Reflecting on the 2002 season [long]

Thursday, September 5, 2002 10:31 AM

Yeah...OK, the season isn't really over until PPP but I thought it would be fun to reflect on the best moments of 2002. I hope everyone shares theirs. The point of this thread is not to be negative. I don't want to see "I thought this coaster would be great but it sucked." I also don't want people arguing over other people's perceptions, we all have different tastes. That being said, on with the fun. My favorite moments from 2002 [chronologically]:

1] Coney Cyclone, opening day, March 24th. Great friends, an awesome coaster, insane flats, Nathans, hot Brooklyn firemen in uniform, and even a fun Oscar party that night...it was perfection.

2] My dad's first SRM, May 31/June 1. My dad and I used to take coaster trips together often but in the last few years, with my mom dealing with cancer, he wasn't able to get away. This year he discovered Raven and Legend and finally realized just how good wood can be. Soon-to-be 66 yrs old, he's still a kid at heart ;-) I hope that runs in the blood!

3] First ride on Cornball Express - June 2nd. Few other coasters have completely and utterly blown away every single expectation on first ride as CE did. As we pulled into the station I felt like a rag doll in shock, and when I came out of shock all I could do it laugh hysterically. Kudos to CCI for packing more thrills into such a small layout than most coasters twice the size.

4] First ride on Phantom's Revenge, June 5th. The last half of this coaster is completely, 100% wrong...in ALL the right ways. A top-notch retrofit from Morgan.

5] First visit to Idlewild, June 6th. A huge, beautiful park geared to families that I fell instantly in love with. RolloCoaster, or Mini-BD as I call it, was a ton-o-fun and their Vekoma mouse is way under-rated. Rounded out by a nice selection of flats including my very fist Catapilar, I felt as if I'd travelled back in time.

6] First visit to Conneaut Lake, June 8th. What an odd, charming park. Blue Streak rocked my world, we managed to get a credit on the kiddie coaster, and enjoyed "Steak On The Lake" at the historic hotel. And now with the gorgeous renovated trains on Blue Streak I can't wait to get back next year.

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"Three simple words: I am gay." - Homer Simpson, giving advice on how to dump a girl.

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Thursday, September 5, 2002 10:44 AM

Well this season has brought with it a complete change in the way I view coasters and the way that I ride them. Last season you could have asked me if I prefered steel coasters over wood and I would have said steel hands down. Now I am not so sure anymore. Two different experiences changed my mind this year...

Viper 1.3 : I have riden Viper many times. Last season I rediscovered it when I rode it and found that I actually liked it after years of thinking I hated it. This season I rediscovered it again when I sat in the coveted 1.3, the ejector seat and found airtime nirvana. Last season, every coaster I rode, I stapled myself in so as not to move from my seat. Viper taught be to be wild and free and not be afraid of coming off your seat. I now ride most woodies with some room.

Blue Streak (CP) : Another rediscovery of sorts. I rode this last year and found it to be an OK coaster. It had its moments of airtime but it was rough and painful. This year after what can only be described as a complete overhaul(has to be) this ride served up an airtime ride that had me reriding many many times. This is the true hidden gem of CP.

Next year I already have my trip to SRM approved by the Mrs. and I am ready to visit IB and Holiday World next year which I am sure by all accounts will add their coasters to this very type of post next year. I cannot wait. Hooray for woodies!!!

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Bob Hansen

A proud CoasterBuzz Member

Operation Wicked Twister - Goal: Lose 50 lbs by next season to ride it! (updates soon)

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Thursday, September 5, 2002 10:46 AM

I made my first visit to Kings Dominion, Six Flags America and Busch Gardens Williamsburg. It was a week long vacation that I really needed since work was hectic. It was the most fun I've had in a long time, even though it was hotter than I am currently used to (I am convinced the San Francisco Bay Area has the best weather)

I also went to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and was pleasantly surprised. It was much cleaner than I expected (Hey....I'm used to ghetto-fabulous Coney Island). The only thing is that the memories are bitter sweet, in that the person I went to all these places with with is no longer with me (sniff sniff) But atleast I got to visit some of the greatest parks on the east coast and an amazing West Coast traditional park.

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Thursday, September 5, 2002 10:52 AM

Made my first trips to "smaller" parks in Holiday World and Kennywood, and visited SFKK, SFGAm, and SFoG for the first time, as well as my usual mega parks. Did my first enthusi-ass event (SRM) and had a great time. I found the 'Buzz last year, but didn't really start posting regularly until this year.

Most importantly, I came to the realization that bigger isn't always better, regarding both parks and coasters. I gained an appreciation for woodies, and had a lot of fun traveling with my wife. Good year.

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http://www.rockandrollconfidential.com

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Thursday, September 5, 2002 10:53 AM

Great memories from 2002:

Having just become an enthusiast in October 2001, I didn't have a chance to go to a bunch of parks and ride lots of coasters, until this summer that is.

1.) Got to visit SFGADV on March 30th, just a day or two after opening, it was empty, and i was able to walk onto Nitro and Medusa.

2.) I got to ride Great White at Morey's Pier in Wildwood, NJ, my first CCI, and my favorite woodie, at that time.

3.) Got to visit PKD and ride XLC and all of the other great coasters there. XLC rocks!!!!

4.) Got a trip to SFA in, and was able to ride Batwing, which kicks major butt, (only in the front row). I rode my 3rd hypercoaster, and my first Intamin (besides Skull Mt. at SFGDAV).

5.) Made it to Hershey Park and got to ride two great woodies, Wildcat and Lightning Racer, realized that GCI's are better than CCI's.

Overall, wonderful year for coasters, but with GADV getting a new coaster next year, next year's coaster riding is sure to be 100% better.

2002 kicked major a**!

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Thursday, September 5, 2002 10:55 AM

Shoot... my season won't be done until I leave Orlando in November!

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com, Sillynonsense.com
"Let's stop saying 'don't quote me,' because if no one quotes you, you probably haven't said a thing worth saying." - Dogma, KMFDM

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Thursday, September 5, 2002 10:58 AM

I didn't have much of a summer, but here are the highlights I can remember:

* Riding Wicked Twister for the first time (May): I went into riding WT with VERY low expectations. I figured on it being just another Superman: Ultimate Escape. I was completely wrong on that count as I came off WT thinking what a difference one extra twist makes. Definitely better than anticipated.

* Knoebels (June): What an absolutely phenomenal park. While I have not been to Holiday World (sacrilege, I know ;)), if its anything like this great park in Elysburg, PA, I think I'd be happy. With the 2 best woodies I have ever been on, a fantastic and rather creepy dark ride, an excellent flat ride package, great food, and friendly employees, Knoebels has become a must-visit each summer now for me. Heck, even my parents liked the place!

* "Killer Comeback" show at SFWoA (June): As I mentioned in a similar post elsewhere, this was pretty much the lone highlight of a lackluster season at SFWoA. I saw the show just 3 weeks after Shouka arrived and the show was far better than it had any right to be. Shouka's "tricks" weren't quite as well coordinated as the former resident whale, but the crowds (and the stadium was pretty full) were eating it up. This show can only get better.... let's just hope the park does too.

* Screechin' Eagle at LeSourdsville Lake (August): Yet another ride I went into with low expectations. I came off wondering why I hadn't visited this park long ago! The Eagle packs in some serious airtime over its all-too-brief course, and the ride was rather smooth also.... resulting in a top-notch woodie that is better than any at CP, SFWoA, and PKI (in my opinion). The park wasn't bad either, and it was hard to believe that LeSourdsville had been sitting idle for 3 years. The place was clean, well-kept, and had a unique atmosphere.

* "New" trains on Conneaut Blue Streak (August): As I already documented in a TR here, the new Vettell trains were a HUGE improvement to the Streak. The ride ran much smoother, the airtime was crazy in the back car, and with the stationary lap bar and leather strap restraints... the already scary looking ride got a bit scarier. I hope CLP maintains these trains and keeps them running next season.

And that's about it. Like I said earlier, it wasn't exactly a productive season. But I guess that's what I get for having a life now! :)

ray p.

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Thursday, September 5, 2002 10:59 AM

High points:

1) Early April visit to BGW... first time there since 1977. 'nuf said

2) Springtime in the Park at Hersheypark: Rainy day, low crowds, lots of coaster rides! Bad part, Great Bear was spitting grease on riders and it played heck with my Busch Garden's T.

3) Memorial Day weekend: My first ride on S:RoS at SFA. (My wife had to work that day)

4) NY and Western PA trip: My wife's first ride on S:RoS at Darien Lake. Lots of rides on Kennywood's Racer, Exterminator, and Thunderbolt

5) Visiting lots of small PA (and NJ) parks: Waldamere, Conneaut Lake, Lakemont, Idlewild, Delgrosso's and Clementon.

6) A sunday night visit with my wife's cousin and her husband (they are from FL) to Hersheypark: Lots of coaster rides in a few hours. FINALLY finding a Comet T shirt! (My old favorite... I never saw a Comet T before).

7) Long overdue return trip to Knoebels: first ride on the Scooters and Flyers, plus some rides on Phoenix and Twister in the rain!

My "season" will not end until late October with a visit (or two) to Hersheypark in the Dark. Planning it for a Thrusday evening. Last year it was walk ons for all open coasters (WC, WM, LR closed) including a mini-thon (7 in a row) to close out the venerable old Comet to end my season. Looking forward to that again.

Amazing thing is... didn't go all that far (Darien Lake was the longest trip), but got in a lot of parks.

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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 on 9/5/2002. ***

*** This post was edited by SLFAKE on 9/5/2002. ***

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Thursday, September 5, 2002 11:01 AM

I've grown very interested in small traditional parks and this summer I was able to make my first visits to a number of them.

-Lesourdsville Lake

-Camden Park

-Bushkill Park

-Idlewild

-Delgrossos

Increased my whip count to 6 and my caterpillar count to 3 (gotta love those antique flats).

Also fit in trips to Kings Island, Geauga Lake and Lakemont (What? No Cedar Point - oh my gawd!).

Still time left for a few more park visits.

I was also able to fit in a number of non-amusement park activities. All in all, a very productive summer!

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I started out with nothing and still have most of it left.

*** This post was edited by millrace on 9/5/2002. ***

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Thursday, September 5, 2002 11:10 AM

Nice thread.

1. X - I travelled out to California this past February to "experience the extreme," and got my mind blown. What a rediculously wonderful ride. I was amazed to meet people from all over the world (Germany, Japan, Sweden) who had come out to SFMM to ride X, just like I had.

2. SFoG opening day - Or "How the Georgia Cyclone Kicked my Ass." After spending a great day at SFoG with my very good friend Aaron, we decided to snag a last ride of the night on the Georgia Cyclone, a ride I had been unimpressed with previously. I have never experienced such scary, violent air, and had the bruises to pove it. The Georgia Cyclone now sits firmly in my top 10. I even finally got to ride a Deja Vu this day.

3. LoCoSuMo Media Day - So what if it didn't open on time. Those ferocious rides on Cornball in the driving rain more than made up for it. Extra special thanks to IBDave for manning the decks all day while we had our fun, and the acers for helping to get me there. :)

4. SFStL - The last road trip I'll probably make with my longtime best friend, as he's heading down the road to marriage and won't be able to do these things anymore. A very special weekend for us, with bittersweet overtones. Oh yeah, the Boss is one rugged, raw coaster, and Mr. Freeze is no joke.

5. SRM - What more can be said about this weekend? I'm sure that all those who have attended will place it on their list of great memories.

6. SFWoA - Despite all the dogging it gets, my aunt and I took my cousins for a two day camping/coaster trip this past June and we all had a ball. Last year we took them to Hershey, and plans are already underway for next year's trip to PKD. This is turning into a nice annual event for us.

7. My 30th B-Day at Indiana Beach - What a great way to officialy "get old:" Go to your favorite park and act positively juvenile. :)

I'm sure that there will be more to add, as the season isn't done yet and I've got some trips ahead of me that I'm really looking forward to.

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"The perfect machine, you seemed to be, when I built you up in my mind..." - Reverend Jon Autry

*** This post was edited by chris on 9/5/2002. ***

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Thursday, September 5, 2002 11:13 AM

Well, my season is not officially over yet, it was a decent one. It begain in April with a week in Orlando, hittng Disney and Universal very heavily with not a lot of people down there. That probably was the highlight of my year. Of course there were visits to my homepark, Kennywood. Always a pleasure there, and I'm sure that I'll be there for Fright Nights.

I also had my first trip to SFA which gave me my first flying coaster experience which I really enjoyed. Once again the park was pretty empty, but wasn't at the best of capacity. I returned to PKI for two days in August that were really hot, but a night ride on the Beast sure is woth it.

The only disappointment is not making Cedar Point this year. However, I have a strong feeling that I'll be going up there very early next year, as something big is happening up there. All in all, it has been another good year, and I should sneak a few more rides before the year is over.

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Thursday, September 5, 2002 11:18 AM

My high point for 2002 was visiting my older brother in Phoenix, AZ. I told him that one of my requirements was to go to California and ride X. Needless to say – mission accomplished.

SFMM (March 17th): My first time ever going to SFMM. Of course I rode all of the coasters, including X, except Déjà vu since it valleyed during testing and the kiddy coasters.

Universal Studios Hollywood (March 18th): This was a nice park. My older brother and I had a great time.

Hopefully I'll get to my home park (PKI) this year.

*** This post was edited by coasterdudeOH on 9/5/2002. ***

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Thursday, September 5, 2002 11:30 AM

Opening day at SFA. A mini CB convention. Seemed like half the people around SROS were enthusiasts. Great time with almost everything a walkon.

June Trip:

CP Threatening weather kept lines remarkably short. Wonderful day. Wicked Twister great.

MiA Great day of nothing but walk ons. Shivering Timbers is incredible. Wolverine Wildcat nothing but pain. Ride ST lots more times.

IB What a neat little park. Great time. Proof you can always pack in one more ride. Cornball incredible, insane, wonderful! LoCoSuMo down for mods :(

SFStL - Brutally hot. (No you can't blame thet on SF management) Need to work on their woodies.

SFKK - Reasonably nice park not real changes.

HW - What can I say? Always great. Zoombabwie is excellent and feels like it will never end.

Kennywood - Boy did these guys get their money's worth on the Phantom conversion! Fantastic! And, so many neat old rides.

Lakemont - Still charming. I just wish that Boyer hadn't cut down the trees.

La Ronde - SF management brings around a much needed facelift and a new B&M. Also higher parking fees. For those of you not familiar, this place was looking pretty rundown. New entrances and lots of paint really are a major help. Now they should either scrap the old sky ride or fix it up.

Still to come. Zombie Invasion at SFA. Coaster Celebration at SFGAdv. A final visit to SFA in October so my kids can get scared silly at Brutal Planet.

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Thursday, September 5, 2002 11:33 AM

Highlights of this year focus on wood.

-Blue Streak

-Big Dipper

-Villian

-Viper

-Wild Beast

-Mighty Canadian Minebuster

-Cornball

-Raven

-Legend

These rides have given me memorable spins this year, and although I had ridden a few of them before, they still had a big part in making this season memorable.

Another highlight is seeing Deja Vu and V2 run with much less downtime, a sign that SFGAm is working hard to fix their problem.

The low point of my season came with threats from SFGAm to remove coasters. Whizzer survived the threat, but things don't look good for one of my favorites- Shockwave. :(

I still plan to visit GAm at least 4 times, and if I get lucky, I might catch a Halloweekend at Cedar Point, but with 16 trips to GAm this season, and many other parks visites, I'm satisfied. :)

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Thank You for challenging TOS: The Ride. We hope you enjoy the rest of your day, here at Coasterbuzz.

*** This post was edited by BullGuy on 9/6/2002. ***

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Thursday, September 5, 2002 11:37 AM

Well, my season won't be over until well after PPP (I still have a trip to SFoG 2 weekends after that, at least), but some highlights from the season so far:

Orlando in January: Even though I got very ill (food poisoning or a stomach virus, you be the judge), this was a great trip. Nonexistant crowds and almost every coaster running. I'd never been to IoA or BGT before, and this was definitely the right way to hit them.

Cornball Express: If there's one coaster that proves that size doesn't matter, this is it. This is my absolute favorite new-to-me coaster of the year.

The ACE Europe trip: I was only able to do the first week, but what a worthwhile week it was! I'd do it again in a heartbeat. Blackpool alone was worth the whole week.

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--Greg
"Now all I want is to find a way home, to warn Earth -- look upward, and share the wonders I see..."
My page

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Thursday, September 5, 2002 11:44 AM

This was the best season ever for me, I finally got to go to CP!

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Thursday, September 5, 2002 12:01 PM

....'moosh.... what about me?;)

Seriously, living in the northwest has its downside, but I did get to finally ride the amazing, nay perfect, Coaster at PNE (which I get to do again on Sunday with fellow Coasterbuzzers!). That, and a wonderful trip through the SoCal landscape in July/August, and all is well. My coaster thirst has been temporarily quenched. I am jealous as all heck, though, that cmiesen is going back to Japan in a few days, and gets to beat us all to Dodonpa. A few of us have been there, but it wasn't open for any of us! Argh! You better write, Chris!
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www.tripowered.com

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Thursday, September 5, 2002 12:17 PM

Nasai - I haven't ridden you....yet ;-)

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"Three simple words: I am gay." - Homer Simpson, giving advice on how to dump a girl.

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Thursday, September 5, 2002 12:23 PM
Whoa...

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http://www.rockandrollconfidential.com

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Thursday, September 5, 2002 12:25 PM
Dang Moosh. That was naughty.....I'm telling Mommy :)
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