PKD Sometime Last Month-Long Lines and Low Capacity

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005 11:15 PM
Well, not really, but that's later....

My friend moved away to Washington D.C. last summer, and It had been decided since about January that I was coming to visit him sometime this summer, so things went to plan, and a visit was in order. I hadn't planned on visiting a theme park anytime during the trip, but as things so happened, Travis(him) and his dad wanted to go to a water park of some kind, and I suggested that we go to PKD to get the best of both worlds, and with his dad being in the military we got tickets from the base at 25 bucks. Score.

So after a week of Soul Caliber, Donkey Konga, Touring and the pool, we went.

On the way up he and my other friend who had came for the visit Mike were watching Invader Zim DVDs, but quite honestly, that show grosses me out, so I enjoyed the beautiful Virginia Scenery and in less than an hour we were there. We found some sweet close parking, and headed into the gate 30 minutes before opening. I like this thing Paramount does where they open up International Street before anything. You can get a little atmosphere before anything happens, or grab breakfast, or whatever.

We had already decided that we would run to Volcano over Hypersonic since it would probably have the longer line all day being more popular and slower loading, and we ended up being right, but it didn't matter because as we got up to the crowd waiting for the Nick Central area to open, two employees were going through with a cart, and we followed right behind them and got to the front rope. Then when the rope dropped, the security guy tried to walk us back but then let us go, and we ran. Guess what? The teenagers get first place. I even took a picture because It's my first time being first in line. :) Travis doesn't really like roller coasters, but while we were waiting on Volcano to test, we told him to go do Avalanche, which he agreed to. He came back and said that would be his only coaster of the day, but oh well; it was time for...

Volcano: The Blast Coaster (#48)-Wow! WOW! WOW! This ride is quite a rush, and the views from the front seat are always sweet on an Invert. Inside the Volcano is interesting, with the massive amounts of supports. Mentioning supports, feet choppers are everywhere on this thing. Everywhere. I love the double launch, and this is the way Zero-G rolls are meant to be made. This is my new #1 steel. 9.4/10(note-keep in mind on these ratings a five is average in my book, literally)

Next since it had no wait we went ahead and did...

Avalanche(#49)-Quick zippy smooth ride. I like it more than a mine train, but it runs out of momentum too fast for me, I'd love to ride one of these with 3 lifts like the ones in Europe. Didn't really feel like much after Volcano though. 6.5/10

Thankfully the other ride in this inlet was just opening and had a short wait as not too many people were willing to stand there for a while...

Tomb Raider: Firefall- Nice theming, great ending flips, and some fire. Add the only 3 cycle wait and this was a winner as my first top spin. 8/10

Travis and his dad split up next and headed to the water park for it's opening. Me and Mike wished to do Anaconda next, but unfortunately the brakes were acting up and some maintenance workers were out over the water working on it, so we took a left and hit...

Flight of Fear(#50)-*Snooze* I was expecting roughness. I was expecting action. I was expecting a good launch. I got nothing. The mid course brakes reminded me of what I've been hearing about the Giavanola twins, or the blocks on RCT2. Literally a crawl. The ride wasn't up to par with the one at PKI, and I also didn't get to wait in the cooler than cool line because it was a walk-on(wanting to wait in line? Whaaa?). 3/10

So after the lack-luster ride there we headed towards the back of the park. I loved the mist at the entrance to the Congo, which we had to use thanks to the Diamond Falls Construction, and we were on our way to Drop Zone.

Drop Zone-Just as hawt as PKI's ride, even though these must be the slowest loading rides on earth. I don't blame them though, 50 people are a lot to handle at one time. The view was great, even though no spinning occurred, and I got a nice view of the Waterpark, And of course, the excellent drop. 8/10

Next we wondered around contemplating the waits for rides, and finally settled for...

Hurler(#51)-...Which may I mention HAS THE LONGEST UNSKIPPABLE QUEUE LINE EVER. Wow, we must have walked for 10 minutes for this ride, which I assume never has a line since it's back in the back and isn't the most popular of rides. Anyway, we took two rides without leaving the station, and on the second at the top of the lift I yelled at Mike "PARTY ON WAYNE" to which he replied "PARTY ON...uhh...GARTH". :) I absolutely adore this type of Layout. It's the reason Thunder Run cracks my top two wood, provided plenty of air and laterals. Unfortunately this one was a little too fast for it's first turn, and rough, and only had a few moments of Floater air. But hey, it was still good enough for two rides. 6/10

Next a unanimous decision(well, there's only two of us) to go to the Waterpark and collect our group and spend some time there. Well, what do you know, even though we were just going to search for them having no meeting place set and hopefully find them, but they were right there at the entrance to a bridge near the front of the park. We bought a locker for us, changed and we all spent a few hours there.

Of Highlight, the Enclosed 70 foot drop slide was a new experience, and the Lazy River provided an awesome time. The wave pool was interesting, as it would send waves for 10 minutes or so, stop, send them for 1 minute, stop, and then do that over again. What? What's the 1 minute for?

When taking a break, they all bought lunch as I ate my usual park snack of crackers, and it was decided that I would venture off alone, as Mike wished to continue in the Waterpark, and I wanted to snatch all of the coaster credits I could get. I changed back into regular park clothes and wandered off alone. First I hit up...

Shockwave(#52)-WEIRD. Those Japanese are just odd I tell you. The restraints were funky, the Helix was overly banked, the transitions were uhh, oddly bad? The airtime was tremendous(and strange for a stand up), the ride was paced well, and the loop was Schwartzkoph-like. Overall fun, and weird, but I wouldn't care to do it again thanks to those oddly bad transitions. Not rough, but a slammer, though I liked the loop and drop. I don't know, strange. 6/10?

Next I went up to get the credit on....

Ricochet(#53)-Fun Mouse, what's to say? Average. Liked the concept of the First Drop though. 5/10

Next was(Yeah, not much intro, but whatever)...

Rebel Yell(Forward)(#54)-I'd done Backwards at PKI on the Racer, so I did Forward this time. Another longish line to walk through, but I was also behind someone, so that affected my perception. The ride was rough. Not fun rough. Rough Rough. Some decent floater air, nothing I couldn't get on the Cannonball though, and I was jarred and came off the ride with a twinge above the eye from the shaking. Plus, we raced and lost. 4/10

I started to walk towards the missed ride for the day, and then remembered this park had three DDR machines and dropped into one on the way to it to play a round. It was a little dissapointing because the guy in front of me played in front of 10 people or so, but then nobody watched me, even though I was better. Although the guy next to me who played with me chose Kind Lady as his first song on Standard, then played Mahou No Tobira which I picked on light, and then played Captain Jack on beginner. Strange that he would play his way down like that. They also had a game called MTV's Drumscape, which was broken. I then walked on towards...

Anaconda(#55)-Yet another unnecessarily long line to walk through, but this one was shady and had a nice view of well-placed coaster. The ride reminded me a lot of Vortex at PKI, maybe a little less interesting, but not as rough as I expected. I saw those turns after the MCBR and got a little frightened, but they really only had one really bad snap, which was avoidable by sticking my head out. I had heard the corkscrews had lots of hangtime, but it was not to be found today, which was dissapointing, but they're pretty slow. The location is the best part about this ride though. Almost entirely over the lake, it'd look great if that paint job wasn't so, umm, hideous. 6.5/10

Since I was fairly close, I figured I might as well try to do the Scooby Doo shoot-em-up ride, since they're fun, but the line was out to the entrance and these are always more fun when you ride them with your group anyway. I skipped it and kiddishly moved to...

Scooby Doo's Ghoster Coaster(#56)-Well, I felt silly riding this by myself, though I guess that's just part of being a CreHo, though I would never ride something where I would have to borrow a kid. The ride was uneventful, and not to be rated.

I felt a little silly now, so I thought why not just go do the Fastest ride in the park, even though I was running out of time till the meeting place compared to what I thought would be the wait and I figured Mike would want to do it later, despite his bias of TTD and belief that no launch could be better no matter what. I headed on back across the park to do....

Hypersonic XLC(#57)-I must mention that this ride has terrible capacity, I waited about 45 minutes for this ride, the longest all day, and boy it was worth it. This launch is Fantastic! I was waiting in line just wondering how the heck it's even possible to get it to move that fast so quickly. It just looks physic-defying waiting in line. Though the actual launch feels completely at ease, not like it's pushing the limits, though the G's are tremendous. I rode in the back, and despite what looks like to be a slow crawl over the first hill is actually a great airtime moment. The rest of the ride isn't dissapointing either. Even though it looks like just a quick ride back to the station, it actually includes lots of intenseness once you get on the ride, and realize your still moving 70something mph. And then there's the great final hop. I love this ride, love it love it love it. If TTD is better, then I really need to make my first trip to Cedar Point sometime. 9.3/10

I quickly ran to the water park to meet back up successfully right on time, but they were slightly late so I was technically early. They changed and I quickly told Mike how awesome Hypersonic was. He was willing to do it, and this time the wait was 30 minutes. He liked it a lot, but, of course, thought TTD was 10 times better. I'm sure it is, but maybe not to the degree he says. Anyway, we made it to the ride we had been anticipating all day, the supposed best wood of the park, over to...

Grizzly(#58)-Bleh. Yuck. Bad. Not good. This was another ride that had a long unskippable queue line, though it was heavily in the woods and enjoyable. A complete walk on, every seat available except the back and front which were currently being power-ridden. We were excited, and noticed how the lead-up to the lift is like a mirror image of Beast. The ride....Oww. Not the absolute roughest woodie I have ridden, and that one was saved from the banishment of 1dom by the heavenly ride ending double helix(hint hint I've mentioned it in this paragraph), but this one HURT. Rough everywhere except the first turn, and no airtime. The back of the seat in front of us stated "This ride is sh*t. It was right on. 1/10

This left us with a semi-sour taste, as it was in the end our last ride of the day, but we planned on going to Anaconda, and were stopped when we saw a henna tattoo stand. Mike had to get one, and he went with a cross over the tribal armband design(basically because I told him the tribal armband was very overdone), which would be placed on his arm. We were told that the ink would take 20-45 minutes to dry, and we figured we'd go wait that out by Volcano and then ride Anaconda and then get the tattoo finalized. What ended up happening was that too much of the stuff was applied, and it smeared badly, which ended up being irreparable. We went back early without the Anaconda ride, and the "master artist" guy gave him another one on the other arm. So he had two, one of which was very blobafied near the bottom. We didn't get to ride, as we now had to meet up at the Eiffel tower, where there was some sort of Talent contest going on. It was more like drunk guys singing karaoke. We didn't see the performance of the guy who won in the end, but apparently according to the crowd he was very good.

We bought some T-Shirts on the way out, and ate at a Wendy's on the way back to D.C.(I had Three Junior Bacon Cheese-burgers and Two Chicken Nuggets, btw, I was hongry.

Also, I must comment that the employees were excellent, friendly and helpful all day, and very quick about their loading procedures. And also again that the foliage in this park is fantastic. Lots of trees. The layout could use some work though, Going from Anaconda to anywhere in The Grove section is too long of a walk considering where things are located. Overall a good park, coaster lineup is a little average other than the fantastic rides of Hypersonic and Volcano. I like it though, would definately be willing to visit again.

Thanks for reading.:)

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