Six Flags New Orleans and the Gulf Coast (EPIC length)

Associated parks:

Wednesday, April 7, 2004 8:49 PM
What you're about to read is an extremely long and detailed trip report about the trip my wife and I took to Gulfport, Mississippi, and the surrounding area to visit our brother- and sister-in-law. If you're interested only in the roller coasters, skip to Day Two for a review of Six Flags New Orleans.

If you're reading this sentence, thanks for sticking around!

Getting There

April 2 began at 4 a.m. for my wife, Rachel, and me. We had planned to drop our Welsh corgi, Millie, off at a friend's house before 6 a.m. and make it to the Columbus airport early for our 7:50 a.m. flight in the hopes of scoring the exit row on the plane (more legroom!).

The weather was, as we overheard a man on his cell phone say, "the worst imaginable." It was about 40 degrees and raining, which really is miserable, especially after we had to wait for 15 minutes in it while the shuttle bus took its time getting to us.

After checking our luggage, we grabbed some coffee from the excellent local chain Cup O'Joe, then submitted to the annoying "new" carry-on check that now includes taking off your shoes, and being wanded if you set off the metal detector even once. We found our way to our gate, and discovered our flight had been delayed due to a "government regulated rest period" for the crew. That's a first.

We got off the ground at about 9 a.m. and landed in Memphis to catch our connecting flight. We made it about 5 minutes before the doors closed.

We arrived at the Gulfport/Biloxi airport in the early afternoon and after walking up the extremely long ramp from the plane to the terminal, we were immediately met by our sister-in-law, Cid. Her and Rachel went into a store for something to drink, while I played some Ms. Pac-Man in the nearby arcade. I got perfect scores on the first two boards before the girls came back out and I quit.

Leaving the tiny airport, Cid drove us to the nearby Navy base, where her husband (and Rachel's brother) Jon works as a doctor's assistant. There, we picked up cheap $18.99 tickets for SFNO. After we left the base, Cid drove us west down the coast in Gulfport, where we were treated to an astounding number of pawn shops, porn shops, loan sharks' offices, etc., as well as an unbelieveable number of Waffle Houses. Seriously, there was *at least* one for every mile of road. I also saw the most pathetic attempt ever at an apartment complex attempting to sound fancier than it is: It was called Longue Vue.

The town seemed a bit dumpy to me, but the farther we drove west, the better things got. Soon we were driving past beautiful old plantation-style houses that overlooked the gulf. We also saw the campus of the University of Southern Mississippi, which had the most amazing tree I've ever seen. Its branches dipped down onto the ground all around itself, like a spider. Also, we drove past Beauvoir, the home of former Confederate president Jefferson Davis.

Along the way, I'm starting to figure out how to pronounce local town names. So you won't embarrass yourself if you go, Pass Christian is pronounced Pass Chris-tee-AHN; Saucier is pronounced SEW-shur, and Biloxi is pronounced Bil-UX-ee. Yes, that's right, the O sounds like a U. I have no idea why.

Soon we turned around and headed back into downtown Gulfport and Biloxi, where there are several high-rise casinos. We decided to go into one called the Beau Rivage, which looks a lot like the Bellagio in Las Vegas. When we got inside, we noticed the signs were written in the same font as the Bellagio. Of course, as we later found out, they're owned by the same company.

The Beau Rivage was quite nice inside, and felt exactly like a Vegas casino. We walked around and played a few rounds of video poker. Rachel and Cid walked off to check out the salon and a few shops, so I made a beeline to the Category 5 Video Arcade.

I'd say it's more like a Category 3... it was kinda small, but at least it was bigger than the Bellagio's pathetic arcade. But I was very pleased to see a DDRMAX2 machine right in the middle, so I had a chance to play a few of the songs that are only on that mix that I had never played on heavy. I played Baby Love Me, which sounds just like Nori Nori Nori but a lot tougher; and So Fabulous So Fierce, which has the coolest series of stops ever. The left pad had the crappy Namco replacement arrows, but the right side had the original arrows and worked just fine.

Rachel and Cid showed up as I was finishing my second set, and we left to find some food. Being in a new part of the country, of course we wanted to sample the local cuisine, so the obvious choice for lunch was... Olive Garden. Oh well, the soup, salad, breadsticks lunch is too good to pass up. And we did eat outside in 70-degree Mississippi sun, with a great view of the ocean.

After lunch, we picked up Jon at the Navy base and found their home in Saucier, about 30 minutes north of Gulfport. They have a great house, with a wooden deck overlooking a pond full of beavers. We ate supper on the deck that night, grilled chicken and steak, mmm. We spent the evening watching junk on cable before bedtime.

Six Flags New Orleans

In the morning, a Saturday, the four of us set off for SFNO. The Mississippi landscape is so much different than what I'm used to looking at every day. There isn't even a hint of a hill anywhere, except when the road rises up into a massive hump now and then to cross some swamp or river. On top of the hump, you can look out and see green and water in every direction as far as you can see. It's amazing.

We crossed into Louisiana (state number 28 for me) and began crossing the long bridge that spans the corner of the massive Lake Pontchartrain. This bridge is *huge* but only crosses a tiny part of the lake. There is a bridge that crosses the very center of the lake from downtown New Orleans, and it's the longest bridge in the world at over 22 miles long.

We got into a serious traffic jam on the bridge that put us back about an hour, but we passed the time by playing a game that Rachel's family always played on vacation. You have to find all the letters of the alphabet in order on signs, license plates, etc. It's intense because usually everyone catches up to the leader and gets stuck on Q, then it's a race to find RSTUVWXY, and then everyone gets stuck on Z. It's more fun than it sounds. :)

Finally we got across the bridge, and soon we were getting our first glimpse of SFNO. The park has a perfect location. It's within view of two major interstates, and the parking lot is in the back, so the massive CCI woodie MegaZeph is in full view of passing drivers... as is everything else in the park.

We found our way to the very small parking lot and got a great spot. Actually I don't think any spot would be considered a "bad" spot. The whole lot was not much bigger than the lot at a decent-sized strip mall.

After using the woefully too-small bathrooms outside the park, we cleared the metal detectors and entered. The first impression is nice, with French Quarter-style shops on either side. We turned right and headed out onto the midway.

The first thing we noticed was that many of the paths had huge canvas shades over them, much like the queue shades at many parks but on a much larger scale. This is a very thoughtful gesture on Six Flags' part (or perhaps Jazzland's part).

I suggested we hit the signature MegaZeph first, so we made our way back to the steel-framed wooden coaster. The queue goes inside the ride, which is shaped like an elongated oval or a kidney, perhaps, so we got to see it up close. We hadn't seen any trains running yet, and when we got into the station, there were only a few people waiting, and a train half full of people was stopped on the block brakes outside the station. They announced that there'd be a short delay, so most of the people left and we hopped in the back-seat line.

We waited and waited while maintenance men and ride-ops lackidaisically strolled around, looking at things and pressing buttons. Finally after about 15 minutes, we decided to ride something else. No sooner had we climbed down the station stairs did the train of people release into the station, so we went back up - but someone had taken our spot at the back of the train. No worries - we took the second-to-last car.

By the way, MegaZeph, which is an extremely long ride, was running one train all day. Meanwhile, Batman: the Ride on the other side of the park, a very short ride, was running two trains, and stacking them like crazy. In fact, usually the other train was waiting on the brakes before they would even let the next group of riders take their seats. Hmmm.

Anyway. We got our ride on MegaZeph after another five minutes of waiting. This is an AMAZING ride. It starts with a very large, steep drop into a swooping turnaround. After that, I lost track of the exact order of the elements, but I know that it also contained another high, unbanked turnaround with a twisting drop out of it; a little bit of back-and-forth trick-track a la Shivering Timbers; a *ton* of headchoppers; a powerful double-up that made everyone shriek; a very nice swooping turn over the lake that looked exactly like the one on The Raven; and a fine helix to end things. This is truly one of CCI's gems, and even though it has the despised PTC trains, I'd still rank it in my top 5 woodies, behind The Raven and Wildcat (HP), but ahead of The Villain, The Legend, Lighning Racers and The Beast.

I thought for sure that MegaZeph would be too "rough" for my wife, but she loved it. It was quite jarring laterally, by design, but not "rough" like Son of Beast or Psyclone.

After MZ, we backtracked to hit The Jester, which I believe is a Vekoma loop-screw. However, they run the trains backwards.

The queue for the bright-green Jester is kind of neat. There's no kind of bars or mazes... just a sidewalk. And the ride is on the edge of the park, and there's no sort of gate or anything that signifies the end of park property. You could just walk from the line into the Cajun prairie if you liked.

In line, we noticed the chain lift for Jester was encased in a pipe, and didn't sound like a traditional chain lift. Is it an elevator lift? Anyone know?

The ride is pretty cool. It has a swooping drop, and loops and corkscrews always feel neat backwards. The corkscrew twists over the top of the station.

The backwards motion, however, made me a little sick and my wife very sick. So we picked up some ice cream to soothe her stomach; a little water did it for me.

Past the front gate and around to the other side of the park, we stopped at a place serving "authentic" Nawlins cuisine, such as crawfish etouffe, but we decided Six Flags probably wasn't the best place to sample such food for the first time. The girls shopped then while Jon and I paid a quarter each for a vibrating foot message - and his lasted about three times as long as mine did. Rip-off! :)

Next on the path was the Muskrat Scrambler, a "mad mouse" style wild mouse that starts with a series of tight turns and ends with sudden drops. It's themed like a mine train. It seemed to be running a little slower than the other mad mice I've ridden, and with only three cars running, the short line took about 20 minutes to get through. Not a bad ride, though. These make my wife laugh, so I like them. :)

We were approaching Batman: the Ride, which Cid and Rachel did not want to ride, so Jon and I split off and jumped in line. The queue is much different than the "sewer" lines of the other B:TRs I've ridden. It's more like the line for Riddler's Revenge at SFMM, with a long winding path through a garden.

There was no line at all for B:TR, not even in the station. We waited one train for a front-seat ride. The first inverted coaster design (actually, its mirror image) still packs a serious punch. The turn and dip between the two corkscrews is my favorite part of the ride. And this one has a first drop that looks right down into the water... a nice touch. And you can clearly see downtown New Orleans straight in front of you from the lift.

After our first ride, we asked if we could "poach" for seats on the next train, since there was still no line. We were allowed and grabbed seats in the second row. We poached twice more for another front-seat ride, and one near the back, for a total of four rides in about 15 minutes. The last ride, though, made me very nauseated, so despite Jon's plea that we go for five in a row, I gave up.

Sitting on a bench outside the queue, we met up with the girls again, and I watched a cycle of the flat ride Catwoman's Whip, which is easily the wickedest looking flat I have *ever* seen. It consists of several cars attached to arms like a Chaos ride, only they can rock back and forth, not spin all the way upside down. The arms rotate, and they are attached to a platform that also rotates. And the four smaller platforms are attached to a larger plaform that *also* rotates. It made me want to throw up just looking at it.

We backtracked now to the new attraction for 2004, a motion theater themed to Spongebob Squarepants. The ride obviously used to be some sort of pirate ride, and comically, the queue still is decorated with real guns, knives and swords in display cases.

The line was quite long, and once it moved inside, the room quickly began to smell of sweat, which did not do anything good for my upset stomach. So I ditched the line and walked around a store for a while. Inside the store, I saw several hilariously inappropriate Six Flags T-shirts. One depicted a man riding a coaster with the word "good," then the same man with his hands up, and the caption "better." I can't remember what "best" was, but still - don't they encourage riders to keep their hands down and inside the car? Another shirt showed a diagram-type drawing of a man throwing up, with the caption, "Six Flags rides may have an adverse effect on some riders."

The rest of my party by that time had also ditched the Spongebob line, deeming it too long. Jon and Cid rode the double-dropping log flume then, while I ate a tasty M&M ice-cream sandwich from a vending machine. It was surprisingly good and made me feel 100% better.

Jon and Cid came back then, Jon dry and Cid wet. I guess Jon had pulled a waterproof jacket from his backpack during the ride and put it on without Cid noticing. Ha.

We walked around the park again, past Jester and MegaZeph to Jocco's Mardi Gras Madness, which I believe is a Sally interactive dark ride. The cars have guns and you can shoot at targets while you ride; screens in the cars show your score.

Waiting in line for this was much more fun than the ride itself. The reason is that a jester on the roof of the ride randomly spits water at people as they walk by. We saw a few people get it in the face unexpectedly.

I didn't notice much about the effects inside the ride, intent as I was on getting the highest score. In fact, I got the lowest score, despite the fact that I was shooting targets that were 6 inches away from me multiple times, only to have someone else nail it on the first shot. Grrrr.

The Ferris wheel was next. Nothing too exciting to note here. We entertained ourselves by watching people get splashed by the giant wave from the boat ride.

Towering above us near the Ferris wheel exit was the 185-foot Sonic Slam/Bayou Blaster S&S tower. We waited just one car for a ride on the shot side. This is my third S&S tower, and I believe this one has a little more "oomph" than the other two I've ridden. I got some serious floatage at the top.

After that ride I scarfed a corn dog, then we played a few midway games. I played a game that I had never seen before, where you must set up a Corona bottle using a ring suspended from a pole like a fishing hook. I failed, but the operator let me play for free if I promised I wouldn't demand a prize if I won. Sweet.

Jon got in line to ride the bumper cars next, and the girls sat down to wait, so I ran to the nearby arcade. No DDR here, but they did have a newer version of Pump It Up, the Korean DDR rip-off. A guy was playing it and was not too bad. I put in my four quarters when he was done, and picked a song I thought would be fairly easy. No more than five arrows had passed before the screen said "Game Over," and I had hit three of the arrows, at least. The guy who was playing explained that he practices elsewhere, then comes here to play and test his skill, since the difficulty is cranked up so high. Lame.

Walking back the other way, we started to get the feeling that we had done everything we wanted to do... and we had been in the park for only four hours. We wanted to ride Muskrat Scrambler again, but it had broken down. I had no desire to ride the boomerang coaster. We sat on a bench overlooking the lake and chilled for a while.

Then I remembered I had seen a wicked-looking Topspin-type ride earlier that I wanted to ride. I forget the name of the ride type, but it's just like a Topspin, except the arms can move in opposite directions as well, causing the row of seats to tilt sideways.

Six Flags calls this Lex Luthor's Invertatron, and Jon and I had to wait one cycle to ride it. The program could have been better. It basically did some tilting action, held us upside down for a while, spun around and tilted our faces toward the ground, then did two quick flips at the top... that was it. Still, I love that feeling of flipping around so quickly.

And that was it. After riding that, we quickly left the park and made the 90-minute drive back to Saucier.

Overall, I was very impressed with SFNO. The park is very clean and neat, the Cajun theming is a nice change of pace from the usual Western and Gotham City stuff, and the setting is awesome. It has a *very* nice selection of flat rides, including many that I didn't ride, such as a Chaos, a Frisbee, a Scrambler, swinging ship, trabant, swings, carousel and quite a few more. And MegaZeph is a world-class coaster. With the addition of one or two unique coasters, SFNO definitely has potential to become an amazing park.

The night wrapped up very nicely, as we sat on the deck at home, eating grilled chicken and coconut shrimp. Jon put the TV in the window and we used the outdoor speakers to watch Hitchcock's "Rear Window," one of the best movies of all time.

Beach Bumming

Sunday started typically, with a big slab of Butterfinger cheescake for breakfast. Although Mississippi has some nice beaches, Cid wanted to take us to the best beach, in her opinion, which is in her hometown of Pensacola, Fla. So we packed our bags and prepared for the three-hour drive east. First we took a detour to the Food Giant, where we bought stuff for a picnic lunch, and I found Barq's "Floatz" root beer, which is supposed to taste like a float (and turned out to be pretty good).

Between MS and FL is a sliver of the state of Alabama (state number 29 for me). We passed through the city of Mobile, which looked like a pretty nice city to me. There was a huge cruise ship docked on the coast, and we went through a deep underwater tunnel (a sign before the tunnel said, "Lights Flashing - Going Too Fast," and the lights were flashing continuously). After the tunnel, we crossed a long bridge over Mobile Bay, and pulled off the interstate into Battleship Park, where the U.S.S. Alabama is docked. It's a very impressive sight to see.

We continued on into Florida (which I've been to numerous times, so no new state credit). We drove through the city of Pensacola, which looked like the middle of spring break. Bypassing the more popular beaches, we continued into the state park, where we found a fairly empty, beautiful beach and set up camp.

I wish it had been a little warmer (it was about 70, not warm enough to swim or even take my shirt off, IMO). But otherwise it was a beautiful day. The sand was deep and soft, the sky was blue and clear and the whipping wind was refreshing. Jon and I tried played Frisbee, but it was so windy we stood side by side, trying to make the Frisbee come back to us. It wasn't that hard.

After we had our fill of beach, we drove through some old forts on the peninsula, one of which was where Geronimo was held during the Spanish-American War (if I remember correctly). We climbed to the top of an old lookout tower, and the view was awesome.

As we pulled out onto the main road, we spotted an armadillo loping into the grass. Rachel jumped out to chase him and try to take a photo. After getting back into the car, she realized her sunglasses were missing, and deduced that they had been in her lap when she jumped out of the car. We turned around and looked for them, but no luck. We kept expecting to see the armadillo wearing the glasses.

We left the beach area, but first we saw something rare: the Blue Angels team flying their F-14 Tomcats in formation. Very cool. FYI, we have a history of lucking into seeing cool military sights - in 2001, in San Diego, on a cliff overlooking San Diego Bay, we saw the John Stennis aircraft carrier coming into the harbor. It had been in Hawaii for the opening of the movie "Pearl Harbor." (what a waste of taxpayers' dollars for such a crappy movie...)

Now back in downtown Pensacola, which was swarming with revelers, we stopped for supper at Flounder's, the biggest restaurant I have ever seen. It had indoor areas, open-air areas, and outdoor areas. We had a few minutes to wait for our table, so we shopped a nearby souvenir place and bought some taffy and new sunglasses for Rachel.

At the restaurant, Cid ordered a dozen raw oysters. It's her favorite. She mixes Tabasco sauce with cocktail sauce, dunks the oyster in, puts the whole thing on a cracker and downs it. She couldn't get me to try one... they look like mucous. I did, however, have a few fried oysters on my platter. It also included shrimp, calamari, grouper, onion rings and fries... yum. I could barely eat half of it, but we still sprung for a piece of triple-decker key lime pie. It was OK but nothing compared to the pie we had in Key Largo last year. That pie was so good I almost passed out.

The drive home was unremarkable, with one hilarious exception. We stopped at a Shell station in rural Alabama to fill up, and I went into the store to grab a soda. I selected a little 12-ounce bottle of Mountain Dew (can't get these in Ohio). The clerk, who looked a little like the old uncle from Dukes of Hazzard (can't think of his name), eyed me skeptically. I asked him if he had any lottery tickets. In a thick Southern drawl, he replied:

"No, sir - this is Alabama."

This shall become my standard reply for the rest of eternity. It works for anything. "Can you please pass the salt?" "No, sir - this is Alabama."

Anyway, we all had a good laugh about that.

The Big Easy

We arose Monday morning determined to explore New Orleans. We left in the morning and took the same route - Interstate 10 - that leads to Six Flags. We stopped first at the Louisiana welcome center for coffee, and I got my photo taken with a gigantic Louisiana sign.

The bridge over the lake was clear of traffic this time. We passed SFNO and I snapped a few photos - I don't know why I didn't take my camera into the park.

We arrived in downtown New Orleans about 25 minutes beyond Six Flags, if I recall correctly, and first we drove a good ways down St. Charles Street. Both sides are lined with beautiful old houses, and we saw several universities, such as Tulane. There were also thousands of strings of beads hanging everywhere - telephone wires, trees, signs, everywhere.

We backtracked and parked at the Hilton hotel parking garage downtown. We stopped for a bathroom break. You know you're in a nice restroom when the urinals have *ice* in them. It wasn't a fluke either, because we stopped there on the way out of town, and they were filled with fresh ice.

From there, we strolled up to the Mississippi River banks and shot photos of the massive twin cantilever bridges spanning the river. Then we walked aimlessly around the French Quarter, which seemed quite bustling for a Monday afternoon (then again, I live in Columbus, where downtown turns into a creepy ghost town after 5 p.m.). We walked up and down the area around Bourbon Street, stopping into several cool stores, including a store where a woman was weaving blankets with a large loom. We asked her where she learned, and she pointed back to her husband. So we asked her husband where he learned, and he said his father.

We also stopped in a toy store, a candy store and a store with homemade soy candles that cost $29 for the smallest size. We walked past a gated window in someone's house that had a sign above it reading "Pug Place." Indeed, there were four pugs begging to be played with. I played tug-of-war with one of them.

I should note that we were seeing an inordinate number of lesbians on the streets. We deduced that it was because of the NCAA women's Final Four, but possibly New Orleans just has a higher-than-average lesbian population?

Time for lunch. We stopped at a "dive" Jon and Cid had discovered called Johnny Po-Boy's. The front part of the restaurant was about the size of the front room of my 1,100-square-foot house, and there were people standing around waiting in every available space.

I ordered a muffaletta, which is a Nawlins specialty: salami, ham, mozzerella and olive salad on a bun. Rachel got jambalaya, Jon got red beans 'n' rice and Cid got a po-boy. No boring Olive Garden food today!

The girls scored a table in the back room (where tables were set up amid the kitchen freezers and refigerators) while Jon and I waited for our orders to come up. While I was waiting, the chef came out of the kitchen, handed me a paper plate and a fork, and scooped a huge portion of jambalaya onto the plate. All he said was, "Just out." There were 4 or 5 others waiting with me so I don't know why he chose me for his generous free sample. But it was darn good... slightly spicy and filling.

We got our orders and dodged our way to the table. I was extremely disappointed in the muffaletta. The reason is that I *love* olives, but the olive salad on the sandwich did not taste like olives, it tasted like garlic - which I don't like at all. However, I ate the meat and cheese off the sandwich - or half the sandwich; it was so huge, I don't think any human could have eaten it. I greatly enjoyed my side of Zapp's potato chips. The flavor was Cajun Crawtator, though it just tasted spicy to me.

Our bellies crammed full, we exited and continued our walking tour. We took some more shots of the river further down, and we watched part of a street show. These five Jamaican guys had a row of about 10 people lined up, and one of them was going to jump the row of people. They had their lines all worked out, and they would say some words in unison. They were very funny, but after watching for quite some time, they had begged and pleaded for money and still had not done anything amazing or athletic, so we left. After about 15 more minutes of walking around, we heard a huge cheer coming from that direction, so we assume he finally did it.

We also hit The French Market somewhere in there, where I perused a massive selection of hot sauces. I bought some alligator jerky and Tabasco-flavored Jelly Bellys... haven't tried them yet, though.

Even though we were all still stuffed, we wanted to experience the Nawlins dessert called the beignet (bin-YAY). So we stopped at the appropriately named Cafe Beignet and ordered coffee and beignets. They look like giant fried balls of dough covered in powdered sugar (actually, that's what they are) and taste exactly like funnel cakes. Not that that is bad in any way!

The girls left to shop at a Christmas store, so Jon and I hung out in an adjacent bar and caught a few minutes of the Cincinnati Reds' opening game. I played a few hands of video poker and won $5. Why is Ohio the only state where you can't gamble?!? We also hit a cheesy souvenir store for postcards, some matted photos for framing, and I bought some tiny bottles of Tabasco sauce.

We had seen and eaten it all at this point, so we headed back to our car via the Hilton (with a pit stop at some upscale shoe store). While others were using the restroom, I heard a hotel clerk mention that the interstate was about to close, because Vice President Cheney was coming to town. We hightailed it out of there, but it turns out, it was the other side of the interstate that would close. We still got into bad traffic. But once through it, the trip home was uneventful.

Once home, Cid cooked us yet another feast of spaghetti and tortellini. We watched lame movies on cable until we fell asleep.

Winding Down

Jon had to work today, a Tuesday, and Cid offered to get up early and take us on a riverboat cruise, but we passed. I slept in until 10:30 a.m. or so, then got up and enjoyed learning how to play Skip-Bo with Rachel and Cid over orange juice on the deck. It got blazing hot, so we moved indoors and watched a few hours of "The Cosby Show" and "The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air." They don't make shows like those anymore... they're actually funny without relying on sex jokes.

We left after a sandwich lunch to catch our afternoon flight back home. The Gulfport/Biloxi airport is hilariously small. Half of the long-term parking lot is dirt. That's where we parked. When we got inside, I played another game of the very same Ms. Pac-Man I had started my vacation on, only this time I got to play a full game, and scored 150,000 points.

We said a sad goodbye to Cid and proceeded through carry-on check to our gate. It was Gate 1. Not B27 or D32 or even B1 - just 1. I think there are only three gates total.

Well, there's not a whole lot left to tell. The surprise of the first leg of the flight home was that we got not bland pretzels or granola bars, but roasted almonds as the in-flight snack. In Memphis, I got some "hot wings" at KFC - they don't have these in Ohio anymore. During the second leg, the skies clouded up, but they opened at opportune times - I got to see aerial views of Kentucky's Land Between the Lakes, as well as downtown Louisville and Cincinnati.

We landed and found it pleasantly warm in Columbus. Picking up our dog at a friend's house, we made it home and collapsed, another vacation sadly behind us.

If you're still around at this point, I applaud you for your incredible endurance. Thanks for reading!!

[url=""]My blog[/url] You said, "I'm gonna run you down." I heard, "I'm an orangutan."
Thursday, April 8, 2004 2:28 AM
Im sorry but I have to say who won that Cin. Reds game? GO CUBBIES!!! ;) It really sounds like your trip was fun...although very long....

Kyle Says: Diamondback was a lot of fun! Made his first time at Kings Island worth it all!

Thursday, April 8, 2004 2:49 AM
> but ahead of The Villain, The Legend, Lighning
> Racers and The Beast.

Wow, Megazeph is ok and all but I'm kind of baffled anyone would like it better than those rides.

Catwoman's Whip arouses me, though, gotta agree that's a pretty wicked flat ride.

Thursday, April 8, 2004 9:03 AM
It's always funny to hear tourist try and pronounce the towns along the coast here. Several casino's on the coast is the understatement of the year! That place is crammed full. The beauty of the area has gone down as a whole. I remember the days of no casinos down there. The views of the gulf and surrounding area's were gorgeous. Oh well... I still have memories. lol BTW, very good TR. Nicely written and I like how you included things other than parks in it.

*** Edited 4/8/2004 1:04:24 PM UTC by Rampage***

Happiness is like peeing your pants. Everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth. Trip pics are here:
Thursday, April 8, 2004 1:34 PM
Just for the record, MegaZeph sports the ungodly Gertslauer (sp?) trains, not the wonderful (IMO) PTC trains. Still, it really is that damn good and the double up (especially in the front) is wicked fun!

Den said:
Inside the store, I saw several hilariously inappropriate Six Flags T-shirts. One depicted a man riding a coaster with the word "good," then the same man with his hands up, and the caption "better." I can't remember what "best" was, but still - don't they encourage riders to keep their hands down and inside the car? Another shirt showed a diagram-type drawing of a man throwing up, with the caption, "Six Flags rides may have an adverse effect on some riders."

If I'm not mistaken, the "Best" panel was also a pic of the stickman vomiting. Dont know what was up last year, but all this "Projectile Barfing" merchandise has been showing up.

Oh and one last thing: Jester SUCKS! (I'd rather ride Zydeco Scream :))

lata, jeremy
PlaceHolder for Castor & Pollux

Thursday, April 8, 2004 2:01 PM
Awesome trip report Den! The "no sir, this is alabama" thing was hysterical. :)

I totally didn't get the ice in the urinals thing though. Is that really something they do in "nice" bathrooms? And I have to ask, what's the point? I'm so confused.

As for Batman and re-rides, I won't do more than 2 in a row, and then only if I'm sitting up front. During Batman ERT at Spring Fling, a group of us ladies were taking a break and watched a young man race from Batman to the bathroom...he didn't make it in time. Yuck. :( It doesn't matter how "enthusiastic" you are, that's just a wickedly forceful coaster and it should be ridden with respect.

"Want to be upside down, maybe thrown from side to side" - The New Pornographers, The Fake Headlines

Thursday, April 8, 2004 2:06 PM
Lord Gonchar's avatar Everytime I've seen ice in a urinal it's been at some hole in the wall dive bar on the outskirts of nowhere.

Usually accompanied by the distant sound of dueling banjos.

Thursday, April 8, 2004 3:28 PM
Kyle - yeah, the Cubbies won, but they're my second-favorite team so I didn't care so much. ;)

Jeremy - oops, that's what I meant re: the trains.

Dawnmarie - I have never seen ice in a urinal until this week. It was fun to try to melt it though. ;)

[url=""]My blog[/url] You said, "I'm gonna run you down." I heard, "I'm an orangutan."
Thursday, April 8, 2004 4:10 PM
LOL! I knew I'd be sorry I asked. ;)

"Want to be upside down, maybe thrown from side to side" - The New Pornographers, The Fake Headlines

Thursday, April 8, 2004 8:18 PM
Sounds like you went on the perfect day! The crowds must have been dead as opposed to last weekend where crowds were much healthier. The weekend before that Mega Zeph had up to an hour wait due to that blasted one train operation. Also this weekend coming will be absolutely packed due to the concerts (but thankfully Mega Zeph will be back in two train operation). The funniest thing though is how you mentioned the Mega Zeph breakdown. I don't think I've ever visited the park when the rideops haven't caused an E-stop on it. Apparently Mega Zeph is very picky when pressing dispatch buttons.

I'm going tomorrow just to see Mega Zeph back in two train operation! I think I may cry when I see it. I haven't seen it in two train operation since late September because one train's lift dogs got all screwed up on the first day of Fright Fest (which was why they still were in one train operation this season, stupid backordered parts!).

P.S. I can marathon Batman any day ;) he can't defeat me!

Oh and also, about the comment about the lack of a property line fence and walking into the Cajun prairie... There's no visible fence because the property line actually extended way past that treeline. It extends all the way to I-10 by the digital sign. Just FYI SFNO's amount of total property owned is actually larger than SFOT's. So they have quite a lot of room to expand! *** Edited 4/9/2004 1:10:12 AM UTC by Cameraman***

Friday, April 9, 2004 10:54 AM
I wondered why the Six Flags sign was a mile before the park!
[url=""]My blog[/url] You said, "I'm gonna run you down." I heard, "I'm an orangutan."
Friday, April 9, 2004 1:06 PM
Glad you enjoyed SFNO, you had got the same impression I hve had of it; thatit has a great selection of flats, and with a little expansion it will become a very good and popular park. I too loved the Megazeph because it has such a great assortment of elements, and the despite the Gerstlauer Trains is quite smooth.

Now for the important part: The Muffaletta. If you are in New Orleans again THE PLACE to get this awesome sandwich is Central Grocery on Decatur St.,just about a block east of Cafe Du Monde. I promise you will not be dissapointed. :)

BTW, thanks for the Tulane shout out. GO GREEN WAVE!!!!

“Non sibi sed patriae” "Not self but country"
Thursday, April 15, 2004 5:06 PM
Nice TR. As to one of your questions, Six Flags added the canopies over the midways. That was one of the things they promised to improve was more shade. Did you try out their imitation Frisbee (a Fabbri I believe)? I was wondering how it holds up to the real thing.
Thursday, April 15, 2004 5:30 PM

*barfs at the memory*

Thursday, April 15, 2004 8:03 PM
If you didn't ride Krazy Krewe, you missed out on a real treat. That is a very fun ride! Especially if you can score a ride in the end/front seats. Just this Saturday I noticed now every single seat is operational and I was able to catch a ride in the front. Let me tell you, it is one of the most fun experiences I've ever had on a flat. This hasn't been possible since the Jazzland days in 2000 as the ride had been suffering balance issues that caused the ride to hang upside down for wayyy too long! Looks like they totally fixed that problem now though and the ride was running at full capacity. This Saturday the park was running excellently, Mega Zeph and Batman were in two-train operation and all the crews were being pretty efficient in moving the very heavy crowds.

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