PKD washout 7/14

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Thursday, July 18, 2002 6:15 AM

After contemplating whether to go to the park or not since it was raining all morning, we finally decided to go. After three backups (why are so many people driving on Sunday in the rain?), we got to the park a little after 1:00. As soon as we get past the parking booths there is a sign, "Hypersonic XLC will not be in operation today." It was still raining, and we almost turned around and went home. Fortunately, my friend forced me to go, as we had visited several parks in the rain before and it had always turned out great. I saw Hypersonic test from the parking lot, and I knew it was the right decision.

Went right to XLC and they said it would not open unless the rain stopped for a long period of time, though they were launching trains on a regular basis.

Rode Ricochet, decent mouse, but the 50' drop really did not add anything, and it is still a far cry from Exterminator, though better than Wilde Maus at BGW, only because of the drop and the fact that it did not jab you in the brake run. 5 min wait, 1 ride.

Walked on Hurler's last row (it is still raining). Air on the first two hills, but that was it. It is an okay ride, nothing great. Walked on Rebel Yell Backwards (last row). I love this ride. It was not running great, but it is a classic. Good air on the out trip and the turn around. Walked on Rebel Yell Forwards (last row), and had a good ride, but it is plain compared to backwards. After the long rain, all the woodies were a little sluggish.

The rain had let up a bit, and I saw Hypersonic crest with two people on board. We rushed over. We were on the front seat in less than 10 minutes. Great ride as always, still the best rush in the park, but significantly bumpier than last year. There are no magnetic brakes as rumored. Two train op out of the second station only. They are currently holding the line outside of the fastlane entrance. They keep 4-5 train loads in the station, and let one train load in line after each train so that they do not have to compensate many people and if it begins to rain they can sooner shut down the ride, only sending those people in the station.

Hypersonic now crests slower at the top. It seems that they have shaved some speed off, and it is very consistant (last year I thought some launches felt faster than others). I think there is an advancing motor on top that is turned on now, and they just calculate it to get to the top instead of crest over on its own (just speculation). There is still good airtime on it, and in the front you can now appreciate the drop angle more because you can feel it pitch steeply, but it does not fly over the top with crazy forceful airtime like last year. It was cycling constantly all day, but is a degraded ride experience from last year.

Walked on Shockwave. Standing air down the drop and camelback, cool loop and helix, but watch out for any turns. Rough as always, but I enjoy it. Walked on Grizzly, running slowly and squeking loudly. Decent air down the drop and in the tunnel, but nothing spectacular (I have never been a huge Grizzly fan). Did the log flume, the wait was on the stairs (about 5 boats).

4 train wait for Scooby Doo. This ride had more air than Hurler and Grizzly today. Fun little ride. Rode Anaconda 4 times in the rear car. Very good ride, not very rough at all, save for one bang on the first turning drop and in the butterfly turn. I love the hanging corkscrews at the end.

Flight of Fear had a 15 min wait for the 2nd to last car. Good ride, but rougher than Joker's Jinx. Volcano 15 min wait for the last row, great ride, but same complaint as always, short. Did Berserker (okay) and Meteor Attack (no preshow made for a confusing and poor simulation). Then we rode Hypersonic twice more in the back. (Under 15 min) The new headrest extensions really hurt the view. It is much better up front without the huge zero car from last year compared to the back.

Then the park really started to empty out. With a 0-2 train wait for every row except the front, we rode Volcano 8 more times in a row (front was a 5-10 train wait). For the tenth ride, we waited for the front. Shortest lines I have ever seen at PKD. We ate a Ledos (awful, not half as good as a real Ledos) and went back to XLC with 40 min left.

In the final forty minutes, we rode Hypersonic twice in the front (3 train wait), Rebel Yell Backwards in the last car, and got a solo Volcano ride in the front (last train of the night). In fact, the last four Volcano trains went with only two front seat riders, and it seemed MUCH faster (and this is coming from someone who just rode it ten times). Best Volcano ride I have ever had, and it remains the best ride of the park (especially at night with an empty train).

The rain scared off the crowds. Volcano was under 20 min and XLC under 40 all day. At the end of the day, I saw people walking on both rides, I even saw two guys take a reride on XLC. Anaconda and the woodies were cycling with completely empty trains at night. All steel coasters were running two trains (though Volcano went down to one later) and all wooden coasters were running one train.

Best day I have ever had at PKD. Do not be scared of the rain!

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Thursday, July 18, 2002 6:45 AM
NIce TR! Man, rain does scare away people. Re-ride on XLC:)

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Sean

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Thursday, July 18, 2002 7:15 AM

I was visiting PKD for my first time Sunday the 14th, but waited until 5pm to arrive because of the rain. Parked almost at the front gate, the most empty I have ever seen a park this size. Although SFKK is ten minutes away from my house, I consider PKI & HW my home parks and go there 5-10 times a year usually. That said I was impressed with PKDs layout and overall appearance. The rain made the place seem almost deserted in some areas, walkons on many rides into the evening.

I waited 30 min. for Hyper front seat. I liked the launch, but was not impressed in general with the thrust air concept as it is now, maybe when later rides are built with additional elements or are just longer, but I understand its new and would ride again if I return and the lines aren't horrendous. I rode Volcano 4 times, very smooth I thought, enjoyed being spun around that high up, I consider this ride to be the highlight of the visit. Rode Grizzly, Hurler, Anaconda, Richochet several times or so each, nothing spectacular but I don't dislike any of them. Also made a swing on Berserker, my first inverter ship, very nice. Ate at Ledo's Pizza, my girlfriend and I thought it was not bad and much better than PKI's pizza, guess everything seems better when you're really hungry. I did notice many food shops closed probably due to light crowd, but was happy they kept all the rides open or so it seemed. Spent four hours in the park and really enjoyed the visit, this was part of a three park in four days trip that also included SFA and BGW.

I guess since I have just recently started taking trips to visit other parks I always end up comparing them to PKI, but I try to enjoy whatever park it is and have a positive attitude. I really dislike Vortex (bruises!) and Face-Off (waste of time and space) at PKI, I have never been impressed with Raven @ HW (too short) but do like Legend a lot.

I have my first ever visit to CP scheduled last week in August, three days in that area that 'might' include SFWOA if we're feeling good. I have read a lot of posts about WOA with complaints but also a smaller amount with praise. I would like to find out what others think about the Lo-Q/Q-Bot thing since it is not at SFKK yet.

Anyhow, glad to visit PKD finally and hope to return in a year or so. Happy Trails!

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Thursday, July 18, 2002 7:31 AM

Hey Brian, try a real Ledo's on the east coast. They are much much better (our PKD pizza had cardboard crust and a lack of sauce). You were very fortunate to visit the day you did. Weekends at PKD can yield very long lines on the launchers (over 1.5 hrs at times on Volcano and XLC). I hope you got to ride Volcano up front (and maybe even at night). The view of the "eruption" and seeing the inline rolls is great. Give us a trip report!

PS. Don't worry about comparing parks to PKI, people do such things inevitably. And it is PKD after all...

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Thursday, July 18, 2002 8:22 AM

SFA rules said:

Hey Brian, try a real Ledo's on the east coast. They are much much better (our PKD pizza had cardboard crust and a lack of sauce). You were very fortunate to visit the day you did. Weekends at PKD can yield very long lines on the launchers (over 1.5 hrs at times on Volcano and XLC). I hope you got to ride Volcano up front (and maybe even at night). The view of the "eruption" and seeing the inline rolls is great. Give us a trip report!

PS. Don't worry about comparing parks to PKI, people do such things inevitably. And it is PKD after all..

Ledos pizza sucks! Its so greasy it casts reflections from the sun.

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I hope life isn't a big joke, because I don't get it!



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Thursday, July 18, 2002 12:03 PM

Well yes the first and last ride on Volcano were front seats, worth it for sure but I did also enjoy the ride at the back. I did not ride Shockwave as I never cared for King Cobra, also did not wait for Scooby Doo coaster. Rebel Yell was dismal, oh man is this thing so much in need of help and a paintjob, only rode once each side.

What struck me most about the visit is how much alike PKD and PKI are even with totally different main attractions. I enjoyed the park but then again non-existent crowds influence my opinion. I have been at PKI many times when there is a two hour wait for Beast or something and I find myself wishing parks would really curb the number of people allowed in at one time.

I ended the trip with 39 rides between PKD, SFA, and BGW. SFA, SFKK, and SFSL are the only SF parks I have been to, and I was pleased that SFA has the Fastlane system. It was very packed at the park when I arrived at 2 pm, parking in the third overflow lot I believe it was. With the Fastlane I was able to enjoy the park and take in most all the coasters except Two-Face (don't like shuttle boomerangs), Batwing and SROS were something new for me and I had a blast, getting three rides each. The one regret was I would have like to ride front row in Batwing but did not want to endure the line. I rode Roar five times and also got in a couple laps on Wild One, very nice indeed. Jokers Jinx and Mind Eraser were one lap each, I prefer FOF because its indoors but the one thing I did find surprising is how loud JJ is standing in line for the Chaos ride. I encountered only two line jumpers and denied them both passage, they were both 10-12 years old and said "I need to ask my cousin something', yeah right I said and blocked the aisle, they gave up and went away. I hate linejumpers and will draw attention to them whenever I notice. Left SFA Saturday night around 9pm and headed back to PKD area motel.

BGW was the park for Monday, very sunny and hot. Packed! Parked in Ireland 58 way out but took tram to entrance. I am very impressed by the scenery, costumes, theming and general layout of this place but it needs more rides. First up was Alpengeist, front row. Intense, but smooth and fast! A great ride three times. Next was BBW, almost a walk on despite the crowd, one front seat ride was all we elected for. Its OK, but man I wish I could have ridden the Bat back when I had the chance. After a meal we headed to AC, managed two laps on this great ride. Really got lots of airtime and loved the pacing, overall this was the best ride of all for the entire trip. We finished the day with two laps on LNM, almost a walkon once again. I was not beat up as is the usual with this type, and found the tunnel to be fast and added alot to a ride that would otherwise only be about the two loops. The disappointment of the day was missing the 6pm cutoff for the boat cruise by ten minutes, why do they close this so early? Overall, BGW puts me in a quandry regarding revisits much like SFSL. There are a few rides there that are really great but the rest of the park seems lacking and I doubt BGW will be revisited next year unless something new comes (have they ever had a wooden coaster there?)

We passed on a Tuesday morning revisit to PKD because of blisters & tired legs, caught the early flight on standby and went home. Next park trip in six weeks to CP!

Brian

*** This post was edited by Brian Whitworth on 7/18/2002. ***

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