Con-Quest 2003! (long)

Associated parks:
None

Monday, June 23, 2003 11:28 AM
What: Con-Quest 2003, or "I Drove From Massachusetts To Virginia and The Rain NEVER Stopped Once"

Who: The Con-Quest-A-Dorks, AKA Mamoosh, Rollergator, Jimvid, Tony Schnaaps Milano, Dawnmarie313, Coasterbuf, Flare, Martha "Stilleto" (he he he), MilesDeSmiles, Michael Raymond, Mr. Mackey (mkay?), Tony Reynolds, and yours truly, AssAssist.

Where: Rye Playland, Quassy, SFNE, Compounce, SFNE Superhero Celebration, Keansburg, Morey's Piers, BGW, SFA, PKD, Hershey, SFGADV, Coney, and LI Adventureland (whew, got tired just typing that)

When: June 11th-22nd

Why: Credit-whoring, adding new states to our "count", partying like it's 1969 (errr, 1999), riding historic rides, general good times, and you just can't get enough 3-4 hour drives in this lifetime.

OK, this trip was wayyyy too long to write a blow-by-blow account, which would probably be boring as hell to read anyways. So, allow me to present the Bullet Points:

BIGGEST SURPRISES

- Rye: I knew it was going to be good, but I didn't know it was going to be great. Our trip started off with a big bang at Rye (I'll never tell, he he he!), and I didn't even get to see it lit up at night or the fireworks show. Extra bonus points for the ultra-cool museum right down the Boardwalk and the very cool, very long Old Mill ride.

- SFNE: I was expecting a garbage dump with gritty atmosphere, and instead found a beautiful, uncrowded park with some world-class rides. I suppose timing was everything, as the place was dead. The Thunderbolt, Frisbee, and Combo Tower rocked my world, and their Cyclone scared the piss outta me.

- Superhero Celebration: As Flare already mentioned in his trip report, the park pulled out all the stops, and the night ERT session on Supes may have been the best ERT I've ever attended.

- Wildcat (LC): This underrated woodie was running phenomenal in the rain. Extra bonus points for perhaps the scariest moment of the trip: blasting through all the brakes and the station after a soaking ride, only to end up sitting in the front seat completely exposed to the pounding rain. Flare took the opportunity to stand right outside the fence in front of me, comfortable under his umbrella, and chastise me for being a front seat rider, LOL! Funniest moment of the trip.

- Wildwood and Morey's Piers: OMG, we had SO MUCH FUN here! I hadn't read too many reviews of this place, so I was completely unprepared for how beautiful and complex the three piers would be. It reminds me of Indiana Beach, but with much more water/space to work with and about $50 million more spent on rides. Attractions twisted and turned everywhere, each one lit up with a good-to-great lighting package. It does have a few dog coasters, but some very good ones as well. Best log flume ever; it was so long, we were debating whether or not we had been on "that part over there". Best SLC ever; it turned out to be my #200...while not running significantly better/worse than any other SLC, the head/arm/foot choppers are everywhere, resulting in one hell of a ride. Fascination! Kohl Brothers Frozen Custard! Out of all the places we visited, this is the one I would return to right now if I had a choice. Color me gob-smacked!

- Great White: Morey's CCI underwhelmed many in our party, but Rollergator, Adam Revesz and I could not get enough! I particularly LOVED two sounds it made: the deep roar on the first ocean turnaround, and the frantically spinning upstop wheels on the brake run. Not quite top 10 for me, but bubbling right under, with a great location and a great back seat ride on the run home.

- Ocean City, Md.: This was a kind of cheap carny environment, but it did feature an ultra-rare Toboggan (ouch!) and the Pirates Cove, simply the best walk-through dark ride I've ever experienced. How the hell did they fit a seemingly mile-long attraction on a trailer, LOL? Good food and a good Zipper too.

- Busch Gardens, Williamsburg: Wow. You hear over and over again, "most beautiful park in the world", blah blah blah. But it's true. I'll never forget walking into the park at night (Sunday evening, before ERT) and just coming across one beautiful scene after another. Seeing the park in daylight the next day was another revelation. The layout is really challenging, but the transport rides help a lot once you learn how and when to use them. The skyride was incredible! Good food, great steelies, and really fun water rides as well. My favorite park of the trip, and in my top 3 overall.

- Loch Ness Monster: Just an old Arrow looper, rough and not-very-thrilling, right? Um, not so much. Amazing!

- Hypersonic: This thing is just wrong. I managed two rides (including a front seat ride with a 15-minute wait!) and still have no idea what the hell happened. I think it was the most amazing launch ever, but it's all just a blur. And that brake run...whoa. Jimvid and I were completely silent on our front seat ride, until we came to a stop, where we proceeded to giggle like schoolgirls for the next 5 minutes. Winner of the "What The Hell Was That?" award for now and all time.

-White Water Canyon (PKD): What a great rapids ride, right behind IOA's and DCA's for me. There's so much water running through the trough, and the ride is LONG. Very very fun, and we rode it three times, despite getting very wet the second time. I love the three boat release and the bobbing, bumper-boat action just downstream from there.

- Lightning Racer: The ride left a little to be desired (what happened to the second half?), but our first race (Gator and I versus Jimvid and Mamoosh) came down to the wire, with their train winning by about two feet. Best racing coaster ever? For me, yes.

- Sooper Poopy Looper: Ah, sweet Schwartzkopf goodness. It's like Anton's Mine Train; what a funky layout. Awesome cars, with minimal restraints and those heavenly knee pads (necessary, what with the jarring stop at the end). Hellacious fun. Gator and I ended the night with 4 solo rides, 2 in front and 2 in back...pure coaster heaven.

- SFGADV: The flip side of SFA anticipointment (see below). Great operations in a clean park with friendly crowds...in other words, the total polar opposite of my last visit in 2001. I didn't want to leave; my god, did I just say that about Great Adventure??

- The Chillah: After bad suckage on Joker's Jinx and FOF, I was not expecting much. Good thing, cause this blew me away! That barrel roll is positively terrifying going backwards. I sure wish the Batman side had been open, can't wait to try that out.

- Top Scan: Long Island's Adventureland is very kiddy, kind of an east coast version of Castle Park or Adventure City. So what the hell is this extreme (no, make that EXTREME) flat ride doing here? This was the first ride ever to make me ask the op to stop it and let me off. Not because I was going to hurl, but because it was pushing me so hard to the side I couldn't breathe! Utterly devastating.

ANTICIPOINTMENT

- Quassy: I don't know why, but I was expecting something a little more classic...instead, 1/2 the park was closed and I was deeply in fear of being carried off by strange mountain/carny folk. The kiddie coaster was a lot of fun though.

- Boulderdash: Just a teensy bit of the ol' anticipointment here. I wasn't expecting the full-out "10"-quality ride that Bdash can give, as the park wasn't open late and the weather was poor. I absolutely ADORED the setting of this coaster and the way the park ran it. Now I absolutely HAVE to come back for night rides. Still top 10, but not quite where I know it can get to.

- SFA: OK, now I get the pans of this park. My first visit, in 2001 was outstanding. This time, it was raining, the park was filthy, and the less said about most of the guests there this day the better. Wild One was running really well, and S:ROS was dependably good, but Joker's Jinx sucked hard. At least I finally bagged that kiddie coaster credit. 4 hours here and we were SO ready to go.

- PKD: OK, let me preface this by saying the park treated ACE extremely well, and we had a great day there. Just a teensy bit of anticipointment: the park is lacking that one significant coaster/flat ride that makes it worth coming back to again and again. Think of Beast/Delerium at PKI, or Stealth at PGA. Lots of very good rides but no great ones. We accomplished everything we wanted to in a very empty park and were able to move on a day early.

- Flight O' Fear: Ugh. I'm really questioning my memory of liking PKI's FOF now. What was I thinking? The second bad Premeire launcher of the trip.

- Grizzly: Um, way overrated, anyone? Sure, the tunnel part rocks, and the ride has a good location. But where's the rest of it??

- Drop Zone: Great drop, but I missed the spinning rise of PKI's model.

- Coney Island: It was mostly due to the weather (and exhaustion at the end of a long trip) , but Coney didn't do it for me. I still want to come back on a warm summer day though. The true Coney continues to elude me...sigh.

JUST AS GREAT AS EXPECTED

- SFNE S:ROS: Wow. I was so anticipating anticipointment here...there was no way this ride could be as good as everyone was making it out to be. Well, "they" were actually right...WHAT A RIDE! Truly scary air and speed, a GREAT location (best river ANYWHERE, anyone?) and stellar ops all add up to a tie for favorite steel for me, between this and X. The night rides, with mist shrouding the Conneticut River and the shadow of our train on the clouds overhead, were especially phenomenal.

- Lake Compounce: I knew I was going to love this traditional mountain-side park, and sure enough, it rocks. You can make quibbles about it needing more flat rides or a good steelie, but the setting and friendliness of the staff made up for all of that and then some. Thanks to John the mechanic for letting us know which train runs the fastest and which seat needs the most frequent upstop wheel replacement!

- Apollo's Chariot: I thought I would like this a lot, and it indeed entered my top 10 steel at #3, right behind S:ROS and X. I loved how AC delivers three different kinds of air (extreme, floater, and semi-extreme) on the way out, and the same three kinds in different order on the way back. Great drops to the river, and a phenomenal last drop. My last ride was with Mark and Cindy in the front seat and was a keeper, even though I slightly prefered the last two rows more. Extra kudos for the back right seat on the far turnaround drop...WOW!

- Big Bad Wolf: Great layout, and two different rides, depending on if it's night or day. And that last drop: WTF! Arrow was truly mad when they designed this one. Ninja what? Top who??

- Volcano: Managed about 10 rides on this beauty, and loved it a little more each time. Speed, grace, and just plain uniqueness. The three barrel rolls were a little repetitive, and I wanted it to keep going when it hit the brakes, but walk-on conditions mitigated the negatives.

- Hersheypark: We totally owned this park (a theme for the trip) due to weather and our evening arrival. Very cool location, even if I did expect it to be out in the middle of nowhere. Comet was the lone disappointment; it's unfathomable how good that ride could be without that godd@mn brake on the high curve.

- Wildcat: GCI gets mean...and god bless them for it.

- Superman: Ultimate Flight: Beats the Vekoma Flyers in terms of trains, operations and comfort, if not in layout. However, the somewhat boring layout was WAY mitigated by the Pretzel Loop...holy sh*t! That element, in the back seat, is terrifying.

- Coney Island Cyclone: Wow! That is one messed-up ride. The four-benchers really make a difference. The front seat scared the piss outta me, so I didn't even try the back seat. This was the trip were I embraced the fact that I'm a wuss, and I feel so much better about myself now, LOL!

SUCKED BAD

- Shockwave: I'm surprised only one person's died on this. Worst restraints ever! Horribly uncomfortable, and very unflattering for the abdomenaly-challenged to boot. I'm so glad Mike Kallay moved on to film another ride while I was riding this; I felt like such a tool. I would love to try this layout with a B & M standup train though. TAER IT DOWN!

- Hurler: Sir, I know Thunder Run. You are no Thunder Run.

- Flyer Follies: Compounce's down. PKD's down, due to "motor trouble" (riiiiiiiiight). And I couldn't do a damn thing with Hershey's. It's official, I hate the Flyers!

- Viper (GADV): Yay, I have a new worst steel ever!

- Missing Kallay/Murray's video on Friday at Con: There's something
about sheer audacity that turns me on.

- Rain: June on the east coast means shorts and t-shirts, right? Right??

- Blisters: I need to meet a good podiatrist/coaster enthusiast for my next trip.

Thanks to all the participants on the Con-Quest, especially our New Yawk City buds for the fabulous hospitality, and extra-especially to Mamoosh for helping me plan this mamooth trek. Despite tons of work and headaches, it was all worth it.

------------------
Mike Miller - SFMM: We don't care. We don't have to. You all keep coming back anyways, no matter how bad we treat you.

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Monday, June 23, 2003 11:59 AM

BaSSiStiSt said:
- Top Scan: Long Island's Adventureland is very kiddy, kind of an east coast version of Castle Park or Adventure City. So what the hell is this extreme (no, make that EXTREME) flat ride doing here? This was the first ride ever to make me ask the op to stop it and let me off. Not because I was going to hurl, but because it was pushing me so hard to the side I couldn't breathe! Utterly devastating.

Did you catch if Chris was driving? He's the best Top Scan operator of the crop there; completely unrelenting and brutal.

When I've managed to be in the right place at the right time on that ride, I've had no less than four or five headfirst freefalls. It's positively blissful.

Did you manage a ride on the unique Mondial Supernova, Surfdance?

------------------
--Maddie--
What do I Listen-To?

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Monday, June 23, 2003 12:14 PM

BaSSiStiSt said:
- Wildcat (LC): This underrated woodie was running phenomenal in the rain. Extra bonus points for perhaps the scariest moment of the trip: blasting through all the brakes and the station after a soaking ride, only to end up sitting in the front seat completely exposed to the pounding rain. Flare took the opportunity to stand right outside the fence in front of me, comfortable under his umbrella, and chastise me for being a front seat rider, LOL! Funniest moment of the trip.

Maybe your funniest moment of the trip, bASS. I still believe Jim, aboslutely saturated, trying to dry off with a crumpled kleenex after the rapids at BGW takes the cake.

The rain made that Wildcat ride insane...and I have a giant bruise to prove it! We would have been able to go again if not for the hysterically crying 12 year old boy begging to be let off. It occurs to me now that Saturday was probably my punishment for laughing at that kid...sigh...it's not like Wildwood sounded all that cool or anything. :(

-Twisted Sister ;)

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Monday, June 23, 2003 12:57 PM
I was just at Coney Island a few weeks ago and you do not want to ride Cyclone in the back. I was in pain waiting for it to be over the whole time! Nice trip report by the way.

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-Sean Newman

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Monday, June 23, 2003 2:14 PM
All I can say is I am sooooooo darn jealous of you all. Glad you made it home alive!
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What's shaking in Robland? - Click it, or lose it. ;)
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Monday, June 23, 2003 2:43 PM
Maddie - Chris was in the midwest on a coaster trip of his own but we had a nice long chat with the ride op on Top Scan and he gave us a good, long whirl! Gator and I tried the Surf Dance, too, but it seemed to either be running an awfully lame program [but not as lame a program as the same ride at La Feria in Mexico City] or the ride op didn't want to give us a wild ride.

We did get to meet Amy, tho ;)

mOOSH

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Monday, June 23, 2003 2:56 PM
I think I've met Amy. . . once, after the park had closed.

I'm glad you all had a chance to come out to my neck of the woods and see the itty bit we have to offer. If I were aware of what day of the week it is, nevermind what day of the month, I would've contemplated stalking you all or something. But, it's easy for me to say that now that you're gone. I'm usually pretty good about being shy and unobtrusive.

The Surf Dance can be fun, but I have no frame of reference as far as what a wild or tame ride is. It's also been quite awhile since I've ridden it myself. Usually my time at the park is limited to a few games of DDR and a few spins on the Top Scan and nothing more.


------------------
--Maddie--
What do I Listen-To?

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Monday, June 23, 2003 7:17 PM
Turn in your enthusiass cards immediately, Pappa Cyclone is not pleased with you wussies. You will sit in the back, you will have your thighs beaten to a pulp and YOU WILL ENJOY IT!!! Welcome to NY now ged da fug outta here.
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Tuesday, June 24, 2003 6:08 AM
Glad to hear you guys had such a good time. I had read Dave's Compounce/SFNE TR over at RRC while you guys were gone, and was seriously bummed that I couldn't be there.

'- Wildcat: GCI gets mean...and god bless them for it.'

I agree 100%, Mike. I think the HP Wildcat is a phenomenal front-seat ride.

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Tuesday, June 24, 2003 7:39 AM
Boblo - first of all, the NYers I know refer to Cyclone as "mom" not "poppa." Secondly I've taken many backseat rides, including a few solo. Knowing what Bass likes and dislikes in a coaster I know he wouldn't enjoy a backseat ride. Considering the weather I'm just glad he got to ride it once ;)

mOOSH

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Tuesday, June 24, 2003 9:46 AM
I'll comment some more on this later (hey, it's easier than doing my OWN trip report, hehe).

SO grateful for the invite on this trip....sure, we were pressed for time virtually every waking moment of the trip (and even some of the sleeping moments), but how ELSE could you pack that much excitement into a week and a half....

ERTs were kinda funny, cause other than Supermania, the lines were at their longest after the parks had emptied...sweet irony, because it's also when the rides were at their best...

And now, in classic gator thumbs-up, thumbs-down style, the reviews:

Thumbs WAY up for: Grizzly at night, Top Scan, Riverside Cyclone, front seat of H:XLC (esp. with a 15-minute wait), Bump Yer @ss Off, and topless Chiller (even if MY favorite side is SBNO this year)...SFNE's RoS gets a special mention, since the bone bruises on my knees just MAY be permanent. Hershey, LC, PKD, and BGW get special mention for their staff friendliness and efficiency.

The Mother of All Coasters in the back seat was wonderful again, and even though I managed to keep my hands up, it sure wasn't easy....76 and still running STRONG. The Mermaid Parade....well, I'll hold my comments for a more *appropriate* forum...;)

The friends on this trip were amazing, and definitely MADE the trip....the rides, awesome as they were, have to take a back seat (hehe) to the camraderie and the general silliness...URC, RRC, Buzz, there were no boundaries....and no limits! w0000t!

For anything I may have omitted, just inquire or correct me and I'll be happy to post back.....WOW, this is SO much easier than doing my own TR....:)

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Tuesday, June 24, 2003 11:05 AM
Gator discovers one of the many benefits of travelling with Bass - He always does a great trip report for the group! ;)
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Tuesday, June 24, 2003 1:13 PM
...not to mention he always has his cellphone handy...;)

bill, cellphone *never* handy, always out of juice anyway....

Oh, the "thumbs-down" section....PKD, for outright BSing attendees as to the reason for the flyers not operating Weds. night...gotta agree with bASS on that one, the motor was NOT even *remotely* involved with them being taken off the ERT line-up...

Ah well, I certainly got my share of Grizzly love that night...:)

...and I got to see someone taken out in handcuffs at MacArthur Airport....just wish it had been a Delta exec...;)

...AND, the Zipper ride in OC was THAT good...:)

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Tuesday, June 24, 2003 3:53 PM
So did any of you attend the Business Meeting? I'm curious what was said about the Holiday World incident, among other things.

--Greg, who REALLY wishes he could have attended this year.

------------------
--Greg, aka Oat Boy
My page
"Another visitor. Stay a while. Stay FOREVER!"

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Tuesday, June 24, 2003 5:06 PM
Nice to see you again Mike. One of these days we are actually going to get to hang out with each other for more than 5 minutes.

-Sean

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Tuesday, June 24, 2003 5:07 PM

GregLeg said:
So did any of you attend the Business Meeting? I'm curious what was said about the Holiday World incident, among other things.

--Greg, who REALLY wishes he could have attended this year.

------------------
--Greg, aka Oat Boy
My page
"Another visitor. Stay a while. Stay FOREVER!"


Greg,

I was in the meeting. Carole and I discussed the HW incident in detail and heard from a few other members who wanted to share some ideas on what could be done to prevent this from happening again.

-Sean

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Tuesday, June 24, 2003 5:09 PM

rollergator said:
...and I got to see someone taken out in handcuffs at MacArthur Airport....just wish it had been a Delta exec...;)

Oh that's nice. I didn't see that reported on the news anywhere.

I hope it wasn't anyone I know or anything.


------------------
--Maddie--
What do I Listen-To?

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Tuesday, June 24, 2003 7:19 PM
What do I know mOOSH, I spent more time at JFK than Coney while in NYC. Are you sure the locals refer to it as mom and not mutha(last name deleted)? With all due affection of course.

Heh, heh, mOOSH said 'backseat rides' (Beavis)

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Wednesday, June 25, 2003 9:55 AM
Maddie...Apparently disturbed by Delta's on-time policy "we'll get you there on time....or we won't", and fueled by considerable alcohol, this gentleman (sarcasm included free of charge) locked himself into the lavatory when told he would be leaving with the nice officers from the TSA....they didn't seem to have the same sense of humor as I did about the situation, and he was taken off the plane in cuffs about 10-15 minutes after everyone else left the plane...

bill, will TRY to avoid ASA, aka "the Delta Disconnection", in my future travel plans...;)

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Wednesday, June 25, 2003 12:05 PM
I was also there for CoasterCon 26, and I had a blast. I think by day 3, I've never been so tired in my life. I went home early and slept forever.

I really enjoyed all the times the ACEr's got together because it was such healthy discussion, some of which I've never had because none of close to home friends love coasters. Being able to be around 700+ people that have the same hobby is so enriching. For once my hobby didn't seem so odd.

The ERTs were also a blast. Something is more special with a train of ACEr's than it is with a train of GPs. They are all boring and unenthusiastic. One day, I'm gonna get the GP to slap hands when I leave the station. I really enjoyed that.

I also enjoyed Friday's banquet. I found it really fun. I enjoyed watching the Video Contest before the Banquet, then seeing who won, which was also my favorite. Plus, the food was great! Not Hot Dogs and Chicken! ;)

I wish I had been able to meet some people for Coasterbuzz. Woulda been nice to get to know some fellow Buzz'ers. Match some faces with screen names, but who knows, maybe I did talk to some of you and just didn't know it. I'm Jeremy Davis for VA, if you happen to seen my name tag.

Anywho, I hope to goto CoasterCon 27, at Cedar Point and Six Flags Worlds of Adventure. Since I've never been to either, it'll be quite a treat.

So, Thanks to those who were involved with CoasterCon 26, and I can't wait till next year!

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Free Falls on Drop Zone: 11!
Batwing Flights: 7!
Superman: Ride of Steel Airtime-age: 10!

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