Let’s start with history. Prior to Labor Day of 2006, I hadn’t set foot on a big roller coaster, hardly any flat rides, and any big water slides (log flumes scared me). Then came Voyage (or Voyager depending on who you are around). When it was announced, I decided that I was going ride a coaster for the first time. My first Visit in 2006 to Holiday World I chickened out. Then I decided to try again, this time with some friends at the time. It was Labor Day of 2006, we first made our way to Legend, and a Monster was born. Got off and headed straight for Voyage. I rode it a few times before heading up to Raven. By then the monster had set it roots and was growing.
Fast forward to 2007, I knew I was getting quite a bit back from taxes so I decided I was heading to the Theme Park Capitol of the World, okay at least the United States, Florida.
Cypress Gardens, Busch Gardens, and Disney
Knowing very little about Florida Parks, I decided on quite a few on trying to get to. I didn’t quite make it to all of them. Cypress Gardens is a nice little park. Atmosphere is one of the nicest things I liked. Rides and coasters were okay. At this time I was still a chicken on flats, but I did do the family raft ride were you don’t get wet and the disk-o.
After Cypress Gardens, I hit up Busch Gardens. I walked into the park and from the parking lot could see Montu (I think) and it looked awesome. First up was Qwarzi, I mean Qwazi. While I thought this coaster wasn’t rough as others had said, it wasn’t smooth either. Then I went to find the Bird (Sheikra) and somehow missed Scorpion. Park was slow on the day I went so I did two rides on Sheikra before proceeding to Kumba. When I got over to Kumba, it was down so I wasted about 3 dollars getting people wet on the rapids ride with the water canons. I then walked back over to Kumba to find it down, again. I decided I needed to get on Sheikra again. After a couple more Sheikra rides, Kumba finally opened. Did my one ride on it and made my way over to Montu. Montu’s theming around the ride is pretty good, the only gripe I have is the no bags in the station policy BGT had.
Last time I had been to Disney was when I was under 10, so I didn’t remember much from that visit. My whole goal for my visit to Disney was to hit up all the coasters. That pretty much worked out with the exception of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad which broke down while I was in Que. After getting my Park hoppers, I jumped on the bus to Animal Kingdom for Everest Expedition. Upon entering the park I made my way to EE, found the regular line was pretty line and found the hidden line immunity idol, the single rider line. I was on the coaster in 8 minutes. After EE I jumped the bus back to the transportation central area and made my way to Mgm Studio’s for Rockin n Roller coaster. Upon entering I realize it was going to be a bad with a cheerleader competition going on. Anyway, made my RnR and the line was about 45 minutes long. Fast Forward 45 minutes I am on the ride and ready to rock, the ride was pretty good. After RnR I got back on the bus back to Magic Kingdom for Space Mountain. Back to Magic Kingdom, I went to Space Mountain, line was about 2 hours long, so I grabbed my Fast Pass and wondered around the park. Got in line for BTMR, and as soon as I got to the end of the que, the speaker said, “due to technical difficulties, the ride is down.” I choose to wait another 3 minutes when the speaker said the ride is closed to make your way out of the que. My time for my SM Fast Pass came and I got in line. I rode and I didn’t like it, but I will explain later in individual coaster rankings. After Space Mountain I meet up with my mom and sister and did the family thing at that point. And that would be it for my Florida excursion.
Six Flags St. Louis
Since I had discovered coasters I made it a goal to get to every local park close to me this year and St. Louis is only a 3 hour drive. My first visit was in April the second week they opened. I did the coaster loop and left. My second visit was a mildly bad day. I drove there in rain, got there it was only misting. Rode THBS, Eagle, and Batman and the heavens opened up, I left an hour and half after getting there. My final visit came on closing day. I rode THBS, Eagle, Ninja, and Batman before grabbing my video camera and digital still camera to capture the park and fright fest stuff.
My home away from home, the place that made coaster dream come true and my love for them. I did six total trips to the park, two during busy times that resulted in less rides. What I love about this park is the affordability, great rides, wonderful water park, and excellent staff.
Again, my plan to visit all my local parks I could, and this one was only 2 hours away from home. During my two visits I found the atmosphere to be a old time park with some modern rides. They might not have the most wonderful coasters, but they have a few WTF coasters. I plan on visiting the park more than twice like I did this year. The fact that the entire park is over water just adds to this parks atmosphere, along with the crazy carp. The cheapness of food is also nice thing about the park
I will be making a video next week with video from Holiday World, Six Flags St. Louis, and Holiday World and I will be picking out pictures from this year and posting those.
Now, onto my coaster reviews.
Gwazi (Lion/Yellow): I wish I could have rode this in dueling mode, but from what I read, that rarely happens. I didn’t think this was that rough when I rode it. A nice ride with some pops of air.
Kumba: I didn’t really like nor dislike this coaster. It was a good ride and I liked the corkscrew element.
Montu: This was quite a rush. I liked this one, it was nice and smooth.
Sheikra: My favorite at Busch Gardens. That pause at the drop just was so neat just looking down waiting for the brake to release. I can’t wait to ride this in floorless mode.
Cypress Gardens Coasters: Just going to lump this all in one. Triple Hurricane was alright, the others were okay. I want to go back to ride Starliner.
Voyage: Airtime, beats you up, and wonderful, all things that I like about this coaster. The trim brake that was on the one day I was there took the ride down a notch, but the rides without the trim keep it up on top for me.
Raven: Short and sweet, I like this coaster also. Has some pops of air and is smooth. Night rides is what stands out on this coaster (along with voyage).
Legend: Needs work, has rough spots. Including the four corners of death at the end, but this was my first coaster I ever rode. There is a nice spot of ejector air after the turn around. I do hope the retracking that took place after closing day helps it become a little more smooth.
Howler: Kiddie coaster, nuff said.
Cornball Express: When I first walked into IB, I expected coasters to be rough and not taken care of, why, I don’t know. After climbing the lift on CE, I got the shock of my life, this coaster kicked a$$. Airtime, smooth, and wonderful is what this coaster is to me. I can’t wait to ride this one again.
Hoosier Hurricane: I expected this to be the one that I liked. I thought it was a little rough and not quite up to my expectations. It was a good ride, but not a really good ride.
Tig’er: Wait, where is the restraint. A fun ride and def. worth any wait. Not allot of airtime, but that is a good thing with no restraints.
Galaxi: Not very rough, but not smooth. Looks like a standard model to me.
Lost Coaster of Superstitious Mountain: Turn a dark ride into a roller coaster that sounds like a good idea. This is one of those unique rides that you have to do at least once. Somewhat rough, has some air, and def. different.
Chang: One of the best rides at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom. My only stand up to date and I liked it. Def. does not belong in that park, it needs to be in a park with better rides.
Greezed Lightning: This has been one of the rides I looked forward to since my love for coasters were found. I have heard it was ran better as Tidal Wave, but for a classic coaster, it is pretty cool.
Thunder Run, Twisted Twins: Roughest and rough and I won’t ride again and won’t recommend anyone too.
T2: Same at the two above, won’t ride again. Found out why they call them hang and bangs.
Batman: The Ride: Smooth and excellent, the roll and the loops are the best parts about this coaster, This ride never lets up from first drop to the brake run.
Ninja: Okay ride, others say it hurts, but the only it hurt me is when sitting on the brake run waiting for the restraints to release and it just hurts a bit.
Screamin Eagle: 31 years and this coater still rocks, though it does produce some bad runs. If you ride this ride after a rain, it is wonderful, smooth and full of air. If it is a dry, cold day, it gives some pops of air, but not the best.
The Boss: Def. sucks and needs something, new trains and retracking. I rode this once and it hurt my back for two days. Won’t ride again, and don’t recommend anyone to unless they know a good chiropractor.
Tony Hawk’s Big Spin: If you get all the weight on one side, you can spin like crazy. This coaster also has some air time.
Space Mountain: I know, it is a classic, but it sucked for me. About 20 seconds in I got a cramp in my leg due to the unusual sitting position and me being a tall person. It was def. neat, but something I probably wouldn’t do it again.
Expedition Everest: I liked the ride layout. I also liked the effects with the coaster.
Rock n Roller Coaster: This was my first launched coaster, and now I love them. The darkness just adds to the point of not being able to tell what direction you are going and I like that.
Finally a little video I put together.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6F2qOMcC6k8 *** Edited 11/24/2007 5:43:32 AM UTC by spaceace12***
If I may make a suggestion for 2008, try visiting the east! I have made mention in the General Buzz about the 3 new coasters. I would stop at Kennywood on the way out... In my opinion only an evening is needed there. Knoebels in Elysburg is never a disapontment, and they are opening Flying Turns next year, plus you have Twister and Phoenix... and kick ass bumper cars.
Hershey is truely the sweetest place on earth, and my god what a collection of coasters. While doing the coasters, may I reccomend a flat... Rodeo! I never would of got on it if it wasn't for my 5 y/o goddaughter...and its great! Also...make sure you come after memorial day...just to make sure farenhiet is open!
Dorney Park is also a nice day, espically if its hot with Wild Water Kingdom. You can aproach this 2 ways. You can either cool off at the water park...or if its really hot, the water park will be packed, and the coasters most likely will be walk on!
And, while you are here, I would stop at Six Flags GADV. Not my fav park, but NITRO is the BEST, and Kingda Ka and ElToro are worth it as well. Everytime I have been there it was mad busy, so a gold flash pass is a must. I know its alot, but it prevents you from having to stay and extra day and hotel room as well.
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