9/9 Return to PKD

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Sunday, September 9, 2001 9:12 PM
After working until 4 in the morning, the last thing I wanted to do was go to an amusement park. But, I had already made plans to meet up with my Coasterbuzz riding partner, GoWithGravity, at the park at 2pm. He was there for the ACE day at King’s Dominion. Since I arrived a little early, I went and rode Berserker (inverting pirate ship) first. I still found this to be an enjoyable ride, except for the lapbars which come down extremely tight at the beginning and end of the ride. Killing a little more time, I went and rode Rebel Yell forwards. I was really shocked at how bumpy it’s become. If the coaster could talk, it would yell “retrack me!” After meeting up with GWG, we briskly walked from the Eiffel Tower so he could rejoin his ACE pals for a Grizzly walk back. This gave me time to ride Hurler twice in the back seat. My only complaint today was the first banked turn off the lift hill which slammed me into the seat divider. Thankfully, they allowed re-rides if no one was waiting for your seat, because it’s a long walk back around to the station. Actually, this a problem with many of PKD’s queues. Next I went and rode Grizzly. As was the case three weeks ago, my only complaint was with the section of track through the tunnel. I still got slammed against the side of train. Rejoining GWG and three other SFA natives, we carried on hitting Rebel Yell, Grizzly, Anaconda, Scooby Doo’s Ghoster Coaster (now with seatbelts), and Avalanche Bobsled. A smaller group of us also hit Shockwave, Flight of Fear, and Volcano, which was under 40 minutes with two trains.

The last coaster we decided to hit was H:XLC, which wouldn’t you know it, broke down while we were in line. Today was supposedly the first time they attempted to run three trains, and there were some glitches as a result. After cycling many trains, we got to ride after an hour and 20 minutes or so. One of our group members, Bob, was pointing out that the queue fence is spread way too far apart in the station, with which I’ll agree. The rows extend vertically backwards but there’s just too much room width wise. It causes confusion about were people’s place is in line. We also witnessed a large man who wasn’t able to ride. The young male attendant tried several times to secure the side mounted seatbelt, but was unsuccessful. I’m not sure if a stronger person could’ve gotten the lapbar down any further. Chalk this up as another ride that’s unfriendly to the larger patron. Since this was my second ride on H:XLC, I didn’t feel quite as nervous as before, but, GWG screamed like a little girlie man:) and his hands were visibly shaking afterwards. He says it’s the only coaster that truly scares him consistently. I’m not sure how exactly the three-train system works, but we didn’t return to the rear loading station we loaded into.

Our last piece of business was to check out 7th Portal, which Bob & GWG had ridden already. The Iwerks motion ride lived up to the hype, thanks to some very fancy graphics, fast action, and awesome 3D effects. Unlike Days of Thunder, James Bond etc., this bears checking out again, as I was quite disorientated at times. Hopefully this will be around for a few years.

On our way out of the park, we stopped into the gift shops and Bob pointed out something unusual. Unless you like Volcano or Hypersonic, there are no t-shirts or hats to be had. This seems strange for a park that will soon have 12 coasters. Surely someone must want a Flight of Fear, Grizzly, Avalanche Bobsled etc. t-shirt, key chain, mug etc. Right?

Sunday, September 16, 2001 7:39 PM
Sounds like u had fun, I went today (9/17) and i rode everything. I agree with you on the Volcano and Hypersonic XLC shirts I think they should have shirts of all kind. Because I like Grizzly and Flight of Fear the best.

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