Surprisingly, the noise my steering column was making and the tightness in the steering seemed to suddenly go away. Catherine, recalling how convenient it was last year to park in the VIP lot, sprung for the extra three bucks to do so again this year.
We arrived at 9 am and got into the Beastbuzz line to get our tickets. There we met up with Kristen, Rob, and Sarah whom we met before, and met Coastaplaya (aka Captain Obvious on Coasterbuzz) and Kickthesky, Bob Hanson for the first time. 'Playa, who refuses to divulge his first name, was someone I was especially looking forward to meeting, being a born and raised Michigandar who also remembers Boblo Island and Edgewater Park.
The park provided really wonderful lanyards for the event with the 25th Anniversary of the Beast logo on one side, and the Coasterbuzz logo and our names on the other side. We also got a nice card that listed the Schedule of Events including the morning walk back to The Beast for the first ride, behind the scenes for Tomb Raider, The Beast, and Son of Beast, Scavenger Hunt, the Awards and 25th Anniversary Beast Video and, finally, the ERT rides.
The morning activities were to kick off with a walk back to The Beast for the first ride of the day, but we opted, instead, to try for Face Off which has low capacity and generally a very long line. It was not to be, however, as once the chains were dropped into the Action Zone area, it was clear there were many people who had the same idea. So we walked back towards Tomb Raider for the behind the scenes tour. After the tour, we jumped into line to experience Tomb Raider. This was a first on a giant Huss Top Spin for Donna and Ian.
We circled the park getting rides on Vortex and Racer (backwards of course!) before we decided it was time to visit Bubba Gump's Shrimp Shack. I'd been looking forward to trying this place out since Beastbuzz 2003 when it was still a week or so from opening. The shrimp Po' Boy was excellent! Unfortunately, the box of chocolates on the bench outside was missing. We stopped to play a little DDR afterwards, but the machine's pad had a malfunctioning arrow, so we gave it up. While heading toward Adventure Express, I got a phone call from another on-line friend, Therese, who was living in Cincy and a Gold Pass holder to PKI. We arranged to meet outside Adventure Express. Again, it's great to get to know people on-line and finally get to meet them in person. We rode Adventure Express and then Top Gun . At this point we had to make our way back to the picnic area for the Beastbuzz gathering and early dinner. Therese walked back with us. I wished there was someway we could get her into the gathering area, but a dinner ticket was required, so we hugged and said our goodbyes. Hopefully I'll get back down again and we can arrange to spend more of a day together.
We were in plenty of time to make the group picture and then it was time to eat. Of course, after stuffing ourselves at Bubba Gumps, I don't think any of us were particularly hungry, but we ate a bit anyway, and enjoyed the presentation of Tom Rebbie from PTC who talked about his experience working on the trains for The Beast when it was being built 25 years before.
We'd blown off the Scavenger Hunt in favor of riding the coasters as this was Ian's first trip to PKI and Donna hadn't been to the park in years, and we also had no desire to go on the long, exhausting behind the scenes walk backs for The Beast and Son of Beast. So after lunch we made our way to the Action Zone where we met up with Coastaplaya and Bob again. The line for Face-off was almost an hour, but the time seemed to go by quickly enough while chatting and getting to know 'Playa. Our next stop was Son of Beast, not exactly one of my favorites, but I was willing to give it another shot.
Ian and Donna took the middle seat while Catherine and I took the front above the wheels. We looked pretty happy in the station before our ride.
SOB is pretty much what I was saying after I got off, though. It was likely the worst ride I've ever had on a coaster, not just rough, but totally brutal. I unless there are some major changes, I doubt I'll ever ride it again.
Bob had to meet someone elsewhere, and 'Playa was ready for some Boomerang Bay action, so we headed to the children's area of the park to ride Runaway Reptar and Scooby's Haunted Castle. I'm proud to say I doubled my score over last years! Working our way back to the other side of the park, we caught a dusk ride on Adventure Express before heading to the Paramount Theatre for the Scavenger Hunt Award Ceremony and to watch the 25th Anniversary Video of The Beast. The really amazing thing is not only was The Beast designed, and redesigned over and over to fit totally into the space by preserving large growth trees, but it was all done without the use of computer aided design.
The presentation was over in time for us to catch the fireworks behind the fountain and Eiffel Tower, and afterwards we were lead to the Action Zone for our first ERT ride of the night on Delirium. Again, Delirium is my all time favorite flat ride, although I think it got a bit more frightening to Catherine when I got a stinging hit from a stray moth in one of the downswings. We got a second ride on Delirium before moving to Drop Zone. I wasn't really looking forward to this drop ride, the tallest one I'd been on yet. I chickened out more than halfway up and had to close my eyes, screamed bloody murder on the drop, and literally shook for 10 minutes afterwards.
Our next ride was Flight of Fear. For Beastbuzz 2002 we entered the coaster through the exit, but this year we were brought in through the normal queue and were able to see the UFO and flying saucer theme on the inside. Way cool! Due to the large number of attendants (226 in all), we got only one ride on FOF before being walked back to The Beast. Again, the best time to ride this coaster is at night after it's been running all day. We got three fantastic rides, speeding in the dark through the trees.
It was 2 am before we left the park and made our weary way back to the hotel (thankfully only 5 minutes away) and crawled into bed happy in the knowledge we could sleep in!
The next morning, we got up a bit late for the complimentary breakfast, so we got on the road and stopped at a Big Boy instead. We were all draggin' pretty much when we got home having spent the past 4 days on a constant clip, two of those walking around parks all day, and spending 17 hours alone at PKI.
This was my first Coaster Odyssey, spending a week visiting three parks and riding coasters. Next year I hope to embark on a second coaster odyssey through Pennsylvania. *** Edited 7/21/2004 2:39:23 AM UTC by CPLady*** *** Edited 7/21/2004 2:43:27 AM UTC by CPLady*** *** Edited 7/21/2004 2:45:27 AM UTC by CPLady*** *** Edited 7/21/2004 2:47:11 AM UTC by CPLady***
I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead
I agree it was cool to put faces to the people that post on Coasterbuzz. We didn't get to meet a lot of people, but the ones that we did talk to were pretty down to earth. Nothing better then getting together for the love of coasters, and amusement parks.
Unless you count the ERT we had on the Phoenix at Knoebels for our wedding. It was our first event at a park with a coasterclub. We now have 3 more planned for the season. Superhero Celebration at SFNE, Coastermania at CP, and PPP at Knoebels.
Beastbuzz was great, and the event really made the trip well worth it. We are looking forward to making the trip again next year.
I even introduced myself to everyone using my real name...I think.
Nice TR. :)
EDIT: I do have an edited version of that SOB picture that is a bit lighter. Would you like that one to replace the one you have? *** Edited 7/21/2004 4:21:04 AM UTC by Kick The Sky***
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