This will be one of my larger reports in general since it will encompass two parks with some photos and my first videos of the report!
We got to Lakemont pretty quickly after leaving Idlewild (which was one of the highlights of the trip at this point) just to see an interesting collection of flat rides and some unique coasters to match them.
Before riding, we were treated to another wonderful catered lunch in a private pavilion (that group from California strikes for the first of many times during our visit). With potatoes au gratin, hot dogs and hamburgers, I felt right at home...
By this point, I had 98 credits, and while I'm not one to normally plan out the order of my credits, I wanted to let Leap the Dips be my 100th, so we went straight to my first Toboggan to get my 99th credit. What followed was one of the scariest, most bizarre rides I've ever been on... Now James had become known as my "bizarre rides buddy" at this point, having ridden Whacky Shack, Spider and several other bizarre flats with me so far in the trip, so naturally, he joined me in the caged machine of death. With an interior similar to that of a Roll-O-Plane (which we would ride at Knoebels later in the trip), I was pretty worried about sliding around, but that didn't end up happening. The ride creeps along into a vertical missile-silo-esque lift with little air inside only to raise you out to begin a tight set of helix-like maneuvers around the silo. Gaining speed while moving lower, you prepare for what has to be the worst part of the ride--the drop. As you will see and hear in my video, it shook us up pretty badly, which James hitting his head on the roof of the car. After that, it’s pretty decent, but the ride did have its rough moments. I was initially afraid of Toboggan after hearing how terrible Little Amerika's had been on the Midwest trip, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it to be decent (if I haven't used that word enough so far, you'll see it spring up more often in my reviews).
Afterwards, we headed over for our short session of ERT (in a sense) on Leap the Dips, which would be my 100th credit. The coaster has multiple cars, though only one was in operation during our visit (according to Screamscape, one of the cars had lost a wheel during its circuit just days before we got there). I ended up getting two rides in on the coaster (once in the front and once in the back). In front, the ride was fun, giving a fantastic view of the track and its interesting system (including the really cool, old school anti-rollbacks). In back, I found the "dips" to have more ejector airtime than some of the major wooden coasters we had done so far. Needless to say, it was a great 100th credit!
We attempted to get our kiddie coaster credit, but the op was extremely strict when it came to allowing us on, so it was another missed credit.
Our final credit of the park was Skyliner, an "interesting" wooden as Robb warned on the bus ride over. Matt and I decided to sit towards the front row in fear that the back would break us in half, and I ended up enjoying the odd pops of airtime that we got from the leveling of hills throughout the course.
We ran to Skydiver to try to get on the ride, but the line and operations were too slow to risk waiting for without missing the bus (which none of us wanted to do).
We left the park and drove to Delgrosso's. The first thing we saw entering the park's vicinity was the neighboring Delgrosso's Sauce Factory, which we would soon find out meant more to the park than we could possibly imagine.
We entered the park and met with the owner and immediately were given information about the park and its origins. I felt extremely bad considering the man was extremely hospitable and willing to talk with us further (after we ate at his Spaghetti Wednesday), but almost everyone went to get their credits. Noting that the park was used as an outlet for his family's "famous" sauce, the ongoing joke about the sauce was born.
The park has two credits: a wacky worm and a crazy mouse (Reverchon spinning mouse). The worm was my first Wacky Worm, so that was fun...
As for the mouse, I rode with Brian Stoll, and we definitely spun. It was one of the better spinners of the trip, so I was content there as well.
After we rode the coasters, we did the Space Caterpillar (watch the video to see what I'm talking about) and then got some Sauce Pizza. Following our mouth-burning, sauce munching meal, we boarded the bus and headed out towards our hotel...
Other memorable moments of the visit: Space Caterpillar, Dan using his high-powered flash to set off the shooting gallery, the Sauce and the Sauce Pizza.
One of the original Leap the Dips cars is encased in glass in the station...
Leap the Dips in all of its side-friction goodness...
Robb and Dan went into the center of the ride to capture our group's expressions during ERT.
Aka Caged Machine of Death
Artsy shot #1
Artsy shot #2: Back in the old days... A time before wheelchair seats and such madness...
Here is where it hurts...
Another Robb and Dan filming preparation shot...
Didn't get to do this, but I wasn't too sad about the loss.
I doubt that they ever run more than 1 car on Leap The Dips. I don't even know if they'd be allowed to since there are no block brakes. (Although that doesn't stop Knoebels, but I personally wouldn't trust LTD not to get stuck.)
It's funny that the park knew you guys were coming but nobody arranged to let you on the kiddie coaster. On another board (that I won't mention because they have an irrational hatred for this one), the manager of the park posts sometimes, and he always says that if anybody is coming to the park be sure to look him up and he'll get you on the kiddie coaster. There must have been a lack of communication that day.
Well, with the Behemoth/Ravine Flyer II portion of the tour over, we lost several of our group mates (that means you Matt, Matt, Chris, Roxanne and anyone else I left out)... But with losses, we also found gain. Quickly added to our group was Sam Johnson, Alan Johnsrud and several more.
Sesame Place was an optional addon for the downtime in between the Behemoth and East Coast trips, but many of us went to experience the park, rather than sitting in the hotel for a few extra hours.
Having grown up on Sesame Place, I was pretty excited to go to a place where I would probably end up remembering aspects of my younger days... Surprisingly enough, alot of the aspects of the park (aside from some characters here and there) seemed foreign to me. What wasn't new to me was the amount of quality and detail put into every facet of the park, thanks to Busch Entertainment Company. The park's entrance bleeds Busch in its style and with the lovely Busch Park turnstyles, we were inside the park just minutes after we received our tickets.
Our entire group seemed to charge towards the park's only credit, Vapor Trail. The Vekoma Roller Skater (if I am correct) features a larger layout that I had not seen before, and offered a pretty fun ride. We got two rides in on the coaster before we left the park, using the rest of our time to explore and eat.
Knowing we only had four hours at the park (really all we needed), we all felt that we should get lunch first and then move on to the exploration. Eating inside of The Grill, James and I each got a large plate of Chicken Parmesiana, which was great (but ultimately too big for me to finish). I also (just for the sake of indulging) got myself a fantastic Elmo cupcake which I seemed to destroy with just one bite... That photo may show up in a trip TR later on I guess.
After lunch, we moved on to walking the park, making our way to the netted play area, which is a similar complex as to what we have at Orlando's Shamu's Happy Harbor at Seaworld. Oddly enough, James, Brent, Matt and I seemed to have serious problems getting in and out of the rope tunnels, let alone running up and down the large rope walks. There were plenty of falls in the process of our running, as well as some hilarious moments of getting stuck in the middle of rope tunnels and nearly getting stuck inside the net.
As time wrapped up, we prepared to leave for the bus, ready for a very long drive to New York. It was time for Coney Island...
Brent tries to run up Sesame Place's rope complex...
I remember always getting my feet caught in those nets as a kid. The park used to be almost all playground stuff like that and an obstacle course, suspension bridge, slides etc. and the water park stuff before they added all those rides.
After a really fun time at Sesame Place, it came time to start the East Coast part of the tour, beginning with Coney Island. Now, for some background...
Back in the days when I wanted to be a filmmaker/world traveler, there were three places in the US that I wanted to go to along with my international travels: New York, Anaheim/Hollywood/LA, and Washington D.C. When my family finally made it to New York, we didn't go to Coney Island because my family had been warned that it wasn't safe. After two additional trips to New York over the next three years, I still hadn't been to Coney Island. So, getting to go during this trip was once again, all too surreal. Flash forward to current day, knowing that Thor was preparing to shut the place down, it made the visit even more special.
We started our time at Coney Island with two rides on the famous Cyclone, a coaster I had dreamed about riding since the time I could enjoy coasters. Padded with leather (for good reason) and covered in bright colors only faded by time, the ride is historical in every sense. The coaster's seats offered a far tighter fit, even for a guy of my size, but again, it is for good reason. The lift, skewing oddly to the left for a few seconds and then back to the center leads into a turning drop that had me slamming my riding partner (or the other way around) within the first five seconds of the post-lift ride. From then on in you are riding in a fantastic wooden journey with minimally banked turns and lots of jarring moments. Overall, I loved the ride, but I wasn't in the majority.
Our visit to Coney Island came complete with wristbands that gave us entry to the attractions at Deno's Wonder Wheel Park as well as Astroland. Astroland offered up a quick ride on Dante's Inferno, the most evil dark ride ever. The ride's outside portion relies on the car hitting the re-entry doors, and when the doors come back to close, they have to hit something--my arm just happened to be that something. So for the first time in my life, I was bitten by a ride. Evil.
Astroland also features a classic Wacky Worm, complete with a turntable station. The ride was pretty standard, but the turntable added some variety and made the experience far more fun.
After the Wacky Worm, we walked next door as the rain started to hit, trying desperately to grab our Sea Serpent credit (a clone of Ravine Flyer III, without the water). The ride had a fantastic op that made our circuit go from the standard three to a whopping six times around the track.
Following the Sea Serpent, we moved to Deno's Wonder Wheel, sitting on the swinging cars in what could be the scariest, most innovative ride of its time. I was hanging on for much of the ride.
Past that, we moved on, exploring Coney Island, hitting whatever dark rides were included in our wristband's coverage, including the fantastic Spook-a-rama. After a stop for dinner at the fantastic Nathan's (the original location), we headed back to the bus, stopping only for a second ride on Spook-a-rama and the park's drop tower.
The sun began to set, and a scarier crowd seemed to move in as we moved out, with us leaving at about the right amount of time. Coney Island was everything I expected and more, making the first park of the East Coast trip a real high point to start on...
Dave is excited to be here!
An amazing piece of history...
Robb sets up his camera for a POV of the Cyclone.
The history and architecture of the Parachute Tower just fascinates me to no end. I could take photos of this forever.
The famous Wonder Wheel.
Deno himself in front of his Wonder Wheel.
The entrance to the ride looks like it hasn't been altered since the Wheel opened way back when.
Spook-a-Rama's theming on the outside was just as incredible on the inside.
I love Nathans Deli!
This photo has probably been taken billions of times.
Dante's Inferno: The most evil ride ever! Really.
Sun down. Time for us to leave...
Change the scheme, Alter the mood! Electrify the boys and girls if you would be so kind!
Our first real Six Flags park of the trip was unique in that we spent two mornings there. Day 1 at Six Flags New England was our day without flash passes but with a full slate of ERT and a fantastic catered lunch at a private pavilion.
Our group was pretty laid back that day, hitting only the ERT credits and some flats, roaming the park since we would be able to hit the rest of the credits through the next day's ERT and use of Flash Passes.
ERT that morning started out with Batman and Mind Eraser. Batman is the park's B&M floorless coaster (the only Batman that isn't an inverted coaster, I believe). Having only been on Kraken at that point, Batman was an interesting experience for me due to the ride's compact layout and unique elements. It is not better than Kraken in my mind, but it was a fun ride that I went back for five times over the two visits.
Mind Eraser was our second SLC of the trip; a clone of the one at Darien Lake. Once again taking the advice of Matt Damon when riding, I pinned my head to the side of my restraint, which helped with the random jolts here and there. Overall, it was the most enjoyable SLC of the trip (and that says a whole lot), which, dare I say it, was reasonable smooth. Send in the Vekoma gravel-blasters to rough that track up fast!
Next up on ERT was our 45 minute session on our second Ride of Steel. Now, Darien Lake's had one layout, with Six Flags America's being a mirror, while SFNE's is a completely unique layout that most find to be the best of the three. I wasn't one of those people. Ride of Steel disappointed me somewhat, only because I had enjoyed so much airtime from the first drop until the end on Darien Lake's version. New England's ride seemed to keep me in my seat for the first few hills with the finale throwing me out of my seat. My favorite part of the ride was its twisted ending and misty tunnel run, which gained the ride points in my book. If Darien Lake got ride of its helixes and stole New England's finale, it would be incredible...
After Superman, TPR had ERT at the waterpark's Zooma Falls and Typhoon (the park's water coaster). I didn't get to go because my bag got "stuck" in a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo. I'll leave it at that.
Other memorable aspects of the visit: Houdini, Tomahawk and the catered lunch.
After lunch, it was time to leave Six Flags New England for the day so that we could make it to Lake Compounce that night for ERT. Along the way, we took a two-hour credit stop at Quassy. The park has two credits, Wild Mouse and Little Dipper.
James, Jes and I ran to Little Dipper, assuming that we'd beat the line of TPR members while they waited for Wild Mouse. The ops let us on the ride without any problems, and sent us on our way on one of the scariest, hand-built looking coasters I have ever been on.
After Little Dipper, we ran back to Wild Mouse, only to find that it started to rain. The ops covered the cars and shut down the ride at the first sign of lightning, but we waited. Pulling out our TPR ponchos, we waited out the storm and ended up being second in line for the ride, since everyone else had left. I was pretty nervous about Wild Mouse since everyone kept telling me it was rough, but I found it enjoyably smooth.
Following our ride on Wild Mouse, James and I ran to the Giant Slide, which is essentially a huge slide attached to a giant cardboard box. I couldn't tell what was scarier: walking up the cardboard stairs or sliding down the freakish slide.
Craving some fried dough at a cheap price, I went over to the park's concession stand and picked up what ended up being an Elephant Ear, but it was good. We went back to Wild Mouse while splitting the ear, talking to the crowd of TPR members as they waited to ride. Jason needed a riding partner, and asked if I'd be willing to join him. I enjoyed Wild Mouse, so I said yes and got one more ride in.
Back on the bus, we moved to Lake Compounce, which would become my favorite park of the trip.
Lake Compounce has four coasters: Boulder Dash (my number 1 wooden coaster after this day), Kiddie Coaster, Wildcat and Zoomerang. The park also has a great collection of flats as well as a fun shooting dark ride.
We started our evening at Lake Compounce indulging in the free soda offered around the park. Afterwards we walked to Wildcat (Garfield themed...) which wasn't too bad, but a little rough through some turns.
Zoomerang was our next coaster, and you guessed it, another Vekoma Boomerang. It wasn't too bad for a Boomerang, but it still had some head banging typical of the Vekoma name.
Kiddie Coaster was initially a denied credit, but thanks to Robb and Elissa, we had a quick session of pre-Boulder Dash ERT that night.
And now, to Boulder Dash. We rode it once before ERT and I think everyone in our group was blown away. The ride is built on the side of mountain (or at least a very large forested hill) and its layout is absolutely incredible in that it catches you off guard every time.
The night's ERT session on Boulder Dash was my favorite ERT session of the trip thanks to my 20 rides, the awesome ride op and the pitch black ride setting which we had for the session. Since that session, Boulder Dash has been at the top of my top ten wooden roller coasters, and one of the top coasters on my list in general.
Other memorable aspects of the visit: Rotor, Ghostblasters, Skycoaster, Flyers, Thunder and Lightning S&S Screamin' Swing and the free soda.
Robb meets with Six Flags New England management before ERT.
Welcome to Six Flags New England!
Mr. Six is on par (in my book) with the "More Flags" guy.
I hate Looney Tunes. I'm not sure why I took this photo.
James is excited by the Intamin wheel...
I wanted the wheel, but not enough to do the task that Robb asked of us...
Day 2 at Six Flags New England (this photo is here because it is my last photo of SFNE), I got my Dave Wilson eats disgusting food bingo sqaure.
Quassy has an old-school mouse called Wild Mouse that is really fun.
"I'm not having a good time... Why are we here?"
The death stare scares me...
Several of these dummies have had their head's shaved, but a few lucky ones kept their prized hair.
My first S&S Screamin' Swing was really fun!
Boulder Dash ERT had everyone excited!
Our awesome Boulder Dash ride op and I!
The ride op wanted me to put this photo online...
A display of Boulder Dash's well deserved awards!
Change the scheme, Alter the mood! Electrify the boys and girls if you would be so kind!
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