Me and Go With Gravity arrived on time for the walkback (an hour and 40 minute drive from Millersville-home of Premier Rides. Good God, was I flying.), but there were was an obstacle in the way, mainly that GWG had to get his season pass processed. Since I wasn't getting one, I went in to see if the group had assembled over by Berserker, as per the email post about Drop Zone. I get over there at 10am, and no group. It turns out that they left early and walked down the path that goes behind Scooby Doo.
We still made it over there to see many of our coaster friends taking the first ride of the day on Drop Zone. Wow, is it quiet, except for a loud click when it hits the brake fins. My watch counted 7 seconds before the ring drops. For those who thought the new design would cut down on the "small tornado" effect when the ring drops, you're WRONG! It was just as much air as King's Islands Drop Zone.
Getting on the third disk out, we were quite shocked at how far you fall before you feel the brakes kick in. If you have your legs out, they will stay that way until the end of the ride. It ruled, and the wind rushing by was great also. Seeing that the line was pretty much non-existent, we got back in line for a second ride. They figure your seating position by a series of dots that circle the ride, and once you get out onto the loading platform. No confusion about were you're supposed to sit. For those Intamin lovers (who me?), you'll find the familiar seatbelt design from the hyper trains.
We decided we needed more adrenaline, so we headed over to Hypersonic XLC which was running one train. We still took our chances and waited for the front row. Amazingly enough, we still waited less than an hour, which was a record for both of us. We did see one train on the transfer track, but the other trains were nowhere in sight. The front row was great, and due to the design, the best seats in the house. The rush of wind was great also.
I suggested Richochet next, as GWG was still shaking after H:XLC. The mouse was fairly brakeless as far as this tame mouse goes. I still got punched in the stomach by the lapbar at the end of the ride. Next was The Hurler, which wasn't bad today. As usual, there was almost no wait.
I was starting to get hungry, so we decided on pizza. But before, GWG suggests we ride Triple Spin a.k.a. Huss Troika. Having not ridden one since Cedar Point, it was as I remembered-a nice placid spinning ride.
After paying $20 for a full pepparoni pie, we met up with our friend Paul, who held one of the promotional pieces from the morning walkback. It turned out to be a 3-inch promotional CD-ROM for DZ and Sponge Bob (more about him later) with a round top and bottom and square sides. Weird.
Shall we get some Togo "love"? Sure, so we rode Shockwave and none of us complained.
After going back and hitting some of the same rides again, we got stapled hard on Richochet. Was it a bad car, or just a tempermental computer? None of us are fat, and the blinking light on the control panel meant that Paul's lapbar wasn't down far enough. Paul's saying there's no way it will go down any further. One push-not yet. Two pushes-still no go. A third push-finally success. Sorry Paul.
We rode Rebel Yell. Okay I-Fan don't be mean. Okay it sucked. I was riding in the defensive position the whole time. I passed on a second ride.
Heading down to Congo land, we pass on Scooby Doo (save that for later), and we take a ride on Anaconda, which is 12 years old according to the coaster rollback today. It didn't bother me at all today. I then waited the shortest time ever for Volcano. I've never waited where the line wasn't out into the queue. This is the ride that inspired my namesake, and I still love it. One thing that's new this year is one seatbelt in the center—the familiar Intamin seatbelt I referred to earlier. No more two seatbelts to fasten for the ride ops. It seemed to improve the dispatches considerably.
We took a look at Avalanche Bobsled and passed (for now).
We then headed to Flight of Fear, which Paul said had no lights on. Of course, by the time we got there, they had lights on, but it was still a fun ride. Going back for a second time, we ride in the back. GWG and I were quite disoriented right before the corkscrew, and we've ridden Joker's Jinx more times that we can count.
How about another ride on Drop Zone? Nobody complained, and the line was still less than 15 minutes. Enjoy it while you can, I thought.
We head over to Grizzly only to find out that it's having a problem. The train in the station isn't parked properly yet, and the one in the brakes has been sitting there for a while. After seeing three maintence men come up to assist, we all said "Sponge Bob?" Onward we went into Bikini Bottom.
GWG plays DDR a second time today. They've got a garden variety of DDR machines. 2nd, 4th, and 7th Mixes were what I saw today. I don't remember what version I played earlier in the day. All I remember is that I got a C in light mode, and that made me happy, even though my feet hurt for quite some time afterwards.
Disappointed that 7th Portal was gone, we still gave the sea creature known as Sponge Bob Square Pants a shot. After watching a lengthy intro which showed some hilarious outakes (if you're of that age, of course. Whoever creates this show is on some really great drugs:)), we entered the Action Theatre. Sitting all the way in the back, and to the left, we still got the 3D effects, which were pretty good. The plotline follows Sponge Bob trying to get back a pickle from his friend Patrick for a sandwich. Will he succeed? You think I'd give away the ending? No way man. You can suffer through the motion simulator like we did.
Stopping at Scooby Doo, we took a ride on the junior PTC. It certainly beats the hell out of Rebel Yell. We headed back to Congo and hit Avalanche Bobsled, which was running full out due to two-train operation. The midcourse wasn't on, making for a very fast 2nd half. Volcano again anyone at night? Sure. The line was still short.
Going back to get some love from Grizzly, we took a night ride on Drop Zone. Wow, is this thing bright at night. They have many white beams of light pointed skyward, illuminating the tower and the ring.
Finally we arrive at Grizzly, and find a much improved ride through the tunnel, the part I hated last year. We rode several times in a row. Needing one more spinning ride in my stomach, I split off from GWG and hit Berserker. Seeing Drop Zone going up (or is it down?) upside down was interesting.
What a great day. It was like everone in the park had a little secret, as lines were so short everywhere. I might have to go opening day again next year.
If you have a problem with clones, the solution is real simple—Stop traveling.
*** This post was edited by Intamin Fan 3/23/2003 2:16:09 AM ***
I'm kinda surprised to hear that Grizzly was having a bit of trouble,in all my years of going to PKD it's been one of the few coasters to suffer downtime usually Avalanche comes to mind along with HS:XLC.
How was SW? has that painful piece of junk improved just a bit this year? & did you happen to see what's going on in the former DF site while enroute to Anaconda? I hear that a rather large area has been blocked off in that section surrounding the site meaning something good might be on it's way in 04.
All in all it seems like DZ is a real hit & a smart move by the park,the only disappointments seem to be A-that it doesn't spin & B- that there is too much light surrounding the ride during night time operations.
As for Drop Zone, I actually didn't miss the spinning of the disc. And, if it improves reliability (it didn't breakdown once yesterday), I'm all for it. Go With Gravity and I really dug the white lights. It makes the ride look "spookier", and with the lights in your eyes, it's very hard to make out any of the other rides in the park. So, if it didn't seem strange during daylight to be going up a 305ft. tall tower only to be dropped down again, it does at night.
As for Shockwave, none of us complained, but I doubt the ride has been improved at all. I believe we sat in the back.
If you have a problem with clones, the solution is real simple—Stop traveling.
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