For me, this was my first full summer as an "enthusiast," and I can't complain at all. In addition to hitting Michigan's Adventure, Indiana Beach, and SFGAm for the first time this summer, I also made visits to other parks I had been to before (CP, PKI, SFWoA, and Kennywood).
I was completely surprised and overwhelmed by Cornball Express and Phantom's Revenge. I think these are the two big winners of the summer. Watching construction of both throughout winter, I thought neither would be anything special. Well, when I rode them, I couldn't believe that both were so great. The little Cornball is probably the wildest coaster I've ever ridden and I liked PR more than Millennium Force!
I was a bit underwhelmed by Raging Bull. I was expecting this to top Magnum as my favorite steel coaster, and, well, it just didn't deliver. I found it a great and very enjoyable ride (with a awesome first drop in Row 9) but it just seemed too slow and sweeping for my personal tastes. I guess I was also a little disappointed in the Hoosier Hurricane, but I won't dare say anything bad about CCI so I'll stop there.
I was expecting Shivering Timbers to blow away any other coaster I've ever ridden, and it did. I was expecting X-Flight to be a great, but not "Top 10" quality ride, and it was. I never expected Six Flags parks to charge 9 or 10 bucks for parking, and they did. I never expected a simple coat of paint to make such a difference on Raptor, but it sure did! I didn't get a VertiGo shot, but I still have a few weekends if I decide to come home from college to take care of that. I expected to have a great summer of discussing things on Coasterbuzz, and I did!
My greatest memory was the day my friend and I spontaneously decided to hit MA and IB in one day (13 hours of driving!). More specifically, my best memory was my third ride on Shivering Timbers. We rode it twice early in the morning, once in the back and once in the front, and were blown away. Well, after that, we decided to hit all the other rides, get some lunch, and then come back. Well, when we came back, the ride had woken up and seemed almost twice as fast, twice as intense, with twice as powerful airtime! We were so surprised we described the experience as "a euphoric coaster bliss." Yeah, we're coaster geeks!
How about the rest of you? How did your summer stack up?
It's a simple equation: CCI + CP = #1 Wooden Coaster!
The two coasters that blew me away this summer were Phantom's Revenge and the Beast. Despite PR's late opening, riding the coaster that I so closely followed (as did many others) over the winter was a real treat. As for the Beast, when I say my night ride was an act of God, I honestly mean it. I don't know what I did to be blessed with such an experience, but I sure hope I do it again! :)
Aside from the coaster riding, it was a real thrill to meet so many CoasterBuzzers this summer (Jeff, Greg, Rideman, kpjb, etc.).
Although summer is nearly over, I am by no means done riding! There are still loose plans to revisit KW, CP, SFWoA, and Knoebels (PPP!) as well as a first time visit to PKD.
It's sad to see the end of the season approaching so quickly, but I can't see that I'm not looking forward to all the 2002 announcements. :)
Webmaster, Kennywood Boulevard
HowEVER, my trips to PKI and especially Holiday World blew me away. PKI, although a big corporate themer, keeps getting better with great customer service and a knack for LISTENING to its guests. Holiday World is simply unbelievable on every single front, from thrills to service to food to value to beauty.
As far as new and new-to-me rides, the Raven amazed me, The Legend and Raging Bull were impressive but not mind-blowing and the "new" FoF was 500% better.
Overall, a good year....but I don't plan on picking up a Six Flags pass next year. I'll just go to HW again.
*** This post was edited by Dennis on 8/24/2001. ***
The smell of the trees on the Beast
My two bruises on SOB
Being the next to ride X-Flight when it broke down and didn't re-open after a 2 hour wait
Getting soaked at 8am at Coastermania
The ultimate air on Phoenix and S:ROS and the back seat on SFNE's Cyclone
The amazing launch on Hypersonic
Riding Volcano with no one else on the train (thaaank you)
Great year and it's not over yet!
Let the world know your Top 10 Coasters at http://www.coastergrotto.zzn.com
*** This post was edited by Grant on 8/24/2001. ***
Next I went up to Northern California with one of my friends. The Giant Dipper at SCBB is now my favorite coaster over 70 years old ;). A wonderful classic, and the boardwalk was great.
Marine World got my second attendance this year, and I loved rides on Roar, Medusa, and v2. I was kind of disappointed by v2, but Medusa and Roar delieved what I knew I was in for from an older trip. Great rides! Here I discovered exactly how NOT to run a fastpass program, as a line from the 1 hour point took an hour and 45 minutes.
My first trip to PGA took me by surprise. Top Gun shot it's way into my top five steel as the surprise hit of my Northern California trip. Stealth was exactly what I expected: a wonderful ride. Overall I was pleased by the cleanliness and staff of the park, and a pretty decent selection of fun coasters.
Virginia was my third destination, which was a family event. First came BGW. Apollo's Chariot launched to my number one steel coaster, and Alpengiest, although slightly disappointing, was still awesome. Loch Ness Monster was very disappointing, but Big Bad Wolf absolutely BLEW me away. The park is the most beautiful I've ever seen.
PKD has one major disappointment in the fact that Hypersonic broke down and I didn't get to ride. Three top quality woodies, although none of them top ten material. Flight of Fear was great, and Anaconda was surprisingly fun. Shockwave threatened to kill me, and I will never ride a TOGO standup again. Avalanche was much better than expected. What took me by surprise the most was Volcano, however, which unseated Apollo (who only had the #1 steel coaster spot on my list for 5 days!) Volcano is now my favorite coaster along with Ghostrider. The park was great, and the selection of coasters was impressive.
SFA was a nightmare for tall men. However, I got on everything, and S:ROS was absolutely amazing. The air on that was unreal. Batwing was better than Stealth, and Roar was the same as Roar West. Good park, poorly run.
In conclusion: (Lists ARE in order)
Best new coasters of the summer: 1. Volcano 2. Apollo's Chariot 3. Superman Ride of Steel 4. Top Gun (PGA), 5.Alpengeist.
Most Surprisingly good coasters of the summer: 1. Top Gun (PGA) 2.Big Bad Wolf 3. Screamin' Eagle 4.Volcano.
Worst of the Summer: 1. Shockwave (PKD) 2. Grizzly (PGA)
Best Wooden Coaster of the Summer: Roar (SFMW)
Overall...BEST coaster of the summer: VOLCANO!
My year started out by finally joining ACE, which in turn got me an invitation to the commercial shoot for X-Flight at SFWoA. Quickly followed by Media Day at SFWoA.
Next was a 3 day trip to Kings Island. It had been 10 years since my previous visit and my husband had never been there. We stayed at the campground which was very relaxing. The Beast was everything I remembered and quickly jumped to my husband's favorite woodie. Sonny was better than I expected, but after reading so much about it, I knew where to sit and where not to. FOF rocked!!
Then was our first "coaster" event at Cedar Point in Coastermania. What an absolutely great time we had. A little soggy in the morning but it kept the crowds away, which is always a good thing. Stayed at the campground for this event and talk about bugs. WOW! Now I know what "mayfly season" is all about, eventhough they are actually Muffleheads.
Next was another trip to Cedar Point with some friends for three days. Another amazing time (this park never disappoints me). We stayed at the campground for this trip also. I'm happy to say the Muffleheads were gone.
Then we took a nice day trip back in time to Conneaut Lake Park. We took our daughter with us to this one and she had a blast riding all the spin-n-pukes or "big" rides.
Next was a day trip to SFWoA with our very own GregLeg. Good time was had.
Then there was our very first ACE event, KennyKon at Kennywood Park. Another great time and Phantom's Revenge was much more than I expected. All I could say when I got off was "Oh my God, the airtime!!"
The next trip was a day trip to SFWoA with my husband and some friends. Needless to say my husband was not too impressed with the park, but when all was said and done, we had a decent time.
Next we took our daughter to Idlewild and again she loved riding the "big" rides. She rode Rollo Coaster and except for the last drop before the turn around, she liked it.
But we aren't done yet. We are going to SFWoA yet again next Monday (it's a shame to waste a free season pass and free admission passes, even if it is SFWoA). We will also be attending Millennium Mania at CP, Halloweekends at CP (I'm buying a season pass next year), FrightFest at SFWoA, PPP at Knoebel's (I'm really looking forward to this one as we have never been there) and RideFest at Lakemont Park (another new park to us). Also might be able to squeak in a trip to SFKK if the airfare is right.
It may not seem like much to those of you who go to 15 - 20 different parks a year (I can only dream), but it's a lot for us and we've had a lot of fun. Last year our trips consisted of PGA, CP (3x) and IOA. I started the season out with 75 coasters in my track record and will have close to 110 when all is said and done.
I think the most important thing was being able to spend time with family and friends and how much fun we had with them all. You see things in a whole different perspective when you are sitting next to your child, watching them laugh and seeing how happy they are, even though you maybe thinking "this ride better stop soon or I'm going to hurl." I can't wait till next year when my daughter will be able to ride even more.
Christ how do you kids do it
Going Full Force....In the FRONT SEAT
Other than getting off plastered with bugs, it was great, and well worth the extra 20 min.!
Riding Raptor in the rain at morning ERT at Coastermania was a memorable and awakening experience. :)
I rode 47 roller coasters than day, and I must say I was quite proud of myself. :) 20 rides on Magnum, 15 straight in a row while power riding. I had to duck under the queue on Magnum for my final time. :( Oh well, at least I won't have to stretch before I power ride next time. ;)
I was a little disappointed that I only made it to Cedar Point twice this year...back in June. Went to Cedar Point by myself the second time. I liked being my own boss that day.
I also learned this year that rain is your friend at Cedar Point. When it rains, literally all the coasters stay open as long it doesn't lightning. :) And much of the GP gets scared away.
I never had more than a 10 minute wait for Magnum all season, Raptor's paint job not only makes it look great, but that thing is more intense than ever.
I got to ride the number 1 and 5 woodie this year at Holiday World. The Legend is an unbelieveable, intense, rough, and simply AWESOME woodie! I'll have to ride The Beast again to figure out which I like better. I didn't like The Raven as much, but it still was cool.
At Coastermania, MF was running quite possibly the fastest it's ever run. This thing was booking. The first tunnel was defeaning, prolonged exposure would have caused hearing loss...it was that loud. This thing was screaming through the layout. Definitely the best 3 rides I've ever had on this monster. Nothing in my life compares to the power and intensity this thing was shoveling out that night. And experiencing it with other enthusiasts helped a lot, especially with the electricity in the line.
And last, but certainly not least, DO NOT RIDE MILLENNIUM FORCE UP FRONT IN THE POURING RAIN! Three trains before mine, it started to downpour. And we're talking big droplets...I wasn't looking forward to that ride very much.
I boarded and as we pull out of the station I knew I was in for one HELL of a ride...The first drop was cool because we fell faster thatn the raid and the rain fell up...something you don't see everyday. :) I wasn't able to enjoy the rest of the ride at all. The pelting rain felt as if was piercing my skin. It felt like hundreds of needles poking into my face. I *tried* to shield my face from the painful onslaught of water droplets, but had little success.
The only parts I could open my eyes up on and *enjoy* myself was the drops and in the tunnels. Since I had ridden it several times, and know the layout, I knew where these parts were so that helped a little. No only did hurt like hell, but I also got way more soaked than on any ride on Thunder Canyon. Remember I was up front so I got the worst possible treatment.
Let's just say that it was an "unique" experience. If I had a choice of riding MF in the pouring rain or not riding it at all, I would choose to ride it just because I'm a coaster freak, but the average member of the GP couldn't be dragged on that thing kicking and screaming. :)
Although it was the more excruciating thing I've ever been through, at least I can say I *experienced* it a much different way than the other 19 times I rode. :)
I ended up liking the fact I got soaked though because I didn't care that I got rained on for the rest of the time it rained. People on Magnum were complaining about how a slight drizzle hurt while on Magnum, they had no idea how bad it could have been...
Mayday - Memorial Day Weekend - Nonpoint, Nickelback, Oleander, Staind
Ozzfest - June 8 - Papa Roach, Linkin Park, Disturbed, Black Sabbath
Awake Tour- June 15 - Darwin's Waiting Room, Puddle of Mudd, Deftones, Godsmack
Top 5 experiences
5.Hitting A guy in the back because of Phantoms Revenge insane Double Dip.
4. Riding Villain 12 straight times in the dark without getting off (ERT baby!!)
3. Riding Gemini 100 times in a day.
2. Riding a walk on, slick railed Magnum for an hour with no trims in humid, winless conditions.
1.Riding Millennium Force 16 times in one day under perfect fast conditions, In July!
*** This post was edited by Joe E. on 8/25/2001. ***
*** This post was edited by Joe E. on 8/25/2001. ***
AC-Blew me away, i was just in awww, easily in my top ten, truley a god among coasters.
Alpie-I thought was awsome, not as good as her sister montu but one of the best inverted coasters ever.
Hypersonic-Short, very short, but the launch and hill were just awsome.
Volcano-I acctually didn't know a whole lot about it before i rode it so i had no expectations. and it was just one of the most unique coaster i have ever had the prevliage of riding.
Phantom-Actually thought it wouldn't be as good as they said, boy i was dead wrong. Airtime to the max, i thought i was going to fly out of the trian.
MF-Awsome, easily took the #2 spot on my fav coasters. I acctually saw balckspots after the first overbanked turn.
X-Flight-a first, the flying feeling i thought wouldn't be as good as they said it was, but it really felt like you were flying and the ehlix at the end was intense.
B:KF-One it was only 5 inversions so i thought it would be lacking in some way, well i was wrong, i exspecialy like the banked turns inbetween the loop and cobra roll.
S:UE-I wasn't that empressed
Villian-I thought it was awsome, all those little hills at those high speeds.
Montu, God Of Coasters
However, the most disapointing thing was the bug problem at Cedar Point. It was only my second trip out there, and it was during the really hot stretch a few weeks ago. It was just starting to get dark, and we were on line for Mantis, the last ride we hadn't been on during the day yet. We waited patiently for the front, but apparently during the 10 minutes we were in the station, millions of gnats (or whatever they are) had come out. I wasn't aware that this kind of thing happened at CP. Anyway, suffice to it to say, the onride photo shows all of us with our eyes closed because we're getting pelted by little bugs. At the end of the ride, our clothes and faces are littlerally covered with hundreds of squashed bugs. We ended up leaving the park and didn't get the chance to ride MF at night :-( But otherwise, it was a great trip...
*** This post was edited by Beeman65 on 8/25/2001. ***
*** This post was edited by VIPER on 8/25/2001. ***
20. When Robb, Elissa, Derek, Kevin and George came to CP after Stark Raven Mad weekend and rode the Mine Ride three times hehe.
19. Longaberger Day and actually being happy to have guests at Cedar Point.
18. My first ride of the season, during the end of April, on Mine Ride.
17. The weeks I spent at Cedar Point before anyone got to ride the rides, and how long the days were and how great the nights were.
16. Losing my wallet and keys at Cedar Point and then finding out that they apparently got run over by Millennium Force.
15. All of the enthusiasts I got to meet for the first time this season, and there were a lot!
14. My first day working on Millennium Force.
13. My last day working on Mine Ride!
12. My first ride on Raging Bull. (impression: overbraked, has such great potential...nickname: Castrated Cow)
11. My first ride on Phantom's Revenge. (impression: turned into my number two steel...I love the wicked violent airtime)
10. Reaching the conclusion that Villain STILL doesn't impress me very much.
9. My first ride on Shivering Timbers. (impression: HOLY AIRTIME BATMAN!)
7. Working Magnum for Coastermania ERT!
6. KennyKon and the great time I had there, even with getting my hand slapped WAY too hard by Neil Rupp and going on the Wipeout after the large ACE buffet.
5. Getting my revenge on the aforementioned Neil Rupp during his trip to Cedar Point. :o) (put the Ghostrider chick to shame)
4. The Gemini 100.
3. Seeing all the old enthusiasts I already knew again, catching up with everyone and having a good time (that's not done yet, here's to PPP and Supermania!)
2. Being a leader on an awesome small crew in the beginning of the summer, one of the closest crews I've ever been on (Cedar Creek Mine Ride 2001), and then transferring to a huge crew that could only be described as a big, dysfunctional, loving family (Millennium Force 2001).
And the number one thing I remember about this coastering summer as it draws to a close:
A certain person entered my life, and he knows who he is. He made me re-evaluate a lot of things about my life, decisions I had made and the direction I was headed. I appreciate everything that he's done for me and enjoyed every single trip to a park with him and am certain that there will be many more!
And with that my list of the most memorable events of the summer pre-Supermania and PPP ends. Hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed remembering these events.
Who's getting all sentimental and stuff :oP
*** This post was edited by AirtimeSROS on 8/25/2001. ***
Oh yeah, I forgot one...meeting Natalie at Cedar Creek Mine Ride at Coastermania, and then again at Magnum at evening ERT. Hope to see you next year. :)
Shockwave at PKD
waiting 2 hours for XLC after it broke down
waiting, period ;)
Volcano front seat in the rain...
Camping at the PKD campground in the rain
the skycoaster at Carowinds
Top Gun at Carowinds in the front
XLC in the front after two hours of waiting
Grizzly at night in the back.. OMG!
Volcano in the front(even in the rain, lol)
I'm sure theres more but I can't think of any right now, Also my season isn't even over yet, I go to BGW in a few days and PKI next month, so I'm sure I'll have plenty of great experiances there too.
o My first CoasterBash (where I met Lynch and Joe)
o Hypersonic Media Day
o My first SRM (and certainly not my last!), with Jeremy (followed up with my first visit to SFKK for ACE day there)
o X-Flight commercial shoot (where I met Lori)
o Coastermania (my 3rd, and 2nd in a row)
o My first ACE Convention (and not my last!), which consisted ENTIRELY of new-to-me coasters (not counting our sidetrips to SFA and SFGAdv, both of which I'd been to)
o KennyKon (my 2nd)
And I'm still not done. MM in just a bit over a week, PPP (my 2nd), RideFest (ditto), various closing days...
My track record went from 83 to 121 so far this year, with the (slim) possibility of a few more still in the works.
Next summer promises to be even better with the ACE European trip (which I fully plan on attending if I can)
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