My dad and I got to the park around 9:00am. I've never been to the park when it opened, but they did a neat patriotic opening ceremony. My dad and I walked around the park waiting for my two friends to show up. They finally arrived at SDC close to 11:30am.
Tip #1 - Make plans to arrive at SDC early; especially on the weekends. My dad and I had no problems getting to the park at 9:00am. My friends were stuck in traffic for over an hour getting to the park at 11:30am.
Flooded Mine Shootout - My dad and I were on this ride when my friends called me on my cell phone. I wish I had an on-ride photo of me shooting stuff with a gun in my right hand and a cell phone held to my ear in my left hand. I could barely hear them, but I got the idea that they were close to the front gate. We got off this ride and met them at the front gate. We immediately went to this ride again, first thing, because my dad's score beat mine and I blamed it on losing focus trying to talk on the phone. If anybody doesn't know, this ride is similar to the Scooby Doo rides. You play laser tag with props and animatronics throughout the ride and get scored on the number of targets you can hit by the end of the ride. Although, for some reason on this second ride the gun scores from the previous riders didn't reset back to zero. So we have no idea who won.
ThuNderaTion - Next up was a spin on this blazing minetrain ride. I've ridden a few Arrow minetrains and this is by far my favorite. I had fun taking my friends on this ride who have never ridden before. Since it was their first time, I of course lead us to the last backwards car. It was kinda funny watching/hearing their reactions not knowing where we were going and FAST!! I like how this ride tears through the terrain. It makes it that much more intense. And like every first time rider, they assumed the lift hill was taking us back into the station. They were suprised by that last turn-drop back into the station.
Water Tobbagan - We continued around the park to this next ride. I'm suprised they let all four of us in one boat. I thought for sure they would split us into pairs. It's kind of a crampy ride, but it was fun. We were flying down that slide and I seriously thought we were going to flip going up the sides on the turns. The sign at the front of this ride does not lie "You will get very, very wet on this ride". We got off this ride looking like we had jumped in a pool and got out. It sucks walking around in wet clothes, but it was nice and cool for a while.
Lost River - Since we were already wet, we decided to jump on this river rapids ride. Although, when we got there the line was way too long. I assured them that it would be much shorter later in the day so we skipped the ride. However, we did stop by the observation area and spend some money shooting other riders. I think between the 4 of us we spent about $20 shooting the rides geuysers for $0.25/each. We had more fun shooting the boats full of dry, old people than the boats full of kids wanting to get wet. Especially the old people wearing ponchos. We probably racked up tons of bad karma points for shooting the old people, but then so did all the people around us who cheered and acclaimed when we nailed them.
PowderKeg - We got around to this ride and the line was outside of the queue house just a little. We decided to wait it out since it probably wouldn't get any better throughout the day. While we were in line they decided to add a second train and that cut our would-be 1.5hr wait down to 45min. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so check out the photo in my profile. (That's me in the yellow shirt next to my dad in the red. My two friends are behind us. Laurie's face is priceless!) This ride was incredible!! The launch was very intense comparable to the only other launched ride I've been on (Mr.Freeze). I really wasn't expecting the launch to be that intense. After the launch, the rest of the ride was so disorienting and fast that I could not even tell you the layout. The ride was very smooth and pulled some really good helix G's towards the end of the first part before the lift hill. Overall, it was quite a suprise. Looks can be deceiving with this one!!
After the ride, we picked up the on-ride photo and watched a few trains launch. I don't know what was more entertaining....watching other rider's faces when the train launched or watching the unsuspecting spectators standing near the launch shed when the train launched. It was hilarious watching people crap their pants when train launched triggering the fire and explosion effects.
Wildfire - Next up would have been the indoor coaster "Fire in the Hole", but it was closed for some reason. We would check on this one later. We headed to Wildfire and the line on this was almost nothing with all of the people queued over at Powder Keg. We only had a 5 train wait for the front row. This is by far the best seat on the train, in my opinion. I had ridden Wildfire in prior years, but it was a first for my friends. They had no problems taking their first ride in the front. This ride reminds me of any Batman:The Ride where it's nonstop intensity from lifthill to final brakes. We all had a tough decision deciding which ride was better....this one or PowderKeg.
LUNCHTIME - There's a reason why this park wins awards for it's food. "Best Park Food on the Planet!!" Yeah, try taking that one Cedar Point. You can't go wrong with anything eat in this park....especially any of their skillet meals.
Geuyser Gulch/TownHall - This was build for kids, but we had a blast here. It's a huge multi-level foam ball playground built to look like a massive town hall building. We had too much fun taking positions on the upper levels and tossing balls down on people below. It was fun hitting the unsuspecting parents and grandparents on the head, then back up and hide as they looked up. We were also getting pelted by kids using the air cannons. One little punk kid got me good right on the chin. The 4 of us retaliated against him and he never did that again. I thought the Town Hall "Sheriff" was going to kick us out, but he was laughing at us and pushing more foam balls our way with his broom. The whole structure is impressive and it's neat watching all the little kids below play with the vaccuums and conveyors that get the balls to us on the upper levels....just so we could throw them back down ;)
Lost River - Finally, the line for this river rapids ride had gone down and we decided to take a spin. My dad didn't want to get wet so we left him at the observation deck with $0.50 so he could shoot us. By the time we got on and came around to the geusyers my dad was standing away from the geuyser machines...."What the hell?!?!" He later told us that he had money in the machine ready to go when some little toddler ran up and hit the button. Then he spent the second shot hitting some dry, old people. Oh well...we got plenty wet anyway.
PowderKeg - We went back to reride PK and about halfway through the line an attendant got on the p.a. and said, "I'm sorry, but Powder Keg has a fault and will be shut down until it is resolved". I don't know what 'fault' it had, but we decided to wait it out. Then about 10min later, they got back on the p.a. and informed us that PK would not re-open the rest of the day :( There were some PISSED off people leaving that line who hadn't gotten a ride that day. We at least had one ride already, so it wasn't too depressing.
Wildfire - With about 10min of park hours left we sprinted, along with many others from the PK queue, over to Wildfire. We got there with 4min to spare and they had already shut the line off. So much for a re-ride on this one too!!
Park Closing - Man, when it's time to close this park, they CLOSE this park. At 7:00 on the dot everything was shut down. We couldn't even pick up some ice cream with strawberries on the way out. They had it all cleaned up and shut down. Several stores were also shut down. Do they know how much shop revenue they are losing because there are people like us who decide to buy stuff on the way out?!? Some of the shops/vending at the front of the park stayed open, but we didn't want any of their crap.
Overall - It was a great day at a great park. My friends bought season passes so I'll join them there again sometime this season.
Don't forget to check out the PowderKeg on-ride photo in my profile. I still laugh just thinking about it.
How many trains on Wildfire?
Never Has Gravity Been So Uplifting.
I completely forgot to add in my trip report that we eventually rode "Fire in the Hole".
Fire in the Hole - This ride is labeled as an "indoor coaster", but I guess that's for the general public to know. I think of it more as a powered dark ride with a couple suprise coaster turns and drops. The whole thing is themed around The Baldknobbers setting the town on fire and is one of the oldest rides in the park. We rode this one right before trying to get a re-ride on Powder Keg. This is great to ride once to either get out of the heat or take some newbies on. The best part is screaming "Fire in the Hole!!!!" as you drop down through the last coaster part back into the station.
The only ride we passed on the entire day was The American Plunge. I have no idea why because it has the second highest log flume drop I've been on. #1 for me would be Splash Mountain at WDW. Maybe next time. We focused too much of our time getting rides on Wildfire or PowderKeg which are near The American Plunge.
As for American Plunge, you would be disappointed with what it has become. Where there used to be a cave with animatronics, there is now a long boring wooden tunnel. Nothing to look at but lamps every so often. The drop is still good, but the ride sucks anymore.
We (MiG) went on Saturday. How were the crowds on Sunday? They were parking in the overflow parking lots on Hwy 76 and the park had a record attendance day. *** Edited 5/27/2005 3:51:20 AM UTC by Swoosh***
I don't know how bad the parking got that day. When my friends arrived around 11:00, they were put in the back corner of lot C. I can imagine that it got much worse the next couple of hours. Finding out that they were stuck in traffic for over on hour getting to the park, tells me that they were pushing close a large crowd. It bet it wasn't as crowded as Saturday.
It wasn't NEAR as crowded as a Sunday visit last year during World Fest. It was shoulder-to-shoulder crowds everywhere that day. This festival is new this year and may take a couple seasons to latch the crowds. If I wanted to go to SDC to marathon rides, then I wouldn't go during any festival.
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