Last TR 07/ACE Fall Thrillfest at King's Dominion 10/13

Associated parks:
None

Wednesday, October 17, 2007 2:26 AM
My friend Shannon once again offered to pay for my way into the ACE Fall Thrillfest at King's Dominion as my early birthday present (as she did last year). Everything was covered at work and then I hear my boss tell me earlier in the week that I need to be at work on Friday for an event by 4 p.m. Say what?

So I get stuck running an event and also resetting a stage which gets me home at 11:30 p.m. Oh crap, am I going to be tired tommorow.

It's now 5 a.m. in the morning—an hour before I wanted to get up and I can't go back to sleep. This sucks. Hitting the road from Baltimore around 7 a.m., I knew I was going to have to bust some ass on I-95 to hit the 9:15 a.m. registration check-in. Thank goodness for the open no-restriction HOV-lanes going South today.

Back out onto 95S, there are cops everywhere, so I slow it down a little. I almost made it to KD without a rest stop, but I also had a nagging thought in my head—"Do you have any cah to pay for parking?" At the rest stop, I find out I have $4 to my name. Exit 104 (rt. 301) here I come.

It's time for a stop at my favorite car/truck stop Pilot, where I lost $3.50 (ouch!) for a banking fee, but I was able to pick up a new pair of sunglasses which I determined I was going to desparately need today as it was quite bright.

After parting ways with another $10 for parking, I quickly made it to registration where they hadn't left me behind. I figured my Geagua Lake Maxx Pass would scan like at CP, but no, that was not the case. There barcode readers can't read the GL pass (and I've got the type with the picture). I still had to go to Guest Relations for my comp ticket.

ERT this morning would be on Volcano the Blast Coaster and Flight of Fear for an hour. Things were going okay, and then the second train out (I believe) rolled back. My friend Bob and I had to get back into line as we were on the next train out. After a few minutes they unloaded the other train in the tunnel, and we moved onto FoF.

FoF is not open during Halloween Haunt since they're using it for a haunted attraction. We walked in through the exit to get onboard. We were seated and after a lapbar recheck, the control op announced that VtBC had reopened. Awesome. FoF was a one and done and boy were the brakes cranked-up at the end.

Back to VtBC, Bob and I managed to get in two rides including walk-around. It always amazes me how smoothly the train transitions around the banked-turn after the launch. You would think by now, it would have become somewhat rough.

The hearline rolls never cease to amaze me at how long and drawn out they are. They get your attention due to worrying about everything in your pockets possibly falling out.

Our next event was the Splash Gun Tournament (shoot watergun into a small hole to advance a small rising block), which was played in rounds. With Sam Marks head of the Coaster Zombies group, no one stood a chance. I've never played before, so I found it to be quite fun.

We had sometime to kill before a returning event from last year, the Great ACE shootout at Scooby Doo and the Haunted Mansion, so we went and tried to ride TR:FF. There was only one problem—the previous riders were stuck at the end with a platform that wouldn't come back up. Bob and several others of us decided to wait it out, and fixing the problem didn't take too long.

Bob and I rode all the way at the end of the front-row above the lowered platform. The platform looked a little too close to our feet as we flipped. I'll have to remember to sit there again:) The group then moved over to Avalanche which had just opened, and it too had a small breakdown. Again, the problem seemed fairly quickly resolved. I was just hoping the whole day wasn't going to be like this.

We moved over to Drop Zone where Bob challenged me to put my hands out on the drop. Yikes, that was a little bit scarier to say the least! So of course we went back around and got another ride:)

We then went back and hit-up The Italian Job. Oh, by the way, it was a little bit strange to see a Tornado sitting right next to it:) They were only running two-trains out of three. Has it ever run all three? While not a high-intensitiy ride, the Italian Job still has enough weaves and dips to keep things interesting, and the spiral-launch is always a trip. The only effect not working (that I know of) was the helicopter.

Somewhere in there Bob and I squeezed in Anaconda, and as the ride-checkers came by, Bob had forgotten to put on his seatbelt. Now, I was at three CF parks over the summer, so I had gotten used to it. Bob turned to me after the guy buckled him in and he said "I totally forgot."

Finally, it was time for shootout at SDatHM. Once again, with Sam Marks in attendance, you might as well not even bother, but our crew gave it our best effort. I tied with someone else in my car for 1080. I believe Sam's score was 3850!

Again, with a gap before our next event—lunch—we took advantage of the ride Taxi Jam without a kid perk and took over the ride. The Miler has some kick to it, and certainly is easier to ride than some kiddie coasters.

We went for our picnic, and found out 108 people attended the event. The picnic had Q&A with the vice-president of marketing, as well as, prizes given out for the shoot-out. Sam walked away with a really nice Italian Job remote-control car. We also had trivia questions thrown out at us, and some were really hard to remember, or where before my time.

The rest of us who didn't win anything special got to pick out a prize out of a hat. I was hoping for something small, and I got a Volcano the Blast Coaster pin. Perfect. After a group photo, it was time for us to disperse back into the park for an unofficial event—a takeover of Grizzly.

I decided to take it easy for a little bit, take some pictures, and looked at the future site of next year's addition. I'll have to admit, there's more than adequate room, but it was still hard to wrap my head around it.

Well, the takeover of Grizzly didn't quite go according to plan as they were only running the orange train and the queue was quite filled. We still did manage though to stay together more or less as a group.

After this ride, I was about to drop from exhaustion, and I hooked-up with Sam and his friend Ron at Starbucks. I was hoping The Grade Latte would hopefully reengerize me. We chilled out for a little too, which I knew I would need as it was going to be a very long day.

Our last event was EHT at Maze of Madness. EHT you say? That would be exclusive haunt time:) This maze was along The Grove midway last year, but this year is to the right of the right handside height-check stand.

I'm never sure why I submit myself to these things. I love horror movies, but being in a maze never quite sure where the end is freaks me out. One advantage we that we were warned about ahead of time though was that since there was a lot of fog in use, the tend would be somewhat open, hence making for a somewhat lighter atmosphere.

For those who remember the National Assocition of Mental Health Institute's attack on using mental wards as haunted attractions, well, this is the one avoid if you feel that way. The opening character—a female senior citizen with a case of schizophrenia was very good.

The rest of the maze typified what you find in the mazes at KD though—a fairly short walk-through with all kinds of creatures and there tends to be a floater or two, where she or he can make it to multiple places in the maze.

Bob and Ron wanted to do Bloodshed which I had done last year, and my wasn't up for another maze, so I said I'd meet them later after I used my Hypersonic exit pass. On the unloading platform, I ran into an acquaintance Eric and his female friend (never did get her name). I thought they'd separate us, but they put us all on the same train.

Let's just say that I'd be happy to send a thank-you note to CF if this gets ripped out next year. The lapbar was so tight on my stomach, and I didn't get stapled. It was a very uncomfortable feeling to say the least. It would nice to have some peace and quiet as well.

So Eric and his friend said they were heading back to the Paramount Theater to hit the next Halloween Variety show (sorry, I have no idea what it was called), and would I like to join them? Sure, why not. It was one of those singing/dancing to a CD-type shows with a few costume changes. It was actually pretty good, except for some missed lighting cues that left the performers in the dark as they sang.

One of the other reasons I didn't do Bloodshed was because of the line which looked fairly long, but ironically, Sam and Ron were also at the variety show! I guess thing weren't that bad afterall. Sam, Ron and I went to the new for this year Club Blood, which is an enclosed shed in the far turnaround of The Hurler.

It was okay and had some pretty good music (anybody that plays Juno Reactor is alright in my book). I still thought they should've cranked things up quite a few notches in the scare department.

Ron and I wanted to ride Richochet, and Sam's not sure because of the line, which can be deceiving. He also informs me that they've added seatbelts this year. Luckily, the line wasn't too long and the ride was fairly brakeless.

Our next trip was to another pirate-themed haunted attraction that used the queue of the log-flume and the queue of the Rapids Ride for the actual attraction. It was nice that this was outdoors, but the wait for it didn't justify the means:( I was really hoping that it would continue over the loading platform and down towards the viewing area where things could've gotten quite scary, but that was not to be. Instead, we got dumped out by the bathrooms.

We took a look at the queue for the antique cars and it extended all the way back until the Action Theater. No thank you, although it looked really cool. Maybe next year. So we waited for Superstition instead at the Action Theater. The wait was really long and at one point I had to shake Ron to wake him up.

We finally got our assignments which were thankfully in the front-row, but boy did it get awfully tiring watching the preshow three times in a row. Once inside we found out why things were taking so long. They only had two people to check all the seats. I thought the movie was amusing and I'd probably see it again—as long as the line was less than 20 minutes.

So Bob and Ron took off afterwards, and I knew I still wanted to one or two more things. I went back down to Congo and rode TR:F in the back, since VtBC had a huge line. I went back and forth in my mind, but I decided to wait for The Italian Job again. This year, both trains had working soundtracks, and only one train had a bad headlight.

At 10:30 p.m., I cut myself off as I had no back-up driver nor someone who would be talkative for the ride home. I found myself back at the Pilot at exit 104 again more than twelve hours later and had the first food since the picnic. I also found it funny to run into Eric and his friend there as well. Apparently, Eric was trying to get my attention at The Italian Job, and I was oblivious.

The cause of that became real obvious as things got really blurry driving down 95N and I was microsleeping. Sam recommended staying in Fredericksburg, which got me thirty-miles further down the road. So the event didn't became that free after getting a room for $44.88, but I'd rather have my car intact (two payments to go!), and my body in one piece as well than risk it anymore.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007 9:00 AM
I LOVE Juno Reactor! Always good to find another that does as well.

Great TR, thanks!

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007 11:43 AM
I've seen IJ:TC running all three trains on both of my visits this season.....as for next years attraction those markers posted at screamscape look way too close to Scooby's ghoster coaster don't you think?
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Wednesday, October 17, 2007 2:36 PM
RCPete, they were playing "Masters of the Universe" off of Shango (Metropolis 185). My favorite track will always be "Feel the Universe," off of Beyond the Infinite (Hypnotic CLP 9739-2) one of the most incredibly complex psych-trance tracks ever constructed.

Well BatwingFanSFA, I must have been blind, or just not paying attention as I didn't see the stakes (I was more paying attention to the parking lot, than I was Scooby), but they could be for the end of the ride where the interlocking corkscrews are or for the helix before the brakerun.

It would make sense if you look at the overhead possible layout on Screamscape. In reality, until they make the announcement, I won't know either.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007 3:53 PM
Ha! "Feel the Universe" is my favorite track by Juno too, but the version I have (which unfortunately I don't know where came from) is not one of the more commonly heard versions. In any case, I agree fully with your description of that song - it rocks, and is on my "20 all time best techno songs" list. Must be awesome to go through a haunted attraction with Juno playing.
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Wednesday, October 17, 2007 6:11 PM
^^I know what you mean I-Fan but that's still cutting it awfully close to Scooby Doo's structure though.

Word has it that Dominator trains are now on site at the park.

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Thursday, October 18, 2007 8:18 PM
It could be for the turnaround towards the lift out of the station, which would be way higher than Scooby-Doo OR, try it this way;

Turn the structure around so the apex of the lift faces Scooby-Doo. That's where your first twisting drop would be. The interlocking corkscrews and final helix would be out in the parking lot.

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