First off, let me say, this is my first ever TR. It is actually very long, so if you are reading it, plan on reading for a while. Lol. Hope you enjoy it!
Since around March, I had a trip planned to Virginia to visit PKD and BGW. It would be my first time at PKD, while I had visited BGW once about 6 years ago. The plan was to visit PKD on Monday (7/15) and BGW on Tuesday (7/16). Arrival at opening of each park was our target time.
We arrived at PKD at 11:15, about 45 minutes after park opening. Upon arrival, we noticed the very nice entrance plaza with the fountains and the Eiffel tower. Brought back memories of PKI. We decided we would head towards Volcano first since Hypersonic wasn’t opening till 1.
**Volcano: The Blast Coaster**
Walking up to the entrance, we noticed all the back and forths were full and the line backed up into the entrance cave. Seeing this disappointed us a little bit, making us think lines would be killer all day long. Although a bit of a long wait, I enjoyed it. The queue was well – themed imo, and the sound effects before each launch helped the anticipation.
After about an hour wait, we queued up for the front seat. With two trains running we waited about 20 minutes. The trains were launching faster than I had pictured in my mind. We boarded the trains and left the train. Talk about silence! I couldn’t believe how quiet it was. We entered the cave and then BLAST! The launch was amazing and around the turn we went and then we hit the 2nd set of LIMs and went up through and out the top of the volcano. From there, it was pretty downhill, but falling into my seat on the inline twists was a lot of fun. Overall the ride was an amazing experience and my second favorite ride overall at PKD.
After exiting the gift shop, we made our way over to Avalanche. (NOTE: One thing I noticed about the park was that there were two parts of the park where the coasters were. In between there was really nothing)
The line for this was very short, and we waited about two trains to get on. I had only ridden Disaster Transport and La Vibora as far as bobsleds went, and this was a different experience altogether. I loved the way the ride came down close to the ground, but overall, it was fairly slow and boring. Even though the line was short, we didn’t reride because we thought lines would be long on the other rides at the park.
I think that this is my favorite bobsled ride I have ridden, but I don’t know how much I care for bobsled in general, so it wasn’t that great.
After avalanche, we walked over to the part of the Congo where Flight of Fear and Anaconda were.
**Flight of Fear**
I had ridden two other Premier Spaghetti bowl coasters before. These being Poltergeist and Flight of Fear at PKI. My favorite of the two was poltergeist mainly because I noticed it was faster then FoF.
We headed towards the back and sat down in the retrofitted seats. Count of three, and we were launched. (I should mention that I love launches). The launch on this FoF was amazing. It was definitely on par with poltergeist. We flew up into the cobra roll and made our way to the brakes. So far, the ride had been on par with poltergeist. Then, the brakes caught, and they caught hard. I swear we came to a complete stop. Instead of flying through the remainder of the ride like poltergeist does, we seemed to crawl. We came to the unloading dock and with such an awesome start, I think I came off a tad disappointed.
Overall, this is better than PKI’s version, but neither beat out Polt. This ride could be so much better without such a hard hit on the brakes.
After taking a look at our on-ride photo, we made our way to Anaconda.
One thing I will say about this ride’s queue is, they definitely need to widen it up a bit. As we walked through this extremely skinny line I noticed the midcourse hitting very hard on this ride as well. It did seem to have a cool ending with some twisted turns and I loved the illusion of the train hitting the water going down the first drop.
I actually tend to like Arrow Loopers, and have never been beaten up by one. I also like riding in the front for the visuals and legroom, so that Is where we headed.
Climbing the lift actually gave a nice view of the park. The first two inversions on this ride were quick and actually quite smooth. Then we hit the only disappointing section of the ride, the midcourse. What a slam on the brakes. I don’t think I have ever crawled that slowly through a set of corkscrews in my life. Also, I think maybe the weird twisting dives at the end could be better with a bit more speed. Oh well, not my least favorite arrow looper.
**Scooby’s Ghoster Coaster**
I had ridden two clones of this ride (Scooby’s Ghoster Coaster at Carowinds and Beastie at PKI) so I knew what to expect. It didn’t differentiate at all from its two twins. For some reason though, I really love these junior woodies. I have more fun on them then you would think, and I will always ride them when they are at a park I am visiting.
I do wish more of these were around and hope that they last for a very long time.
Now I had ridden hurler at Carowinds, and remembering how much I had disliked it, I had no expectations of this ride. Having ridden in the back of the Carowinds version and remembering the headache it had given me, I was a little bit nervous about us riding in the last row of this Hurler.
As we came down the first drop and around the banked turn, I noticed a significant change already. No brain-shaking and uncomfortableness. I was enjoying it. Then we started the first set of hops and I was getting airtime! This was far different than the two rides I had received at Carowinds. I got off happy, and craving more, but we were thirsty and had other rides to check off.
I really like wild mouse coasters. The hairpin turns, although sometimes painful, are a lot of fun. This ride proved to be no different. It was much longer than its Carowinds counterpart, and the first drop was great. Entering the turns, we were braked, but this didn’t seem to slow down the train too much. At the end of this ride I came off laughing and in a good mood. (Always a good thing in judging a coaster)
Overall, the experience offered by this ricochet is superior to Carowinds’ Ricochet imo, but the brakes on this version seem to take a little off. Still a very fun ride though.
After getting off Ricochet we headed over to the most highly anticipated ride of the day. Hypersonic XLC. Expecting a long line, we put it off till a little later. We were very surprised by the shortness of the line.
Upon entering the queue line, we noticed that only two trains were running. This seemed fine though, the line wasn’t very long, and we waited about 45 minutes to get on. Wanting the most airtime we could get, we headed to the back.When the train rolled around and was emptied, we got in. The giant headrests, encompassing us whole, seemed very weird. As the train was wheeled out of the loading platform, we stopped shortly afterward and listened to some seating instructions. Then, we were brought even further along to the launching strip. People alongside of the track were watching us. Then, the lights turned green, and off we went. The launch was amazing. I couldn’t believe how awesome it was. Then we were sent skyward up the vertical track and then over the top and down. There was one more pop of airtime before hitting the brakes.
The back seat ride was an amazing ride. Then, we rode in the front. I could not believe how much better it was in the front. The ejector air coming over the top was insane and the launch was 100X better. Definitely the #1 ride of the day.
I happen to like wooden racing coasters. They are so much fun, and everyone seems to be in a good mood. Unless of course, they aren’t racing. Of course, we had to remedy this. At this time, we asked if the ride-op would race them, but they were too far apart. So, we got on the backwards train, and enjoyed our ride. I couldn’t believe the airtime on the turnaround hill. It was plentiful.
Later on, we returned to this ride and once again asked if they would race the trains. This time, we got a yes, and we hopped on the backwards train again. This time, the ride was so much better. Yelling at the opposite train and it was a great ride.
This ride is definitely my second favorite racing coaster, right below Gemini. Nothing beats Gemini.
This ride was another ride with the tiniest of entranceways. It was kind of cool though, as it wound its way through the woods. One peeve I had with this ride was the one – train operation. Normally, this wouldn’t bother me, but the ride-ops were very slow with loading the train and then the ride wasn’t short or anything. Now, onto the ride.
The setting in the forest was incredible. I loved it. Us, being the airtime fanatics, chose the back seat, and boy did we choose a good seat. Going down the first few hills provided abundant airtime. Then, the killer part. We dove down into the tunnel and were enjoying ourselves when the train dived down an unseen hill. God was this awesome, painful airtime. It just disappeared beneath us and we slammed against the lapbars. Exiting the tunnel, we finished off this ride with our breaths taken away. I couldn’t believe how good of a ride I just had on it. Definitely a must ride.
This was actually funny. I never had made it onto the taxi jams at Carowinds or Kings Island. So we decided we were finally going to ride one. We asked a lady with kids if she would say we were part of our family so we could ride, and she let us. Well, it worked out perfect because we got to ride alone on the ride without being scrunched in with a kid.
Of course, the ride itself was very short and uninteresting. But the perfect on-ride photo made the ride a memorable moment of the day. If you ever thought you’ve seen a good act of being terrified in an on-ride photo, you should see the one my friend made. Classic!
After this, we realized we still had one coaster left to hit. The togo stand-up, Shockwave.
My first visit to PKI being this year, I had never ridden a Togo Stand-up nor did I have any idea what to expect. Walking up the multi-colored painted walkway, I noticed the very odd trains. I couldn’t help but thinking about how weird the restraints looked, and, being used to the Georgia Scorcher, the small trains looked very awkward.
We headed towards the back of the train. After a one train wait, we boarded and took our times getting into the restraints. After everything was set, we left the station and began up the loud lifthill. It seemed to take forever, but eventually we did make it. Going down the first drop, I was taken by complete surprise. I was launched out of my seat and into the restraints. I couldn’t believe how strong it was, almost painful. After going through the small, intense loop we went over the next hill and down into the highly banked helix. Once again, I was caught by surprise by the very intense airtime over this hill. After a few more points of insane airtime we slammed into the brakes and I was left stunned. What an awesome ride!
After that ride, we headed towards the front to experience it up there. Of course, not much air on the first drop. But talk about ejector air on the second hill. We floated down after the train already entered the helix. Again a few more insane moments of airtime followed by a nice pop up into the brakes. This ride was definitely the surprise of the day, and I loved it. I sure hope it lasts at this park as it is one great ride.
Overall, the day was great. We rode everything we wanted to ride and got a last minute night ride on Volcano before leaving. What an amazing experience. As we got in the car, we waved goodbye, and headed toward the hotel in Williamsburg and looked forward to the next day, which would be Busch Gardens.
I had visited this park once before, about 6 years ago. I had with me my friend who was with me at PKD, and my cousin and her friend, who were both terrified of coasters. (You can imagine what a fun day this would be). Also, unlike PKD, we arrived about 15 minutes before opening, so the park was fairly empty for a while.
Entering the parking lot, we received a nice view of Apollo’s Chariot and in the distance, Alpengeist. As we entered the park, we made our way to Lochness Monster. Not knowing what it did, my cousin and her friend gladly joined us.
I had ridden this ride on my previous visit, but didn’t remember all too much about it. The people I were with had never ridden, so we made this our first coaster. As I stated before, I like arrow loopers and this is no exception. We sat in the front two rows and began the ride.
Climbing the lift, we were presented with a nice view of Alpengeist and its Cobra roll. Then it was down the first drop and then up and around and into the first loop. One thing I did remember about this ride was the intensity of the loops. This hadn’t changed at all. My cousin and her friend, screaming their lungs out behind us, hushed for a second when we hit the midcourse. Then it was the tunnel and all hell broke loose. They thought we would hit a hidden drop and were screaming like the world was coming to an end. I myself enjoyed this whole thing and thought the tunnel was a lot of fun.
Then we hit the second lift and went into the second loop. Not being quite as intense as the first one, the second loop provided a little more hangtime. (My personal favorite). Then we hit the brakes and the ride was over.
The Interlocking loops over the lake make this a visually stunning coaster. I absolutely love the indoor helix, and riding through the woods makes for one great ride.
After this, we boarded the train, and headed towards my most anticipated ride of the day, Alpengeist.
The Theming for this ride is wonderful. All the snow, although a big strange looking in 90 degree heat, is very good imo. I love the way that every time the ride dipped near the ground, they used the snow theme to build the trench. Very creative.
It took a little talking, but we got my cousin and her friend on, and in the front seat no less! Climbing the lift hill, we were given a pretty good view of some of the park. Then, it was off on the twisting dive that went up into the giant immelmen. Then it was down into the loop and up through the cobra roll. Going through these elements was much more intense then I was expecting and the cobra roll was probably the best one I have ever experienced. Then we hit the midcourse and dove down under the bridge and up through the zero G. Then into the corkscrew and around a very slow helix turn.
Although much more intense then I though it was going to be, the ride itself proved not quite as good as I was expecting. We took a back ride right after, which was, I admit, much better, and it was all I had hyped it up to be and more.
After this, we headed over to Wilde Maus.
When I had ridden this awhile back, It was called Wild Izzy, for the 1996 Olympics. I had remembered it being a fun, intense, wild mouse coaster. This ride, however was much different.
It started out great, the hairpin turns were awesome, and it had no trims. Then at the end of the turns, the brakes caught, and they caught badly. A great wild mouse turned bad imo. The rest of the ride was fun, but not what I remembered. Whenever it began to pick up speed, the brakes caught and slowed it down. Oh well, I guess there is one wild mouse I don’t particularly care for.
Seeing how Apollos Chariot wasn’t opening up for about another half an hour, we went over to Big Bad Wolf.
**Big Bad Wolf**
This ride truly proved to be the funniest experience I have ever had on a ride before. My cousin and her friend saw it exiting the station and thought that it maintained that same speed throughout the entire ride. Also, they didn’t know it swung from side to side like it does.
Well, needless to say, the screaming didn’t start until about halfway through the town and it didn’t stop until the brakes. I myself, think this is easily the best arrow suspended I have ridden and the speed keeps up all the way through. The trim on the drop down to the lake is a bit bad, but man, what an awesome drop. I loved it, and this ride certainly is big and bad.
Upon exiting the ride, we went to Das Festhaus, and at lunch. This was definitely some of the best park food I have ever tasted. Also, the entertainment in the middle of the restaurant was great, and we enjoyed watching while we ate. After eating, we headed to Italy to ride Apollo’s Chariot.
Apollo’s Chariot was to be my first ever B&M hyper. The restraints always fascinated me on these rides, but I really had no high expectations of this ride.
We chose the front row for our first ride. If I have ever been surprised by a ride before, it will never come nearly as close to the surprise I had coming off this ride. The only word that comes to mind when I think of AC is awesome. The airtime was awesome in the front and the speed was perfect. The surprise drop at the end is my favorite ending to any ride.
After my first ride in the front row, I knew I had to ride in the back row. If the front was that good, the back had to be simply amazing. I could never have been more right. The airtime in the back was so incredible for me I couldn’t believe it. Then, the drop off the midcourse caught me completely by surprise as I was flung into the restraints. Everyone in the group agreed that this was the best ride and we spend the ENTIRE day there. We got about 15 rides in total, and I wish I were still there riding. Definitely the surprise hit of the trip.
BGW was definitely my favorite out of the two parks. I can easily see how it could be voted the most beautiful park in the country and I am definitely planning on returning to this park next year.
*** This post was edited by duelingdragonsrok11 on 7/23/2002. ***
Im the #1 Canobie Lake Park Fan!!!These are my top 3 coasters:
1. S:RoS @ SFNE 2. Yankee Cannonball 3. Cyclone/B:TDK
That was a very nice TR, I am glad you had so much fun at these great parks
Steel: 1)MF, 2)Goliath, 3)Magnum
Wood: 1)Villain, 2)Beast, 3)Roar(SFMW)
DrachenFire04 and SFgadvMAN, I was very surprised and pleased with shockwave. I wonder if anyone really dislikes it.
GroundskeeperWilly, I didnt ride AC till later in the day when, obviously, it had sped up and was running amazing. I would agree however, that PKD is in need of a lengthy coaster. Another launched, although they are fun, would hurt the park imo.
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