PKD (Monday, 6/2//2003)

Associated parks:

As planned, my wife and I made a day trip to PKD to finish out our four day weekend.The drive for us is about 4 hours and we arrived at the park around 11am. It was very “encouraging” to see that the parking lot was relatively empty (we got a very close spot) and that there were no lines at the entrance.

Having never been to PKD before, once we were inside we studied the map to see just where things were. Looking at the layout, with all coaters (with the exception of Shockwave) on the perimeter of the park, we turned to the left at the Eiffel Tower and headed to Scooby’s Ghost Coaster.

Here they are in the order we hit them.

Scooby’s Ghost Coaster: 2 rides (front and back seats), both walk on’s. Taking this at face value for what it is (a Junior), it was a fun little coaster.

Volcano: 1 ride, front seat, 20 min wait. Great first launch… great second launch up through the vent of the volcano… after that… kind of a lack luster ride. I did not feel like standing in the line again so I decided to move on to…

Avalanche: 2 rides (1 in #2 seat, 1 in last seat), walk on. What a fun little coaster! I didn’t expect much form this and I was pleasantly surprised. While the front is fun and feels out of control when you hit the turns, the back was so much more so as the tail end of the train whipped around after the front. Great visuals and the most comfortable coaster trains I have ever ridden.

Flight of Fear: 2 rides (1 front seat, 1 mid rain), walk on. Great concept… great theming (love walking into the flying saucer)… thrilling but rough ride. I don’t think I have ever been wedged into a coaster train like I was in here. I would love this coaster if it was not such a neck breaker. That standing… it is still a good coaster.

Anaconda: 2 rides, front seat, walk on. A fun arrow looper with great visuals diving down over Rebel Yell and into the water and then going into the cork screw. I was expecting this to be rough (after last year’s experience on Viper at SF Darien Lake), but found it relatively smooth.

Lunch: Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. Fairly good park food (though the sodas were a little on the flat side).

Shock Wave: 1 ride, front seat, 3 train wait. My first stand up… and I really don’t care if it is my last. Painful and not all that thrilling.

Drop Zone: 1 ride, 1 “launch” wait. I don’t like heights… and I had to do all I could to force my self to keep my eyes open on top of this thing. Probably one of the most stomach turning drops I have experienced.

Rebel Yell: 3 rides forward (1 front walk on, 2 back seat walk on & re-ride), 3 rides backward (all “first seat of train” i.e. last over the crest… 1 walk on, 1 walk on and re-ride). Forward: front seat gave some great visuals from the top of the first hill… all that track laying out before you. A fast and fun ride. The back seat offered some good air on the first drop… a bit rougher but more out of control ride. Backward: WOW! I loved this… going down that first drop backward is wild… and also going up the hill to the turn around really is a unique experience. The drop just out of the turn had some major air… so much that I could not help but to grab onto the bar and hang on. The ops were using their brains… the rule was “if no one is waiting for your seat, you can ride again”, that is how I snagged my two re-rides.

Hurler: 2 rides (front seat and back seat), walk on. I liked this coaster, but I did find it rough… especially taking major turn arounds at full speed at ground level… on most coasters turn arounds are elevated so the speed of the train is reduced some, making them less rough and less painful. Again, it was getting late in the day and I was starting to get a minor headache, so that could have affected my thoughts on this one. The front seat ride was my fav... a few pops of air on some of the bunny hops.

Richocet: 1 ride, walk on. A unique design (not an out of the box design) for a wild mouse… but HEAVILY braked. Also, the only “rude” employee we ran into was working this. A person in the car in front of us was denied a ride because the bar would not go down far enough. It went down 2 clicks and the op said it wasn’t enough and forced it down to a 3rd click. He checked the computer screen and shook his head and released the bar without saying a word and then proceeded to get agitated when the person sat there for a moment with out moving. Now I realize that the computer must have said “NO”, and that this was 2 days after the accident at Holiday World and word may have spread around different parks to check bars closely (the op on Rebel Yell really pushed my bar down… actually stapled me in… and said “You wouldn’t want to fall out”)… but the op could have at least explained what was going on and not got all worked up when the person didn’t move fast enough. Anyway… It is a good thing that they were stapling people in on Richocet… the ride is so slow and plodding that riders may be tempted to climb out and race the train back to the station on foot… or they could fall asleep and fail to hold on.

Hypersonic: 1 ride, 20 min wait, front seat. Earlier in the day we heard that this ride had an hour wait, and by late afternoon they were cycling empty cars around the circuit. We were not sure if there was a problem, or if they were just running tests after an extra car. Anyway, my wife decided not to ride this, so I got in line. A unique thing with the line… they stopped the line at a certain point, and then only let 8 people through the line as each car launched (any reason for this?) There was a little bit of a line up on the station... but I decided to wait for the front seat. After being strapped in, we were moved to the “starting line”… the lights counted down and WOOOOSH! 0-80 in 1.25 or so seconds. It takes your breath away. Up and over the hill, and then a screaming run around the track and you are done. Loved the launch and the hill… but a 1 trick pony… although it is a good trick. With time running short, I decided not to wait 20 more minutes for a second ride.

Flying Eagles (or what ever they are called): 1 ride, walk on. These flyers have potential. I am used to Knoebels great flyers… but I swear that these at PKD have more potential. You could feel the flyer just wanting to take off. HOWEVER…the ride op gave a stern warning “Don’t Bounce the Birds” (i.e. no snapping) and the ride cycle was very short. Run these as long and allow snapping as at Knoebels, and these I think would be great. (any regulars care to comment? Was that “Don’t Bounce the Birds” just a warning, or would they flip out at the first sign of a snap?)

Grizzly: 3 rides (1 back seat walk on, 2 front seat walk on / re-ride) Great setting for this coaster buried in the woods as it is, and a great lay out too. The first turn seems a bit slow, but after that, wow! Wicked little stretch in the tunnel. Had I been feeling better (by now my head ache was starting to really bother me) and had it not been so lake, I could have ridden this coaster all day. Easily my favorite at the park.

Shenadoah Logging Company Log Flume: 1 ride, walk on. My wife and I both like log flumes. This was one of the better ones. Not steep or extremely tall, we liked the quick run through the woods at ground level.

By now it was 5:56 and the park closed at 6pm. I went to hop a ride on Berserker (inverting ship) on the way out, but they had closed the queue after loading the last group of riders. Anyway, we hit two of the gift shops near the main entrance and then called it a day and started off on our 4 hr drive home.

All in all I was pleasantly surprised by the park and I really enjoyed my visit. Pics on line do not do it justice. I was expecting a less than stellar experience at a kind of “crappy” park. What I found was a very well run park, very well maintained rides, and a very competent and courteous (save one at Richochet) staff. The light crowds made it even more enjoyable… 26 rides in one day is not at all bad. My over all impression of the park was very good… nice landscaping… lots of trees… etc. Looking forward to going back and reriding some of my fav coasters there (Rebel Yell, Hurler, Grizzly, Avalanche) and trying some of the flats as well either next year or perhaps even later this season.

Kind of hard to take a post as objective if a park or coaster name is part of the "user name"

*** This post was edited by SLFAKE 6/5/2003 10:30:49 AM ***
*** This post was edited by SLFAKE 6/5/2003 10:32:26 AM ***

We experienced the same phenomenon with Hypersonic's line last summer and my guess is that it's so they don't have to clear out an entire station of people in the event of a breakdown. Also, don't judge all stand-ups by Shockwave (one of the worst coasters I've ridden). Definitely try and get to somewhere with a B&M stand-up. You'll be in for a much better ride.

G's! They're what's for dinner!
*** This post was edited by Pale Rider 6/5/2003 12:39:23 PM ***

Vater's avatar
SLFAKE, I'm glad you liked the park. Having been visiting PKD just about every year since '78 (I still miss the Kobra! :( ), it's always nice to hear a fresh outlook on each of the rides there, and the park as a whole. When you've ridden the same coasters for so many years, you sometimes forget to enjoy them as if you were riding for the first time. Hearing things like 'most comfortable coaster trains I have ever ridden' reminds me of what a good little coaster Avalanche is (best bobsled I've ridden--the others being Disaster at CP and La Vibora at SFoT).

It is a good thing that they were stapling people in on Richocet… the ride is so slow and plodding that riders may be tempted to climb out and race the train back to the station on foot
LOL. Not such a bad idea, actually.

-Mike B.
Son of Hulk

Curious that you found FoF rough, when I rode several days before, I didn't get jerked around one single time in the entire duration of the ride. I'm tall and fairly skinny - maybe that has something to do with it.

I think that the reason for the HSXLC line being like that is to discourage people from riding or reriding to keep the line as short as possible. Parks have usually tryed the extreme exaggeration of wait times before, but HS's system works better for that purpose.

Yes, PKD has really grown into a well-operated, nice-looking, ride-packed park with a great atmosphere especially over the past few years. My personal #2 park I've been to, right behind BGW.

~ Blast Coaster | |

I have never since the OTS's were removed found FoF rough, but I am really small.

And I can ride Anaconda with NO headbanging now. I love that.

If you ever ride Grizzly after dark, it is unbelievable. Just so much air, laterals, and you can't see anything, unless it is foggy.

I hate it when "cooaster enthusiasts" put down coasters. Why can't we just have fun on all of them?

I must say that I enjoyed Ricochet. So there;) .

Hypersonic really seemed to build up a line quickly. When I was there there was a sign saying it would open at 1 but at 12 they let people on. We were able to walk straight into the station, but by the time we got off there was a fairly long line at the entrance.

CBuzz member since 3/25/01.
"Welcome to the top of Acrophobia...Your drop will begin in 5, 4 *drop*"

Glad you had a great time!

I don't have any problems on FoF either. It didn't bang me around when it had OTSR's either. I don't have any problems with Anaconda. It's funny sitting in the back seat and watching everyone's head ram left to right into the OTSR's during the butterfly element. TE HE!

Then maybe it is a point of reference. I don't know what FoF was like with OTSR's... but I did find it rough when I rode it. Perhaps it is a great improvement over the OTSR's and therefore, in comparrison to when it hat OTSR's, it is "smooth". In any event... FoF and Shockwave I found to be two rough coasters.

Kind of hard to take a post as objective if a park or coaster name is part of the "user name"

Oh yes, Shockwave is VERY rough. It's my least favorite coaster @ PKD.

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