado Lift.JPG
Some operating coasters.
Tennessee Tornado Turn.JPG
Tennessee Tornado was fantastic. Very forceful and smoother than some B&Ms!
Thunderhead.JPG
Only photo I got of Thunderhead. The ride has a great setting and a cool layout, but it was pretty bumpy.
Wild Eagle Drop.JPG
Wild Eagle's location is even better than Thunderhead's.
Wild Eagle Immelman (Close).JPG
Wild Eagle was really fun. I liked the first drop and the elements, but I wish the restraints weren't quite as tight (especially on the brake run) and the ride wasn't quite as bumpy.
Wild Eagle Sign (Night).JPG
The logo is pretty sweet though, especially at night.
Firechaser Express Drop.JPG
I would have thought fireworks being sold at gas station was a contrived plot device. Nope. That's actually a thing in Tennessee. Firechaser Express is the perfect family coaster.
Mystery Mine.JPG
What's in the mine?
Mystery Mine Dive Loop 3.JPG
A very well themed euro fighter. The drop on this one is breathtaking.
Smoky Mountain River Rampage.JPG
Dollywood also has water rides. This one destroyed my sneakers.
Mountainside Slidwinder.JPG
The Slidewinder was so weird, but awesome. We really flew up some of those turns.
Barnstormer.JPG
I love screamin' swings.
Lightning Rod Lift.JPG
Yes it was closed. I missed it by a week. The ride sure looks pretty.
Lightning Rod Final Turn.JPG
Someday I will be back to ride this.
Lightning Rod Plinko.JPG
At least I could play Lightning Rod plinko...
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Re: Photo TR: NC to NYC Park Extravaganza

Postby Canobie Coaster » Mon Aug 29, 2016 8:06 pm

Gatlinburg

A short update today and this one will be very much like the Pigeon Forge one. Gatlinburg is another tourist area about 15 minutes from Pigeon Forge. There are many parallels between the two places and some big differences. Like Pigeon Forge, there were plenty of stores, eateries, and attractions. The biggest difference for me (a positive) was that Gatlinburg was very walkable. Most of the attractions were on a 1-2 mile stretch on the main street. Pigeon Forge meanwhile was more of a highway with longer distances between attractions. Some of the things we did:

Moonshine- Yes moonshine is available down in Tennessee. I'm not a drinker, but I enjoyed hearing the moonshine stories at the Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine. I highly recommend Aaron! He was incredibly into it and had plenty of moonshine to offer.

Earthquake the Ride- I missed out on the Jurassic Jungle Boat Ride, but this more than made up for it. If you are unfamiliar with Earthquake, read the reviews on Yelp. They describe the attraction perfectly. The whole ride is nonsensical and includes bears, snakes, rats, and apathetic employees texting. This is truly a can't miss attraction.

Smoky Mountain Brewery- This was a really good bar. I had a burger and it was very satisfying. Not quite as satisfying as the AC though, but close.

We wanted to hit the two mountain coasters, but we simply ran out of time since Gatlinburg had so much to offer.
Sky Lift.JPG
Like Pigeon Forge, Gatlinburg has a great setting next to the Smoky Mountains.
Ripley's Believe It or Not.JPG
Plenty of tourist traps.
Sky Needle.JPG
The non-Seattle Sky Needle.
Earthquake the Ride.JPG
The holy grail of rides that are so bad they are good.
Ober Gatlinburg.JPG
Ran out of time to hit Ober Gatlinburg and their Mountain Coaster. Got distracted by moonshine.
Jesus.JPG
Jesus is always watching in the south.
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Re: Photo TR: NC to NYC Park Extravaganza

Postby jimmiemac02 » Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:36 am

Canobie Coaster wrote:Dollywood
Blazing Fury- More dark ride than coaster, Blazing Fury does have a coaster section as the finale. The ride's scenes have plenty going on, but a few are pretty dark to see. The coaster section at the end was better than expected. The drops had some punch and when I rode in the front, I even got a pop of air. There was no splashdown though. Did this ride used to have a splashdown effect? 7 out of 10


Yep, when Dollywood replaced the braking system with magnetic brakes they took the splashdown out. For a few years the ending was dark but recently they have added a few smoke and lighting effects to the ending. Also fun fact, RMC actually retracked the drop a couple years ago.

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