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Sunday, July 6, 2003 5:26 PM
Got into a crowded parking lot in the afternoon for my second visit of the season. Weather was hot and slightly humid, and the park was crowded but not unmanagable for the Independence Day weekend. I wanted to check out the woodies this time as well as a flat ride or two along with the steel thrillrides, so it was off in counterclockwise fashion into Old Virginia first to start out with Grizzly. Through the woods and up into the station, I was pleased to find a short wait for the front. After three trains, I was on.

You can always tell that Grizzly's a classic, and I had forgotten that none of the major PKD woodies have seatbelts. Through the turnaround and up the lift, the ride was showing a little roughness and the left side of the train was constantly rising up half an inch of so on the lift hill, probably from the antirollback. Down we plunge, the first drop slightly rough but powerful. The most jerky part of the ride, as usual, is the beginning of the fan curve, but other than that and a few other slight jerks and jolts, Grizzly is running good for non-retracked a 21-year-old woodie, providing a nice flight through the woods.

Next was HyperSonic, with a line extending to the third turn. Using the track above as some shade, I got through the first part of the line in about a half hour, then the attendent let some of the major line spill through into the next part of the queue. In the station, there was some more wait for the front. A car over on Ricochet was stalled in the first set of block brakes for about 20 minutes, but I didn't see any news choppers hovering around, so that was a good sign.

On the train, I was told that I couldn't bring along my camera. Now if this goes against what any ride operator believes is ride policy, I'll leave it behind, but it is announced beforehand only that loose articals are not permitted, and also that the park is not responsible for stolen articals, which always makes me think twice about leaving anything behind. I personally see nothing wrong with bringing a small, well-secured object on a ride, with all liability on the rider. But I've seen plenty of maps, hats, etc. being allowed on and falling from the ride, which could get lodged in the track and a cap nearly hit me on another ride later on, so go figure. But the attendent understood part of my objection to leaving it behind, so he was nice enough to hold it for me. HyperSonic is always a pure exhilaration, smooth, fast, but the shortness always leaves you wanting more. A helix would have been perfect at the end of the ride.

It was over to Hurler after that, and I arrived in the station to only three other riders-to-be in the entire building. I got on the front after a one-train wait, and rolled out of the station. After the initial drop, you can really feel the roughness and jerkiness of the ride. I wanted to put my arms up around the first banked turnaround, but all I could find myself doing was saying ouch. The airtime on those hops, however, shouldn't be missed; I got atleast half a dozen pops of air. But throughout the ride, you feel this rough and brittle feeling of the track and structure below you. Hurler hasn't aged too well, and never had curves that were too smooth. I would still go with my theory that a path through to WaterWorks would help balance out the crowds and get more people on Hurler and Ricochet, but a tracking of this ride should be a definite for down the road.

Off to the neighboring Rebel Yell I headed, choosing the Backwards half of the coaster, and the back seat (facing the track). The first drop came up quickly, and the forces at the bottom of several of the valleys were exceptionally powerful, but rough throughout. I've always preferred the Backwards side to the traditional train; it adds another dimension of surprise to the ride. After riding the three woodies, I was surprised that Grizzly was actually running the best. In my opinion, Hurler and Rebel Yell are due for some major maintenance some time soon. On another note, I think that the exit path needs to be rerouted, as it makes you walk completely around Launch Pad when it could join up with the entry area a lot sooner.

I hopped in line for Drop Zone next, the line overflowing down to the back of the ride as the dispatching was at about twice as slow as the last time I was at the park. I heard a few in line discussing life insurance policies, but the inspection certificate on the sign at the entrance hopefully eases a few people's concerns with the 272-foot drop. Most of the way through the line, the next group of riders waiting to go up was let off and Drop Zone shut down for a few minutes so that it could be run to clear an appearant safety concern, I believe with one of the restraints. But after about 20 minutes, we were ready to board. I had a feeling before I even got in line that I would get the same side as last time, purple, and I ended up getting that and almost the exact same seat as before. Had to leave my camera behind again, but no biggie this time. The plunge is as enjoyable as ever, and I love sticking my arms and legs out to feel the rushing air on the way down.

It was over to Congo after that, but the lines for Volcano and Flight of Fear were too long, and I didn't have enough time to wait. So I headed back over for a walk-on on Grizzly next. Nothing like speeding through the woods in the dusk. Over to Ricochet next, there was a little bit of a line, but nothing bad. Camera wasn't allowed on once again, but this time I was told that disposables are permitted. The ride was running just as slow as ever, but the last couple of corners are nice. Finally, it was over to Flying Eagles for a nice relaxing ride. It's been about six years since I rode it back when it was Scream Weaver, and the new location is a great spot for a flying scooters.

To sum it up, an enjoyable day at the park, as usual, with some longer-than-average waits, crowds, and heat, but nothing can hide PKD's status as a great park.

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~ Blast Coaster | BlastCoaster@coaster-net.com | www.COASTER-net.com

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Sunday, July 6, 2003 6:26 PM
Great TR,I'm going to PPKD in a couple of weeks mysself & can't wait to get on their awesome woodies again,namely Grizzly because the other 2 I'd consider a bit less than awesome.

Did they actually get flying eagles back up & running? I heard recently that all the cars had been removed from the ride but I guess it was only temporary & nothing for fans of the ride to be worried about.

Did you find out anything about what the deal is with the construction over by avalanche & kidzville at all? it looks like a new ride won't be going on DF's site anytime soon.

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Monday, July 7, 2003 3:40 PM
Flying Eagles were running all day, and they were on my last visit as well. I'm not sure when you heard about the vehicles being taken down, but it must have been for some brief maintenance. The only thing I did notice is that the cables were squeaking a little, but other than that, it was running perfectly fine.

I didn't check out the construction by Avalanche, but here's my take on it: There have been rumors that a new pavillion or expansion of the Amphiteater is being constructed, and I would tend to believe those just as much of rumors of a new ride over there. As for the DF site, I just couldn't imagine a park like PKD leaving that as it is for another year, especially with the Tomb Raider display (hopefully a hint for us) out front.

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~ Blast Coaster | BlastCoaster@coaster-net.com | www.COASTER-net.com

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Monday, July 7, 2003 6:31 PM
The Flying Eagles were down during CoasterCon. The birds were taken off. I think they just didn't want us to Snap the Flyers! :)

I went the following Saturday, and they were back up and running, a week later of course.

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"That helix turns me on" - Nightride at CoasterCon

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Monday, July 7, 2003 6:54 PM
Great TR! I agree with you about the Hurler. It has gotten REALLY rough! Rebel Yell isn't so bad depending on where you sit.
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Monday, July 7, 2003 9:01 PM
There is one woodie with a seatbelt at PKD, and that's Scooby Doo's Ghoster Coaster.
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If you have a problem with clones, the solution is real simple—Stop traveling.
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Tuesday, July 8, 2003 12:19 PM
They should just get rid of Hurler (aka firewood) in my opinion,that ride just isn't anywhere near aas good as Grizzly & if it got the axe,or the torch (whichever comes first) it could really free up some space for a much needed hyper from B&M or intamin.

What is the maximum height restriction for Ricochet? I'm about 6' 1"& I'm kinda worried that I won't be able to fit in the car,or worse not be able to get the lap bar down enough to permit the ride to be dispatched,so if anyone knows what it is then please fill me in.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2003 5:41 PM
I don't know the height restriction, but I do know that I'm 6'2 or 6'3 and I fit in the car comfortably.

I think that Hurler could easily be built around, it just needs a retracking job badly.

Thanks for the comments!

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~ Blast Coaster | BlastCoaster@coaster-net.com | www.COASTER-net.com

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Tuesday, July 8, 2003 5:48 PM
Thanks,that's all the info I need.
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