Canada's Wonderland, SFNE, Dorney, Hershey, and Kennywood---all in 11 Days!

Associated parks:
None

Sunday, June 29, 2008 12:30 AM
New England Trip Report

Begin: Chicago, IL

Travelled up through MI into Canada, then out to Cape Cod and back, hitting all the parks along the way on this killer road trip...enjoy!

Canada's Wonderland 6/19/08

-Behemoth is awesome. Lots of great airtime floater hills and simply a fun layout. A real crowd pleaser. Definitely found it's way into my top ten. Wait time minimal, half hour or less even with a full queue, as they were running three trains very efficiently. Got a total of four rides on it today. I prefer toward the front on an outside seat.

-It's been said before, but I will re-iterate, Sledgehammer is much more fun to watch than it is to ride. Mildly thrilling and surprisingly jerky.

-Psyclone is a wonderfully smooth Mondial imitation (or original?) of Maxair, etc. A nice surprise.

-Shockwave (Mondial topscan) is a very exciting and smooth ride. Very disorientating, but not overwhelming. Think Chaos on steroids feeling.

-Rode Skyrider as I remember riding the clone version in King's Island many years ago and it being fun (and my first standup)...what the HECK was I thinking?!? Quite possibly the worst coaster I have ever ridden. 0 Jerky, headbanger, and uncomfortable. -1/10

-Thunder Run is worth a ride...also I found out the name of the Dragon inside the mountain during a trivia session hosted by the ride ops when it broke down...anyone know/have a guess?

-The Fly is a good wild mouse that I expected to be much rougher just by watching it, but it turned out to be enjoyable.

-I'm a sucker for dark rides, so I decided to check out the Scooby-Doo Haunted Mansion. Holy slow loader!!! Line of about 100 people lasted 45 minutes. Nice long ride though in two seater Indiana Beach Den of Lost Theives like cars. Thought it was neat that they posted the scores of the top person today and this year so you could aim to beat it.

-Vortex looked like it had a nice setting (better that the old Top Gun at KI) but due to long lines I decided to skip this, Backlot Stunt Coaster, and the two woods (due to one train operation and 1hr+ lines).

-Waterpark was closed today with a high of 61...otherwise would have scoped it out.

-All in all, a very nice park with some nice attractions and beautiful setting. I could watch the waterfall at the entrance for hours. Behemoth is a terrific addition and a world class ride.

Six Flags New England 6/21/08

-Superman:ROS gets an A for fun and re-rideability, but an F for operations. The two trains were dispatching about once every 5 minutes and had at least 4-6 empty seats right next to each other. The station loaded from two ways...one for the general public and one for Flash Pass. These two lines were regulated horribly which led to a 1:45 wait, which should have been a half-hour. Total bummer--only two rides total.

-Nightwing was down all day--too bad...I really wanted to check this out.

-Catapult (fly swatter) is a horribly uncomfortable ride. I got a real chuckle out of when the ride op announced during loading, "stick your bellies OUT!! These restraints are very tight and uncomfortable!" I can see why this ride never caught on. Again, like Sledgehammer, only fun to watch.

-Cyclone was pretty rough, and luckily only a 15-minute wait with a one-train operation.

-Batman had some neat elements with some great airtime, but the rattling and vibration/headbanging on the corkscrews, etc. really mess this coaster up. Too bad. -Buzzsaw was pretty wild...probably should have watched a cycle before boarding...ended up getting smashed in the stomach on each revolution!

-Skyride/Cageball was unique (sit sideways!) but very short.

-Catwoman's Whip was a fun "mini whizzer" through some bushes. Smoother than expected. Kids really seemed to enjoy this one.

-Spent half the day in Hurricane Harbor which was very nice, except the water was much colder than it should have been. Typhoon Water Coaster with conveyor belts was pretty wild, but I still prefer the ones with water jets to accelerate you up the hill. The one at Magic Waters in Rockford, IL and the ones at Typhoon Lagoon are still my favorites (with the one at Kalahari in the Dells coming in last). Wave pool provided some great body surfing waves. Tube slides (shark attack) were good but short and fast. -Swings near Batman grounded real low to the ground...people 6' or taller...prepare yourself or enjoy scraped knees. Very strange.

-All in all, a very nice park with a great setting and alot of New England charm. S:ROS is fun, but I still enjoyed Behemoth more overall. Park suffers from poor and slow operations (including trams that take people to parking lot---at end of day, only two trams running one car that held about 30 people). I still prefer my home park and Hurricane Harbor, SFGAm. Note to season pass holders with parking---as you may be used to gaining preferred parking at your home park, it doesn't work here--you're back in budget on the other side of the street with the GP.

Something I noticed: After CW and SFNE....what the heck has happened with all the live shows I remember theme parks having?! I always enjoy catching a few throughout the day. But they're pretty non-existent at both these parks. Most "live attractions" in the park guide are character meet and greets or parades. CW had two dive shows beginning at the end of June, but I saw really nothing at SFNE, except a taped Dick Clark music video playing on a big screen. Live performers must be scarce nowadays.

Dorneypark 6/24/08

Stopped in for a few hours on the way to Hersheypark. Glad we did! Lines were minimal and rides were great.

-Talon is still kickin, albeit a little more shaky than when I rode 5 years ago. I think I still like Raptor better.

-Steel Force is a GREAT, completely underrated ride. Why can't Magnum ride like this?!?! The best combo would be Magnums layout and location with Steel Force's smoothness. Enjoyed just as much as five years ago and was just as fun as Behemoth.

-Wild mouse---looks much smoother than it rides--pretty forceful on those turns! Is this the same model is that is in the new Batman:The Dark Knight rides? It seemed familiar.

-Rode Hydra just for the heck of it...still rough and not a favorite...

-Krazy cars are really different...worth a ride for sure! I remember these from my childhood at a local amusement center.

-Dorney's Whip is fantastic. Out of the three on my trip (Dorney, Hershey, and Kennywood) this one I felt rode the best with the most appropriate ride cycle.

Hersheypark 6/24/08-6/25/08

-What a fantastic park. Why didn't I visit here sooner?! Chocolate world was fun and the free ride was well done.

-Rode Fahrenheit twice...awesome ride. I liked the different vertical lift, and thought the layout flowed well. Honestly, I didn't think it was "too short" even given the small footprint. Seating is assigned, and I rode in the 2nd and 4th rows...both rides were smooth and enjoyable. Less aggressive than Maverick...I actually prefer Fahrenheit. This coaster has definitely made my top ten steel. Line was 20 minutes or less both times. -Lightning Racer rocks! Definitely preferred the Lightning side for some reason. Rode four times, all were great, but thought the front of the train gave a smoother ride. Definitely one of my favorite woodies, only behind Viper at SFGAm and Cornball Express at IB.

-The whip here was very comfortable, but the cycle was far too short. Re-rode over and over again though.

-Boardwalk area was nice, but wall to wall people all afternoon.

-I found the Comet to be a tad rough, but that was to be expected with its age.

-Great Bear was a nice surprise! I really liked the inversions and order the elements were in. The beginning helix is more forceful than I expected! Two rides, and this is right up there with Raptor for me. Enjoyed it even more than Talon.

-Disappointment of the day: Storm Runner. Rode it twice to see if it was just the first ride...but alas, although the launch is fun and the elements are interesting, it's waaaay too short and has too much vibration. Bummer. Near walk-on both times.

-Wildcat: Yikes! Once was enough.

-Flyers were great...good speed, height, and location.

-Starship made me near puke.

-Roller Soaker was definately fun to do once. Horrible capacity, but I expected that. Fun when the people blast you from 25 feet below.... it’s a strange feeling when you're coasting toward a stationary gush of water...nothing you can do but take it! Broke down as we were the next car to the lift---4 eager maintenance men hurried over and fixed it within 10 minutes.

Yay for live shows! Caught some drummers on the midway, and then a very energetic "horn band" called the SodaPops which were very talented and neat to watch. Super music from the 70's and 80's. -All in all, Hershey is a terrific park that I look forward to visiting again in the future. Friendly staff, great rides, and a nice crowd of people. The whole Hershey town is beautiful and clean...everyone there seemed really proud of their park and town. Turkey Hill gas stations are great---their slushes are amazing...very icy and delicious. There is a coupon for a free one on the back of the entertainment guide in Hersheypark that can be used at the station right outside the park (assuming you pick up some gas there anyways).

Kennywood 6/26/08

-Its been at least ten years since a visit here and I looked forward to returning. I truly am glad I went back, but I probably won't visit for awhile again. The rides haven't aged very well, and the staff is pretty lackadaisical.

-First ride, something new: Garfield's Nightmare. What the heck is this? Quite possibly the worst ride I have ever endured. Maybe my expectations were too high, but they could have done so much more with the 3D effects. The incessant looping of dialogue was totally unacceptable. You hear the same lame remark by Garfield or Jon at least 3-5 times before you exit the scene. There was no sense or story to the ride at all. Just bizarre animatronic pizza boxes with fangs that open and shut. Bring the Old Mill back.

-Jack Rabbit was rougher than I remember but the double down is still terrific. Really feels like it jumps the track in the back car. Sad to see the manual lever to control the brakes is gone :(

-Thunderbolt was again too wild for my likes, although I love the terrain it uses.

-Phantoms Revenge.... big disappointment!! The speed and smoothness is great until the last part after the helix.... the part with all the bunny hills and airtime I was looking forward to was instead a jerky uncomfortable mess of an ending. Rats!

-SwingShot was fun although it seemed smaller and more forceful than SkyHawk at Cedar Point.

-The whip here was neat and nostalgic, although ever since the roof collapsed, this ride in the baking sun is not as fun.

-Exterminator almost exterminated me! Holy roughness. Rajun Cajun on 'roids! I don't think ANY of the trims were used. Really too bad because the theming on the inside was actually very good---I was just tossed around and jabbed in the stomach with the lapbar multiple times...very, very painful. Kid I was on with started crying.

-Ghostwood Estate is great!!! The real saving grace of the day. A neat preshow leads into an even better ride. Rode 5 times during the day. Lots of neat things to shoot at as every target hit does something cool. Only problem here is reliability. The ride broke down three times with us either on it or in line. The second time we rode, the ride stopped in the middle, and an attendant turned on all the lights and evacuated each car. It was really neat to be able to walk through the haunted house with the lights on and see all the effects up close. Reminded me alot of the Curse of Darkastle at Busch in Williamsburg, VA.

-Racer was running pretty well and a lot better than I remembered it being.

-Kangaroo and Noah's Ark are still good fun and very unique/worth doing.

-Log Jammer was neat---I forgot about the up/down part...so that was a nice surprise.

-All in all, it was a nice day at the park. It was "Mom's Day" so there were alot of vendors set up throughout the park giving away free samples and food to everyone. The park has seemed to age a bit since my last visit, but it still holds alot of its charm.

Geauga Lake 6/27/08

-Stopped here just for a few hours to spend at Wildwater Kingdom. Checked out the new (to me) wave pool and thought it was nice, although the water was pretty warm (88 or so degrees). Waves were gentle and bobbing, not enough for any body surfing.

-Rode all the tube slides which were quite good, followed by the tallest green body slide (probably ever built). As I remembered, it was very intense and disorientating. I wonder what the positive G-forces on these body slides are?

-Park was empty and they were disassembling the giant play/net structure outside the waterpark. Geauga is such a nice clean park; it always makes me sad to see it barren.

Thanks for reading! I look forward to your replies/comments. *** Edited 6/29/2008 4:36:32 AM UTC by Gottarideit***

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Sunday, June 29, 2008 12:59 AM
Nice TR and quite an ambitious trip. Glad you enjoyed Dorney and Hersheypark as much as you did. You didn't ride Voodoo? Or have you ridden it in one of its previous lives? Too bad you were disappointed in SR, but sounds like you enjoyed most of the other rides you had there.

Hurray for Turkey Hill. I'm not a slushy person, but I do like their ice cream.

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Sunday, June 29, 2008 1:15 AM
Ah, another one that preferred the Lightning train at Hershey's Lightning Racer. I had another theory about this: perhaps Hershey made the Lightning train better on purpose due to the fact that the coaster is named Lightning Racer, not Thunder Racer. J/K. :)

Dorney's so great for short wait times. I don't know if people just feel like for the daring coasters, they'd rather go to Great Adventure or what. I think it's great for me living so close and everything...Dorney needs a really great coaster...a prefab Intamin woodie or a B&M hypercoaster or something. *sigh* I really hope they get moving on that. I know there is a space issue, but I heard a while ago that the people that owned land around Dorney and weren't selling finally decided to sell, but that's just a rumor.

I still hope to ride Phantom's Revenge sometime soon. Was it worth at least one ride?

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Sunday, June 29, 2008 7:36 AM
Hate to hear tht you were disappointed with Phantom. As for rides at Kennywood showing their age, there is one rough spot on the Turtle that needs to be fixed soon. It made some unpleasant noise that detracted from the enjoyment of the ride.

As for Exterminator, that indeed runs all out without trims as far as I can tell. Compare it to the spinning mouse at DelGrossos which is much tamer.

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Sunday, June 29, 2008 9:07 AM
You know, I only got one ride on Behemoth this weekend as it's Canada Day weekend up here (bad planning on my part), but I really did not enjoy Behemoth. It almost seemed too smooth, if you can imagine. None of the turns seemed aggressive at all, and it did offer some great floating air, but seemed rather boring overall.

Maybe it's just me, but it was just Meh. I'd take nearly any other hyper I've been on instead of this ride. Here's hoping for something more aggressive at Kings Island.

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Sunday, June 29, 2008 11:10 AM
RGB, I didn't ride Voodoo as I had ridden it at Geauga many times before...although it really did look brand new and great in its new location ;)

Bunky, I think you may be onto something there with Lightning and the name....I thought the same thing! You are lucky to have Dorney so close...I could hop between Steel Force and Talon all day long. Phantom's Revenge is definately worth a ride---it's speed and smoothness thru the first drops and helix is very impressive, I think I just suffered from a case of anticipointment thinking the airtime hills and hops at the end would be outstanding.

Arthur, Yeah I noticed the turtle was definately a little wilder than when I rode all those years ago. I hope they smooth it out, cause the location is pretty awesome.

Jeff, I agree that Behemoth is very smooth, although I found it more forceful than say Raging Bull (which is a good thing--as much as I like Raging, I wish it had more oomph.) To me, Behemoth was gentle but certainly not mellow.

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Sunday, June 29, 2008 3:09 PM
Typically I am too lazy to hop between Talon and Steel Force all day long, but I get your point. Eheheheh...I typically hop between Talon and Hydra (I know Hydra stinks, but it's so close to Talon and there's never a wait), then head down to hop between Steel Force, Thunderhawk--although Thunderhawk will only get a ride every now and then because I don't really like it--and Voodoo. Going today, actually. :)
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Sunday, June 29, 2008 6:52 PM
^^Going today when it's already past 3:00 pm?!?...WHA?????.....

Gottaride:

Why didn't you swing by Great Adventure during this trip?? Also, at CW did you ride Time Warp?

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Sunday, June 29, 2008 10:29 PM
tigellinus, time constraints and already pricelined hotels to keep us on track kept us from visiting GAv (which I did visit a five or so years ago--so really just El Toro is on my "to do" list, since Ka is so similar to Dragster which I have ridden a bunch) At CW I had to skip Time Warp since it's line was out the wazoo late afternoon (I assumed slow moving line, as well...and I had heard that the coaster was pretty rough). Kinda wished I had hit it earlier in the day when the wait was minimal so I could have earned the "credit" and seen what the fuss was about ;)
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Sunday, June 29, 2008 11:11 PM
^^I see....well, that's too bad to hear about El Toro, though, as that is my favorite coaster!! Hopefully you can catch GAdv next year!

As for Time Warp, I was also told to head straight to it after rope drop for line purposes, but how could anyone who's NOT yet ridden Behemoth do that!? But you definitely did not miss much as it was very rough...but the barrel rolls were pretty unique.

Although you were at CW only a few days after me (I went the 16th), it sounds like it was a lot busier than when I went...but hopefully you got some candy there before you left, there was tons of stuff not found in the states (at least that I've seen) like Aero bars and Bounty bars!

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Monday, June 30, 2008 12:10 AM
Gottarideit, you've GOTTARIDETORO! You must. It is a life-altering, mind-blowing coaster. It eclipsed everything I had ever been on, and I seriously doubt that there is anything out there that I will ever like better. And I STRONGLY DISLIKE wooden coasters, and it's still my favorite. Been to Great Adventure twice this year, and I rode Toro eight times in those two visits. Totally worth any waits you may encounter (I've actually never encountered more than a 10-15 minute wait, but I would wait for at least an hour to ride this particular bull). :)
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Monday, June 30, 2008 5:46 AM
First time I've ever seen a sub-par review of Storm Runner, I'm a little surprised. Personally I like it better than Ka or Dragster.

Great TR, though, but I must ask, why no Lake Compounce?

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Monday, June 30, 2008 3:21 PM
tigellinus, I didn't even think about looking for the different kinds of candy--and I'm a sucker for sweets too! Maybe next time.

bunky, I am excited to try Toro and hope I can make it out there sometime soon. I've heard nothing but good things....have you tried the Voyage at Holiday World? That's a totally extreme woody as well. While I really do enjoy it and find the layout amazing, I have to have at least a 30 min breather in between rides...it's that wild!

Camden Crazy, I thought the launch on Storm Runner was great...in fact just as exciting as Dragster...it's just the inversions were not quite as gentle as say even Fahrenheit across the way. As far as Lake Compounce, I honestly forgot it was in CT! We just drove from Cape Cod along the coast until our hotel in Newark, NJ.

To all: for those visiting CW and seeing Niagara Falls, I highly recommend doing the Maid of the Mist boat tour that takes you close to American Falls and in the center of Horseshoe Falls....it's quite a rush and TOTALLY worth the $12.50. For viewing of the falls, I had heard the Canadian side was better, but after seeing my pictures, I have to say you can get closer from the American side (and the viewing bridge is pretty neat in the US).

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Monday, June 30, 2008 3:52 PM

Camden Crazy said:
First time I've ever seen a sub-par review of Storm Runner, I'm a little surprised.

I was thinking the same thing about Phantom's Revenge. :)

But then I read the response:


Gottarideit said:
...it's just the inversions were not quite as gentle as say even Fahrenheit across the way.

Then upon reading the original TR more closely there seems to be a preference for smoother, less forceful coasters.

And suddenly, I understood. :)

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Monday, June 30, 2008 7:51 PM
Gonch, good deciphering ;) I certainly prefer smoother rides than rickety-rattle-headache inducing ones. Forceful on the other hand, is a mixed bag. While I love force created by great heights and speed (think MF and Dragster) I tend to dislike force created by smaller layouts/tighter turns (think Rajun Cajun or Batman). Going by this method explains why I was so surprised by how much I liked Fahrenheit--I definately expected more of a "Maverick intensity". It's interesting to analyze how each individual's differing expectations lead to their idea of "the perfect ride".
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Tuesday, July 1, 2008 12:24 AM
Noo, haven't ridden Voyage *poutfrownstickouttongue*. I really want to, but it's pretty far away for me, and I'm broke. Some day...by then it'll probably be too rough to ride, but we'll see.

Toro. Toro! TORO!!!! Must do it. :)

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Tuesday, July 1, 2008 12:39 AM

Gottarideit said:
Fahrenheit--I definately expected more of a "Maverick intensity".

So did I. But for me the lack of that intensity was a minus, not a plus. :)

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008 12:55 AM
Having been on Fahrenheit and not Maverick, I must now do Maverick for sure. I REALLY hope Cedar Point is where I end up for my anniversary this year.
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Wednesday, July 2, 2008 5:49 PM
In response to Canada's Wonderland...my friend Danny and I went for the first time on Sunday and it was great! Behemoth was excellent! Vortex was excellent! The woodies sucked! So did Time Warp! Glad you had fun!
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Wednesday, July 2, 2008 11:07 PM
^LOL Patrick. Before Behemoth and potentially even IJ, the best "coaster" in the park was the powered Mack. The park more than makes up for it with beauty, the ever-elusive "charm", and one of the top three collections of flats I've ever seen. Glad you had fun in Canada.


Given the preference for "less-forceful" rides, Gottarideit might want to be thankful to have not ridden Nightwing. ;)

Steel Force doesn't hold a candle to Maggie or Steel Eel...but I did get some of my best rides on it a couple years ago post-PPP. All non-Intamin airtime pales in comparison to PR. IMO...but it she noted I take trains/comfort into account along with raw power.

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