Bring on the Ice Storm - part 1

Associated parks:
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Tuesday, February 15, 2005 12:05 AM
Mid-January, my office decided to send me to Los Angeles to work on a 3-week software implementation project. Of course I had evil plans of turning this into a coaster trip, but 15 hour days Monday through Friday and trip back to Atlanta on the weekend to take care of my life prohibited any fun....

...and then came the ice storm. All flights bound to Atlanta were cancelled, and I was rebooked on a Saturday night redeye, giving me a whole day in town for some fun. I wasn't interested in SFMM, and had already committed to purchasing my co-workers ticket to drag him into my insane world, so 2 Disney tickets were out of the question. I called up my trusty coaster expert (thanks Joe!) to get the lowdown on any discounts for KBF.

A trip to CVS, 2 cans, and $34 later, we were in the gates and off to Ghostrider. It had broken down when we entered the line, so everybody left the station. 10 minutes later, it was back up and we were off in the gold train, last car.

I was fairly torn on what to think of Ghostrider. It was a very long ride, with a ton of surprises and great head choppers. The midcourse drop was awesome. It seemed a little sluggish, so we pressed on to check out the newest B&M invert, Silver Bullet.

A weird paint job, bad queue house design, and funny ride ops awaited us. The person on the mic was telling the other ride ops to speed up because they were stacking with 2 trains. After a 3 train wait, we were off in the front.

I pretty much place this ride in the category of family inverts, along with rides such as Runaway Reptar. The overbank turn and the hill between the corkscrews were the best parts, but the rest of the ride is slow, boring, and forceless. I was expecting great things from this ride when the layout was first revealed, but it completely disappointed.

Next up was Montezooma's Revenge. This was my first looping coaster as a kid, and I hadn't ridden it in over 15 years. It's great that all the Schwartzkoph's haven't died yet, because I love them! The back spike on this version of the ever-popular shuttle-loop is nothing short of insane in the back seat.

Keep in mind; I had a co-worker of mine with me that just celebrated his 40th birthday the week before. I was a little worried about getting him on Xcelerator, but he was game. We got in line and decided to wait for the front row. What is it with the queue house designs at KBF? This one has a separate line for each car, not each row. The people waiting for the front could end up getting screwed-over and forced to sit in row 2. Poor design, but we were waiting for an Intamin, so I put it aside and hopped in to the front.

The launch on Xcelerator is completely different that TTD. On Dragster, you could feel the ride getting faster and faster before you finally got to the end of the launch track. This ride is completely different - before you know it you're at the top of the tophat looking down onto the street below. Another main difference in Xcelerator is that the tophat is much skinnier. Not being able to see any track as you maneuver over the top was an amazing visual.

Next up was Supreme Scream. I had heard good things about this particular S&S tower. We boarded the yellow tower on the advice of a friend, rose to the top, and dropped. Although a good and very high drop, nothing compares to Acrophobia.

We meandered around the park looking for things to do. My co-worker didn't want to do any flat rides, and neither of us wanted to get soaking wet before a plane ride. I remember enjoying the log fume as a kid, so we headed there next.

Here's my one gripe about the day - We asked to have an entire log to ourselves. The one employee granted our request and gave us our assignment. Then the fat, raging bizznitch came over and proceeded to force us to sit together because of the line. There weren’t even 20 people in the entire line. What was her deal? Anyways, the flume was great, and it's nice to see the 'Sit Down' trick still works.

We decided to get back on Xcelerator and try the back seat this time. WOW - The back seat was an entirely different ride, and a much shorter line. The airtime was completely insane over the tophat. This demanded a third ride in the back because it was just that good.

We were getting hungry, and when the company's paying, fancy restaurants were calling our names. We decided to hit Montezooma's once more (where some crazy cokeheads were flirting with everybody) and get a final ride on Ghostrider before the day was over. The 2nd trip on GR was in the bronze train - definitely faster than, and about 10 times as rough as, the morning ride.

After a stop off to get some jelly for the wives, we made our way to some great food in Manhattan Beach. You can't beat the seafood in California - especially the Ahi.

During dinner, we got a page from Delta saying our redeye flights were cancelled as well due to the continuing ice in Atlanta. My co-worker managed to get on another flight to Atlanta via Orlando with a layover, but I decided that wasn't worth it to turnaround and come back in 24 hours. I made the flight cancellations and changes, changed the hotel reservation, added some days to the rental car, and grabbed some Disneyland information...

...to be continued

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Tuesday, February 15, 2005 12:14 AM
I fell in love with Ahi once I moved here. Manhattan Beach, you were only 4 miles away :)

Ok, so I've never tried. Does the sit-down trick work anywhere on the course?

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Tuesday, February 15, 2005 12:23 AM
Yep - next time you're there, put your hand up high and a voice will yell "Sit Down!"

Man - we found soem great places in MAnhattan and Redondo. Check out Japonica for sushi and saki. In MHB, Mangiamo and Talia's were the best. Blackened swordfish, risotto, caprese, chocolate souffle, and Grey Goose - how can you go wrong!

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Tuesday, February 15, 2005 2:12 AM
MMM - Grey Goose. I'm used to random 7 dollar handles of Russian Vodka and Nati light. Gotta love college.
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Tuesday, February 15, 2005 8:53 AM
Even in college I drank better than that. Life is too short for cheap hooch.
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Tuesday, February 15, 2005 12:07 PM
I agree Mangiamo is fantastic. If they send you out again, make sure to eat at Mama D's at Manhattan Beach Blvd. and Manhattan Ave. It's always busy and for good reason. Some of the best Italian food and customer service anywhere.
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Wednesday, February 16, 2005 1:44 AM
Matt D. great minds think alike, and anytime I can turn a business trip into a coaster trip I am all for it. ;)
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Tuesday, February 22, 2005 11:56 PM
Matt,

Too bad you didn't care much for Silver Bullet. It actually looks like my kind of ride. I hope to give it a chance sometime this year. Hopefully soon.

I can understand what you mean about Ghostrider. The last couple of rides I have gotten on it were not all that great. I know it has the potential to give fantastic rides so I am guessing I just sat in a bad seat or the ride was in need of some work.

I really loved Xcelerator as well. It was well worth the 4 visits it took for me to get on the damn thing. I forget who suggested it, but someone I was at the park with told me to sit in the middle of the train. It made all the difference in the world and is noq my favorite place to sit.

-Sean

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