or "The Quest to go upside down smoothly on a coaster"
8 AM couldn't get here quick enough. Heck, once this trip was planned 30 days prior, it seemed like it would never get here. It had been a relatively busy year for coasters, but thusfar, not much in the way of new parks. That would change. Debates raged between us about where Kris and I should go for our week excursion. The most obvious choice would have been a "Dells area trip", but $$ is a *****, so we settled on a midwest trip. Actually it wasn't like it was that big of a deal. Neither of us had been out that way, so it was a worthy second choice. So once my flight out of GSP was booked, it was a moo point (thanks Joey) after that. Hotels soon followed and it was settled.
Sooo, the day finally came. Kinda. I work 3rd shift cause.. well I suck pretty bad, so my day before the trip actually started 8 hours earlier at about 10pm on Thursday night. Keep that in mind for future, non-sleep related moments.
Friday August 5th, 2005
After a rousing 8 hour shift hating life, I was free! Time to haul ass home to hop a 10:36 flight to Louisville (by way of Cincy). Yeah, I had a 30 minute drive home. God bless the '8bang Stang. So yeah, I make it with plenty of time, which makes total sense since the plane took off about 20 minutes late. Figures, right? We're taxi-ing out to the runway when the cap'n announces that Cincy's airport sucks and we've been put on a hold... yeah, I'm not gonna bore you with the details about air travel troubles. Let's just skip ahead to about 6:30 pm when Kris and I embark for Altoona, Iowa. Home of Adventureland!
[8 hour gap here where you can imagine what it's like to travel through God's desolate country between Louisville and Iowa]
[crickets chirping ad nauseum]
Yay, we made it and it's only 3 in the morning EST. Oh we lost an hour, that's right. So the trip only took 7 hours? This time travel thing is for physics majors. In any event, I drove a bit and then crashed out like a hoe on Kris. God bless him. Haha.
We pull into Des Moines where Priceline hooked us up with reasonable lodgings at the airport Hampton Inn for 33 bones. Not too shabby. You learn a lot about yourself sharing a king sized bed with your hetero buddy for the first time. But you'll be happy to know the enthusiast community still can boast two "breeders" in it's otherwise eclectic bunch.
Saturday August 6th, 2005
Some kinda of alarm startled the piss out of me jerking me out of a pretty dandy dream and I had Kris's 800$ cell phone to thank. Actually I think I'll just roll over and take a few more winks. It's Iowa, how great could a park be there? Ughhh, ok. We DID drive all this way for it. A nummy continental breakfast of a chocolate chip muffin and two bagels and we were off. Seriously, what is up with 35 amusement parks located off of Route 6?? IS this THE amusement park road of America?? Cedar Point, Conneaut, Lake Compounce, Adventureland all off of Route 6! There's probably more, but it's just funny. No matter what state you happen to be in, if there's a park, it's a likely Route 6 is lurking closeby. In any event, we find it tucked back behind a Super WallyWorld (aka Wal-Mart) and Tornado's lift hill and Dragon's lift hill greet you. It's really kinda cool driving up right by coasters. Reminded me a lot of the backway into SFNE going right by Riverside Cyclone. Fortunately, Tornado offered NO horrific rides like that.
Eric Griswold Rating scale in full effect here
-3 to +5 rating with 0 being positive, but only slightly
Pulling into the park, we knew we might be in a spot of trouble. There are 9 different zones in the parking lot that service patrons. We got there roughly at 11ish CST. It was about an hour after the park had opened and we were directed to lot 8. Oh boy. Oh well, you're on vacation. Enjoy it. 27 bucks lighter and we're entering a really neat looking park. It had an actual midway with stores on the sides and really put you at ease. Oddly enough, the first ride you see is the Carrousel (yes, it's spelled just like that) and it sported a decently sized line. We made our way to the Skyride which came highly recommended and gave us a chance to ride to the back of the park to hit the coasters, but also a very good opportunity to take video and pictures of a cool park. The Skyride goes literally through the treetops and several times your shoes kick branches, but it's cool. Hey footchoppers!
First up was the out-n-back Tornado.
TORNADO (wooden out-n-back) Rating 2
Most of their stations in this park aren't really easy for most folk to figure out. Many of them end up being like an RCT game with ops having to move people almost FOR them. Tornado is weird in that it loads from the back to the front and you can't choose your seat. Lucky us scored 1-1. I had heard some really positive reviews of this coaster and for the most part, I really enjoyed it. I didn't get any "rip you out of your seat" airtime pops, but it was a very fun and smooth coaster. Picture Hoosier Hurricane with just a lil' more pop over the hills. Again, nothing crazy, but still downright enjoyable. We waited about 20 minutes or so. We looked longlingly at the 2nd train sitting quietly on the transfer track. Oh well.
After this, we challenged
DRAGON (O.D. Hopkins steel looper) Rating -2
We lost terribly. Like it wasn't even close. I tried to pick up a sword and had my head bashed in. Dragon just ate Kris entirely. Dragon is one of 4, I believe, O.D. Hopkins coasters running. I can see why there's not 5. Seriously, it's just one of those coasters you look at from afar and worry about. Nothing about it looks all that fun, but the eternal optimists we were, we gave it a fighting chance. Funny side story about it. Right before our dispatch (last car, last row), we were told it would be a minute while they replaced a wheel. We were not asked to exit the train, but they did pop the restraints. While we sat there in disbelief, an unseen mechanic from underneath tink, tink, tinked at the undercarriage of the train. Anyway, 5 minutes pass and we're dispatched. It was a nightmare really. First drop into a double vertical loop and then something else happened. I'm not too sure. I think a figure 8 finale. Dunno.
The exit queue takes you through a "Mirror Maze" which consists of a small 15ishx15ish room with funhouse mirrors. Laughs were had as I snapped off a few digital cam pics and then we made out way out. One thing we did notice was that a LOT of the flat rides were down today. It was quite busy, but their Pirate ship, their "Musik Express" type ride, something weird called "The Mixer" and I think one more. Kinda sucked that I had heard of a few of them only to see them SBNO. Oh well, another day. Well, maybe. Iowa ain't exactly close to South Carolina.
After tackling Dragon (or after getting sacked for a 10 yard loss by Dragon I should say), we made our way back to..
OUTLAW (CCI wooden twister) Rating +2
Outlaw, their small-ish CCI in the back of the park. Well, we went the wrong way at first, so totally pulled out our park map like the tourons (tourist morons) we were and found it was back the way of the Dragon aka Laurence Taylor. They have a cool little themed area for it called Outlaw Gulch with a few rides like one of those spinning raft rides like SFA and Cypress have, and also what looked like a Huss Frisbee. It was in actuality just a smaller version of Delerium/MaxAir that face you out. I had never seen one, and would have liked to try it, but we were really feeling about a 7-8 ride cycle wait, so we headed on back and queued up for Outlaw. The turning drop is really reminiscent of GCI, which I'm reckoning (use only if you've heard a real southerner say it) makes sense cause Boodley helped build it.
Outlaw, is really a small coaster, but for exactly what it was, it was quite fun. I'm not sure if I had to pick which coaster I liked better between Outlaw and Tornado which I'd pick. On this coaster, we were allowed to pick our seat, so we took a 1-1 spin on it. Although it only has one train, the line moves fast cause Outlaw is quite short. Not a problem though. It packs a decent punch. I had heard relatively nothing about this coaster, so it was a nice little surprise. Nothing mindblowing though. Maybe that's why I hadn't heard much about it. That and the fact that unless you KNOW it's back there or have a park map, you could really just miss this coaster entirely.
3 credits down and 1 to go.
Now to find..
THE UNDERGROUND (CCI wooden/dark ride weird thing) Rating 0
Man, talk about ANOTHER one that really hides from you! This coaster reminds me so much of Chaos at Opryland. I had NO IDEA what the hell I was in for. Still don't really. Haha. Seriously, it's one of those coaster credits you almost feel bad counting. I mean, don't get me wrong, there's no doubt it's a credit, but only really in theory. It's themed to a mine shaft kinda deal. You're after this cat named BAD BOB (which name served for a few laughs later) who apparently was blown up in this mine by the good guy sheriff with a more forgettable name. Anyway, no one knows if Bad Bob faded or not. Actually, you're not really sure even afterwards. Anyway, a trainful of people at a time are brought in to the stationhouse and you hear the story from an animatronic cousin of the skeleton at Indiana Beach's Den O' Lost Theives. You dispatch and kinda roll a little while. I GUESS it has a slope, but I wouldn't bet more than 5 bucks on it. No kicker wheels. It's a coaster. You go up about 2 lifts, but again, no drop?? What the? So finally you see a skeleton sitting on a pile of gold I think. Maybe that's Bad Bob and he did the J.O.B. after all, who knows. We thought we were definitely in for a drop after that, but instead we pull into the station. Umm, ok. Again, it's NOT a bad experience at all! It's just like a combination of Blazing Fury and LoCoSuMo that never does anything drop-wise. Good for the kiddies I guess, if skeletons don't spook em.
By this time, we had done all the coasters, and although our longest wait was Underground at about 20 minutes, we didn't feel ridiculously motivated to double any of the coasters up. If this park had been empty, and it wasn't easily in the 90s and smart boys Brian and Kris didn't wear black shirts that day, then sure. But as it was, it was decided to move onward towards Kansas City and Worlds of (maybe)Fun. The idea quickly became, let's see if we can maybe double up parks in one day. Heck, we drove this doggone far to do parks, and I don't expect much Fun out of Worlds of (maybe)Fun, so it could happen? Our hotel was literally right across the street. Could it happen? Time will tell, and we're 30 minutes outside of KC, I'm sitting in the direct sun and I can barely see the screen of my laptop, so I'm done for now.
So our quest so far??? So far, we're miserable failures.
Part 2 tomorrow...
The Dragon has been running like crap the last couple years, I don't know why but I hate it, I wish they would tear that thing down.
Underground is more of a kiddie coaster, that used to be the dolphin tank before they built that pos.
Did you get on the Space Shot or Falling Star? They are too of my favorites, that sucks that the Galleon is down, that is a kick arse ride. Was the G-Force down, that is over by the Space Shot?
Please tell me you did the bumper cars, they are one of the best in my opinion.
We missed the Space Shot, as it was the most crowded attraction at the park. I was sad that the Galleon was down as well. The theming was quite funny to me with the boots on the supports.
You guys Breakdance looked slow, is that normal operations for it?
And what IS the Mixer anyway? *** Edited 8/18/2005 3:51:13 PM UTC by Homey G.***
Not sure what the Breakdance is unless your referring to the G-Force, last time I rode that, it was pretty fast. Or are you talking about the Super Himalaya that is over by the Dragon?
The bumper cars are down the pathway from the Underground and before the Space Shot.
I love the Galleon, between that and the Falling Star, I could ride both all day.
You learn a lot about yourself sharing a king sized bed with your hetero buddy for the first time. But you'll be happy to know the enthusiast community still can boast two "breeders" in it's otherwise eclectic bunch.
I'm curious...what exactly does one learn?
Moosh, you learn lots of things, including how to sleep on the outside ridge of the bed without plummeting to the floor and breaking your neck. :) *** Edited 8/18/2005 11:53:33 PM UTC by Homey G.***
Outside of that, they look nice. :)
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