I've been debating whether or not to do a Photo TR this year. I'm glad to see so many others writing them but that also made me feel it was not as vital for me to write one. I went on four small trips with few new parks, to re-evaluate a lot of coasters that I have not ridden in a few years, get closer to my goal of riding all the wooden coasters in North America and also hit up some of the major installations from the past few years.
The four trips were as follows:
April: Kings Dominion, Carowinds and Dollywood
July 17-22: Cedar Point
, Kings Island
, Holiday World
, Kentucky Kingdom
, Beech Bend
, Camden Park
July 24-30: Bay Beach, Mt. Olympus
, Six Flags Great America
, Indiana Beach
, Donley's Wild West Town
, AZoosment Park at Santa's Village
August 16-18: Knoebels, Kennywood, Hersheypark
This trip report will be light on photos and heavier on commentary, since so many people have posted photos from these parks of late. Actually on the first trip I didn't even take any photos at Kings Dominion. It has been one of my favorite coaster parks since I305 and will only be better in 2018 the new RMC. Intimidator 305, Volcano and Dominator were all running great. Boo Blasters seemed spruced up with everything working. I had not been to KD since 2015 and was still satisfied with the park.
Next up was Carowinds.
I arrived at opening and headed to Fury 325 immediately. I had not been to Carowinds in 5 years so these were my first rides on Fury 325. I rode about 6 times with minimal waits before exploring the rest of the park. I really liked the ride and it is probably my favorite B&M non-looper but it just didn't match the major Intamin coasters if you favorite the ejector air. With that said I could certainly ride Fury 325 all day without stressing out my body.
Afterburn still kicks major butt and everyone that knows me knows I love Woodstock Gliders. I'm glad it is moving next year, because I always felt it was out of place in the kiddie area, especially when major snapping occurs and parents get concerned. The restraints on Flying Cobras make a difference. I didn't even try to ride Intimidator as the line was always longer than Fury 325 or Afterburn. I loved Plants vs Zombies, because I realized which gun was mine by looking at the number of my chair before sitting down (many people didn't do this and had no clue if they were hitting targets or not. The ride did not open until late afternoon and I re-rode a few times in a row and there were quite a few kids doing the same thing so I wasn't the only one who liked it.
The big improvements to the park were in the County Fair area which looked great and has wonderful flat rides. The Cedar Fair pickers did a great good.
The area could have used a lot more shade, but isn't that true of any County Fair
Also, the park stepped up its game in the food area. Chickie and Pete's is a worthy replacement for Chick-Fil-A and Harmony Hall Marketplace offers a lot of variety.
Now for the ride that I was most enamored with. Was it great, no? However, I love interactive attractions and with so many people competing you have to think a little and be adaptive to do well. Rides like this just bring wake-up my Type A personality.