Surprises, Disappointments, and High Hopes

Tuesday, July 12, 2005 12:48 PM
While the season is in full-swing now, it may be a bit late for this, but here I am anyway.

Many of us have already travelled near and far to amusement and theme parks this year, and invariably we have enjoyed, loved, hated, disliked, or been generally indifferent towards rides and coasters.

Many of us are also still planning on trips near and far, and undoubtedly are looking forward to certain rides or coasters.

So, here they be, my questions three:

1) What has been the most surprising [in a good way] coasters and/or rides that you've experienced this year? They may be a ride you've previously been on that was running terribly and has picked up the pace, or maybe a new ride that you didn't quite expect to rock you how it did. Maybe it's that great coaster you loved - that somehow took it to that next level this year.

2) What has been the most disappointing ride/coaster you've been on this year? Maybe your favourite woodie left you rocking and reeling and wanting more last year, but this year is just lacking that punch. Maybe the five-inversion B&M inverted you've been dying to ride for years really isn't that good. Maybe that humungous Jump2 structure that was so impressive, sucked quite largely.

3) What coasters, rides, or parks are you looking most forward to visiting later in the year? This one's pretty self-explanatory - but a "Why?" would be nice.

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My answers?

1) Adventure Express at King's Island is definately the most surprising ride of the year. I went in expecting a bumpy crap-filled ride in the vain of Cedar Creek Mine Ride, but instead I got a ride that left me smiling from ear to ear the whole way through. While the finish lacked - well, it lacked pretty much anything, the final lift hill had to have been the most amusing lift hill of my somewhat-limited coaster-riding experience [I just hit 75 last week]. The Rock 'Em Sock 'Em statues provided lots of laughs, lots of mimicing, and a hilarious memory of a park that otherwise almost completely sucked for me.

2) While I haven't been overly disappointed yet this year [everything I expected to be good was at least decent, and everything I expected to suck has done just that], there is one stand-out moments for me, and that was King's Island's operational status on weekdays in June.

We purposely planned our trip around being at parks on weekdays during high school months, as to avoid the crowds. What we didn't expect from PKI was the sort of bush league crap that soured the experience and basically ensured that I will never return. The park was running less than half of their rides, and probably only about one third of their shops, stalls, and restaurants. There were no warning signs of this to the general public, albeit flyers were handed out when you parked stating a list of rides that were operating that day. We travelled over eight hours to visit the park, and for it to be half shut-down was infuriating. I've seen smaller, less-popular parks with more staff than PKI - in fact, I even work at one, and it's a Paramount Park to boot. For a "flagship" park to be running like this is absolutely atrocious.

3) Well, I've been to Cedar Point, the aforementioned King's Island, Canada's Wonderland, and Martin's Fantasy Island so far this year, but that's not even the tip of the iceberg for me. Darien Lake, Seabreeze, Knoebel's, Dorney Park, William's Grove, HersheyPark, King's Dominion, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Busch Gardens Tampa, Universal Studios Florida, and Islands of Adventure still await me. My biggest hope is that everything goes smoothly for us, and we are able to complete our trips without hassle.

But rides/coasters wise, the Phoenix, Hydra, Great Bear, Storm Runner, Lightning Racer, Volcano, every coaster at BGW, ShieKra, and Dueling Dragons all have me drooling in anticipation. HersheyPark is basically my most looked-forward-to park on the trip, and from all accounts, I shant be disappointed.

Wish us luck on our two-week excursion to all of these places - because something tells me we'll need it. ;)

Okay, YOUR TURN!!!

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005 12:57 PM
Martin's Fantasy Island was a pleasant surprise. I hadn't heard much about this park before and what I did hear was pretty negative. But I found it to be a really nice little park with a really strong coaster - the Silver Comet. Very fun and re-rideable. I wasn't even offended by the no glasses policy.

I also discovered how much fun those little spinning coasters can be (I rode the ones at Waldameer and Seabreeze). They are a LOT more fun then most larger steel coasters. Far more comfortable too.

Nothing has been a disapointment because I tend to avoid the overhyped fad rides which just like overhyped movies, are nearly always a disappointment.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005 1:00 PM
MFI was basically what I thought it would be - a dump with little to no order. The ride ops generally looked like they didn't want to kill themselves, so that was a plus.

Silver Comet was a bit short and repetitive, but a pretty good ride all-in-all.

The spinning mice are a great breed of coasters. I loved the one at Waldameer, and was anxious to ride the Crazy Mouse at MFI. Unfortunately, it's still not complete [despite RCDB insisting that it's already open]. I'm excited for the one at Seabreeze, though [although not nearly as much as my girlfriend].

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005 1:05 PM
I expected a dump with little to no order and ride ops that didn't care but I found a neat little park with enthusiastic ride ops. Cheap prices, free parking and a good wood coaster made it a wonderful experience. My only complaint was the lack of shade in the "adult ride" midway. The older areas of the park with children's rides, etc. were nicely shaded with nice atmosphere.

I didn't even bother with nearby Darien Lake.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005 1:05 PM
So when are you hitting the PA parks, grind? (HP, DP, K, WG)
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Tuesday, July 12, 2005 1:05 PM
1) Most Suprising? Silver Bullet. Tower of Terror (DCA). USH, and, basicall, all of SoCal/Vegas I went to.

2) The most disappointing I've been on? Revolution, only because I knew it was butchered, but I could feel the potential. Most disappointing I didn't get to ride? Insanity!

3) Dollywood's this month (yay), Dollywood in December, and other than that, I don't have any definite plans, but hopefully Kingda Ka if it is up, and Hersheypark.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005 1:18 PM

RatherGoodBear said:
So when are you hitting the PA parks, grind? (HP, DP, K, WG)

Knoebel's Sunday August 14
Dorney Park Monday August 15
HersheyPark Tuesday August 16
William's Grove/HersheyPark Wednesday August 17

Hopefully we can avoid supercrowds and get on all the rides.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005 1:32 PM
This has been a less that stellar season for me with only one coaster related trip and visiting my home park but once this year.

1) My biggest surprise was my entire trip out east for CB Con. I hit Dorney, Hershey, and SFGAdv and none of the parks disappointed. Not a one of them. They all exceeded any expectations I had of them, most especially SFGAdv. I am looking for excuses to go back out there again someday.

2) Biggest disappointment for me this year had to be Raging Bull. It just seemed more lackluster than in years past. I have yet to ride it now after experiencing Nitro, but I have a feeling I will feel even worse about Bull now.

3) Not really looking forward to any parks right now. I currently have no plans to visit any parks in the forseeable future.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005 1:37 PM
Most Surprising... Steel Force... after hearing the bashing of this ride I figured I was in for a ho hum ride... needless to say I love this ride in the front or back seats. Another surprise... Screaming Swing. Very interesting upcharge ride.

Most Disappointing thing this season... Three trips to Wildwood and NO RIDES on Coasters. Stupid weather when I get there.

Most anticipated... I'll just list my plans for August and you can pick and choose. Hersheypark, Kennywood, Wyandot Lake, Kings Island, Kentucky Kingdom, Holiday World, Cedar Point (only new to me will be MaxAir), Geauga Lake, Knoebels(been there but always anticipate Phoenix and Twister), Dorney Park (third time this season) and Clementon Park (more Tsunami errrrrrrrrrrrrrr, J2)

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005 1:45 PM
1) Biggest surprise to me i have to agree with dragon up top first time there. Heard nothing about Steel Force, but this ride did it for me there, happened to be my favorite there.

2) A dissapointments this year. Italian Job being down almost all day i was there and then i rode it and it seemed like something was off on this ride for all the hype built around it. Then i would have to say Talon at Dorney just didnt have the intensity that B&Ms generally have.

3) other parks to visit yet are a few more times to cedar point, and geauga lake. Also my Hershey trip in two weeks and one to kennywood and also to conneaut lake park, which should be interesting to say the least.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005 1:47 PM
1) Surprises: The whole June Coaster trip was full of surprises. Michigan's Adventure was a nice park (TR's I read made it sound bad), Got to Cedar Point even though we had not planned on it, Geauga Lake was a nice park. Biggest surprise ride... Indiana Beach's Den of Lost Thieves... really fun. Biggest surprise Coaster... Geauga Lake's floorless Dominator. Back seat rides were great.

2) Dissapointments: Dorney Park's floorless Hydra. What a lack luster coaster. It's not like I went in with HIGH hopes and found it average... I went in with average hopes and found it to be rather inimaginative and blah.

3) Anticipation: first... possible SFNE visit in August (because it's the only new park remainign on my summer plans), fall visits to Knoebels (last operating weekend in Sept) and Hersheypark in the Dark... nothing out of ordinary with those two... I just like fall visits.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005 1:56 PM
I've only had one coaster trip this year, so, it's all based on PKI.

1)Surprise - Son of Beast was unusually smooth.
2)Disappointment - Italian Job:Stunt Track
3)Anticipation - Geauga Lake

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005 2:35 PM
1) What has been the most surprising [in a good way] coasters and/or rides that you've experienced this year?

WOOD: Avalanche @ Timber Falls. Sure, Hades was better than I thought it would be but I never thought the little woodie down the street would be so much fun!

STEEL: Spide @ Lagoon. Hella-fun. Wish we had one in LA!

2) What has been the most disappointing ride/coaster you've been on this year?

WOOD: Cheetah @ Wild Adventures. Great layout but horribly maintained by the park.

STEEL: Wild Lightnin' @ Lake Winnie. Normally I love unbraked mice but man this was uber-painful!

3) What coasters, rides, or parks are you looking most forward to visiting later in the year?

Coaster Alley Convergence @ Silverwood [see sig]; Knoebels for PPP; and hopefully the Jersey shore over Labor Day.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005 2:37 PM
1)My highlights for the year would be some new coasters i never rode that were great, and they would be Montu/Kumba at BGT.
And then Hades at MT Olympus and Avalanche ar Timer Falls in the Wisc. Dells, both were great coasters and Avalanche especially great with the aweome airtime and re-ride policies.
2)My disappointments would be Zeus at Mt Olympus and Gwazi at BGT, both offered medicore rides.
3)In ther beginning of August we are going to HersheyPark/Kennywood and Dorney Park, so i have a few parks that i have never been too and im looking forward to it greatly,
As for coasters, im looking forward to Stormrunner/Hydra and Phantom's Revenge among coasters i have heard alot about but have never ridden. *** Edited 7/12/2005 6:41:53 PM UTC by Bob O***
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Tuesday, July 12, 2005 3:00 PM
I've only been to one park this year, so it's been pretty weak, but it was new anyway...

1. Volcano: The Blast Coaster was way more intense and fun than I thought it would be. Really really good.

2. Grizzly at PKD-Bleh. Rough and stupid.

3.Anywhere. Absolutely Anywhere.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005 3:15 PM
1. Shivering Timbers & Avalanche - both big time woodies with big time air (one floaty and subdued, the other agressive and forceful). Also Hades - top 10, but hard to live up to the hype.

As far as parks, suprised that MIA was much nicer than I had heard/expected. Indiana Beach lived up to and exceeded all the hype.

2. Hades - top ten ride, but not the be all end all experience I had expected after reading all the praise. Cornball Express - same story. Very good ride, but not the "oh my god" experience I anticipated. (heh, real bad year - my disappointments are top ten caliber rides :) )

Also Wild Thing - hoping for a ride more like Steel Force. Ended up with nothing close.

Camp Snoopy - the MOA in general blew and the compounded stupidity of mall shoppers combined with amusement park go'ers made for some serious frustration at times.

3. Not sure what the rest of the season holds. We've done 15 parks already. Is it bad to dip into the kids college funds to continue this year? ;)

*** Edited 7/12/2005 7:18:04 PM UTC by Lord Gonchar***

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005 3:45 PM
1. Avalanche being so much more than the over-hyped but still good Hades. IMO of course ;)

2. Being snubbed by Gonch at ValleyFair! ;-P You were getting off Corkscrew just as Bethtoons and I had gotten on. ;)

3. There is nothing really 'new' I'm looking forward to but it should be great to gather again for CAC and perhaps my first PPP.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005 3:47 PM
For real, boblogone?

Aww, I'm an ass. My apologies. That whole trip was nuts.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005 3:51 PM
1) What has been the most surprising [in a good way] coasters and/or rides that you've experienced this year?

Adventure Express at PKI was a big surprise as well.

Indiana Beach was more than I expected, such a great park with two outstanding woodies. Allready planning on spending more than one day in the area next year.

2) What has been the most disappointing ride/coaster you've been on this year?

PKI, ride lines closed at eight to get ready for fireworks and never re-opened on a day that was packed.

Holiday World as a whole was a big letdown for me. Coasters were much rougher than I anticipated and park themeing was nothing more than ride colors and signs.

3) What coasters, rides, or parks are you looking most forward to visiting later in the year?

Hershey Park, and PPP!
*** Edited 7/12/2005 7:52:03 PM UTC by eightdotthree***

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005 3:52 PM
1) What has been the most surprising [in a good way] coasters and/or rides that you've experienced this year?

WOOD: Hades @ Mt Olympus and Lightning Racer at Hersheypark.

STEEL: SR @ Hersheypark. Wish we had one in IA, better yet any 200 ft coaster would be nice!

I would have to agree with KTS that the CBCon and trips to Hersheypark and SFGAd were very fun

2) What has been the most disappointing ride/coaster you've been on this year?

Not being able to ride Kingda Ka, that makes me 0-2 for riding tallest and fastest in world, TTD was down back in 2003 for my CP trip, I swear I will get on one of them unless someone steals the record again

3) What coasters, rides, or parks are you looking most forward to visiting later in the year?

heading back out to SFMM to get the other coasters I missed, will finally get to 100, also will try out Insanity at the Stratosphere, also will be the "unofficial" tour guide for Tina and Gator when they storm thru the Midwest and go to Adventureland.

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