Day 1: Cedar Point- Just like any other day at the Point, except I really noticed their ad campaign (VERY annoying). Millennium Force is running great, and it actually has a good amount of air in all of the seats. The ride home from the park was very interesting. The truck that I was in started acting up, and pumping in fumes like crazy into the cab. It got to the point when I couldn't notice the fumes at all stuart.gif . Needless to say we ditched the ride at a McDonalds.
Day 2: HolidayWorld- After a seemingly never ending ride, we arrived at the park. We (Paul and myself) noticed that the Raven wasn't sending around trains, though we didn't really think much of it. We entered the park and made our way on over to the Legend. Nice ride, but way overrated (I'm sure the 20 min wait with one train operation didn't help in making it a favorable view). After that we hit up the rest of the park. We were done with every ride in the park (except a few kiddie rides and the Raven) in just a few hours. At this point I began to wonder what makes this place so great. Everyone seems to rant about how great HW is, but all that I could think of is that the park is small, there is only a few rides (all I would say were good, but none were really all that much better if any than similar rides at other parks), and the "world class friendly" staff wasn't any different that what most other parks have (not once over the two days that I was here did any staff member say hi, asked how my day was going, or even really smile for that fact. They were all very indiffernt to anyone being there). Though the park did live up to being very clean, and having free soda cool.gif.
Day 3: Liberty Land- This was the first park that I went to with all of the other coaster nerds that I will be spending the next week with. The park was nice, and had some insane rides, such as the steep water slide type thing. It was also a good way to chat with some friends that I made from last year.
Day 4: SFKK & HW- the started very early with a 6 hour drive to SFKK. Once at SFKK we meet with park staff who let us in early and lead us to none other than T2 worthy.gif worthy.gif . It was great though to hear the staff member talk about how the members at coasterbuzz hate the park and call T2 a "hang-n-bang". Overall the park was rather nice. It was clean, all of the rides were opened at the park open, and some of the rides were really fun. It was way better than what many people think of the park. My one and only complaint was that only one side of twisted twins was open. Oh well, it was the only major ride closed throughout the entire park. At about 2:00 we left for HW. Today Raven was open, and I was quite excited. I was expecting that it would have great air, and a fast out of control ride. Sadly it didn't deliver. Granted just like the legend, it wasn't a bad ride. BUT it wasn't close to it high up ranking in many polls (over the next few days this belief was confirmed...several times by other wooden coasters). The only outstanding place in the entire park was the playground area, one that didn't kick us out. I probably had more fun there than any other place in the park ( a sad thought considering how high of regards that the Raven and Legend have).
Day 5: Kings Island- I’m not going to say much about here, other than I din’t think it was that bad. But the thing was it was normal for me, yet bad for everyone else. I think half of the rides weren’t open at park opeing, and Itilian Job appeared as if they didn’t plan on opening untill noon (when it did open up briefly). The BBQ place that we ate at only had half the line open (we got in live shortly after noon). It wasn't untill 1:00 that they decided to open up the other side. The way that they operate amazes me. The rest of my group sid that they expected this at SFKK, not PKI (also it was mentioned that they thought PKI was the "flag ship" park, yet Carrowinds was way better operated and fun). Another thing that should be mentioned is a few issues that I have with Itilian Job. First off, the cars looked dirty due to the water explosions, the water made the cars smell awefull, and on one ride the door flew open durring the launch, and remained open the entire ride. To me the door comming open is a safety issue. The reason for this was that a ridder could put their arm/hand/leg in the way of the door, and it could come slamming close (the same goes to them closing the doors in the station, as I really think it wont be all that much longer when some one gets hurt when a ride-op slams the door).
Day 6: Indiana Beach- What a neat little park. Everything in this park was so much fun. Plus there coasters are are so unique...especially LoCoSuMo. That ride did stuff that I didn't even think a steel mouse could do. Then there is Tig'rr, a great Schwarzkopf with no restraints. It was kick-ass when we loaded it down with 4 people w00t.gif . Still yet, the highlight of the day was Cornball Express. This coaster was insane. Very fast, and it had TONS of air in both the front and back seat.
Day 7: Michigan's Adventure- The day started out with the theme of the day... ”crappy Michigan”, when John got a speeding ticket. The cop proceeded to make him pay right then and there. This wouldn’t have been so bad if we hadn’t have been targeted do to us being out of state (as there were people with Michigan plates going way faster than us). Oh well, we were off to ride Timbers. I must say that Timbers looked really impressive, and it was one of the coasters that I was most looking forward. Needless to say I was board. The ride was bumpy, and there was little to no air at all. Then add in the fact that there was no emotion, or atmosphere in this park. It was the most sterile park that I have ever been in. Truly, I have no desire to go back to this park (not to mention the long drive through Michigan).
Day 8: SFGAm- This park was rather nice. It was a VERY nice contrast to the previous day at Michigan's Adventure. This place has charm and atmosphere. There were two big surprises of the day. Deja Vu, and Ragin' Cajun. The surprise with Deja was two fold: 1. It was open 2. It was a great ride. It probably had the best drop ever on a coaster (backwards vertical drop). The great thing about ragin (standard mouse) was how we spun. Paul, John H. And myself loaded up one car, and halfway through the spinning section all hell broke lose. I have never spun like that on any ride before. Needless to say that we were still spinning strong after we were done with the ride for a few min (this was due to a unloading setback ahead of us, or something like that). Though while these rides were great, there was also one let down: Raging Bull. This ride looks insane, but needless to say it wasn’t. While it was fast, it was also forceless.
Day 9: Mt. Olympus & Timber Falls- The Dells are neat. Simple as that. I could spend a month there and never once get tired of the place. There are a few stand outs of the day. Hades is one of the most frightening coasters that I have ever seen. Its long tunnel, and impressive height and speed, just had we dying to ride it. While it looked like a number one coaster, it wasn’t quite there. It was too fast in some portions (think of GCI style of turns taken too fast), and the tunnel was boring. I didn’t really notice anything that happens in that tunnel, especially the 90 degree turn. Still it wasn’t a bad ride at all. Cyclops on the other had doesn’t look like much at all. Let me say that it was far from it. It has the most insane and fun air that I have ever experienced on any coaster. It was also a blast to watch first time ridders go down the 3rd (???) hill. After some time at Mt. Olympus, it was off to Timber falls to ride Avalanche, But before we got to that, we had to play some mini-golf. Dave, Ed, and Bob (we would soon end up ridding in that combination in the vans for the next couple of days) had quite a fun and interesting round, laughing the entire way. Though mini golf wasn’t the purpose of the time spent at the park. It was Avalanche. This ride was the true surprise of the entire trip. Thunderhead is the only other wooden coaster that has made me smile and laugh the entire way through. One couldn’t help but enjoy this ride. It just moved so fast through the ride, it was smooth, and it was fast (it looks like it moves at 5x the speed that it should). It is now my #3 coaster overall, #2 wooden.
Day 10: SFStLouis - What a **** Hole! The park was run like crap, the Q-bots didn’t work (Unless you call throwing them and rolling down a hill working) and the average guest there looked like they were there on a field trip with their gang. Not to mention that on their boat shoot them up ride we actually had to push our boat along at points to make it through. At least we got our money back for the Q-Bots due to them sucking...and we only stayed there for 4 hours.
Day 11: Silver Dollar City & Celebration City - This was a great day, likely the best out of the entire trip. The park really went all out for us. They gave us free admission, a half hour of ERT on Powder Keg, free lunch, free hats, and later on free admission to Celebration City and half hour of ERT on Ozark Wildcat. I can’t say enough of what the park did for us...THANK YOU! Now for the rides. Powder Keg was a boat load of fun. While airtime filled, it wasn’t the type of air that would scare little children. I would have no concern sending any young child onto the ride at all. I foresee S&S selling a ton of new coasters in the coming up years. The other stand out coaster was WildFire. This B&M coaster was great. It was just truly enjoyable with the best drop on any B&M coaster (well, almost...Batman Knight Flight has a better first drop in the front row) and the best Cobra roll too. Now for the park itself. SDC is great. The workers were smiling, saying hi to everyone and talking to everyone making sure that they were having a good time. I wish more parks would have staff like that. They were truly great. After SDC, we were off to CC. CC still needs more work. It looks very cheap and like a overgrown carnival/go-cart track. With that aside. They had one awesome night show. I was really impressed with how they were able to clearly project onto the water and the rocks. After the show we were off to some ERT on the Ozark Wildcat. Wow. The front half was a little slow, but the second half was incredible. There was a ton of air to be had during the second half, and enjoying it in the dark was awesome.
Day 12: Beech Bend- Well there isn’t much to say about this place, except its like my count fair. Just some trailer mounted flats, a almost working looping coaster, a weird dragon wagon, a soon to open mouse, and a small soon to be built GCI. The GCI looks to take up the same amount of space as what a mouse does (that is if they don’t pour more footers, but it didn’t look like they would). Though regardless of what it is I will be back next year to ride the mouse and the GCI.
Day 13: Universal Studions Orlando- A nice park. With some one of a kind rides. The best ride is Mummy, and was a walk-on thanks to the single ridder line. The coaster section though didn’t seem to be as intense as it was last year, but it was still great. Also MIB is still the greatest shoot-them-up ride ever created.
Day 14: Islands of Adventure- Great park... with a messed up express ticket system. We found out you could get as many express tickets as you wanted at any time. Thus at one point, we had a valid pass for everyone one in our group (7 people) for every ride in the park that was on the system. The stack of passes was about 2 inches think at one point. It was great, as we were able to finish the park up in about 2 hours total.
Days 15-24: Walt Disney World- Well Disney was Disney. Lots of children running around having a good time. Rock’n’Roller coaster was still crappy (as it was last year). It was rough, and the audio was turned way down. I wish that it would run like it was the year that it opened. But right across the road is Disney’s greatest ride (I ended up ridding it 25 times one day) Tower of terror. I can’t get enough of this ride, and it’s a shame that no one else is able to produce a drop ride with this great of drops. Lights motors action was all right, though it got kind of old quick. Soarin was the same way, and it wasn’t worth the hour line. Everest is coming along nicely, and it is HUGE. I can’t wait to ride it next year.
Day 25: Cypress Gardens- to be blunt, this park was full of slow moving senior citizens, Vekoma coasters, and trailer mounted Zamperla rides. Not worth the money to go in, and I suggest that if you are in Orlando and want to go to another park, keep on driving right past Cypress and go to BGT.
Day 26: Dollywood- After taking an hour to get parked in lot G, the day was really nice. The staff was almost as friendly as what there was at SDC, it looked just as nice, and the rides are all good. Plus they also spent a lot of time asking me how SDC was (I had on a SDC shirt). They seemed dissapointed that I enjoyed SDC as much as I do Dollywood. Thunderhead was still kicking ass, and they have added a great collection of flats (the tea cups are insane).
Well that was my last day of my long trip. In all, I managed to hit up 20 some parks, and about 100 total coasters. This was all done traveling about 6000-7000 miles. The only bad thing is that this will likely be the last time that I will be able to do a trip like this, as next summer its time to actually start working as an engineer.
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