The Quest for the Ultimate Rush - L.A. (part 3) (2/7/04)

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Tuesday, February 17, 2004 11:44 AM
The Quest for the Ultimate Rush – Part 3

“I may need some elves”


For the first time on this trip, I was starting to feel considerably better. My nose wasn’t dripping as much and I had most of my voice back. Once Jeff Johnson woke me up, I got ready then waited as Barry Short and Chris Murray were finished getting ready. In the meantime, Jeff put on the bonus disk of the Indiana Jones trilogy DVD. There was some funny stuff in there. Now I am going to have to purchase that. Thanks a lot Jeff.

Barry, Chris, and I spent the night in Jeff’s condo. The community he lives in is gated so we had to park down the street a ways. Jeff drove us to our Sonata so we could follow him to get breakfast. We first tried to eat at a Denny’s but it was too busy so Jeff decided to try something else so we went to a Baker’s Square (I believe that was the name of it). On the way we passed Disneyland and got a glimpse of the new Tower of Terror. It’s looking great and I can’t wait to ride it in the future.

Baker’s Square was a nice place to eat. Strangely enough, it reminded me of a Denny’s. The booth we were sitting at provided us a view of a busy street. As we were eating, Jeff looked out the window and yelled, “Ouch!” We all turned to look at what he commented on. Across the street was a group of teenagers walking. One of them was lying on the ground writhing in pain. Jeff said that one of his “friends” kicked him right between the legs in a joking manner but contacted instead. This left the poor guy lying on the sidewalk for a good 10 minutes before his friends helped him up and they continued to walk down the street, well, except for one of them. He just kind of wobbled. This provided a rather random start to our morning as today was to be a rather random day.

After breakfast we continued onto Knott’s at got there right when the gates opened. Thanks to my trusty Cedar Point pass, I was given free admission after a stop at Guest Relations. I think it is great that even though our season is over in Ohio, our Cedar Point passes are good until May of 2004.

Ghostrider was down due to rehab for the time being so we ended up heading over to Xcellerator. Barry hadn’t ridden it and I was hoping it was running. Luckily for all of us, it was running and there wasn’t a line. For some reason, no matter how busy the park is, I have never waited more than 5 minutes for a ride. No matter how busy the park is. Are people afraid of it or something?

We rode a few times in different areas of the train. For Barry’s first ride, we sat in the front. The next ride, the back. The ride after that, the middle. The middle of the train seems to provide the best ride, at least to me it does. As we were waiting in the station, we were getting a big kick out of watching the faces of those folks that were terrified while waiting for the launch. It’s always great to see the faces of riders the second the train takes off.

Next up on our list was a quick ride on one of the best log flumes I have ridden. Knott’s ride is long and contains surprises that get me every time. Plus, you have to love the whole “sit down – sit down – s-s-s-it- down” thing during the last half of the ride. Chris has this funny thing he loves to do at the end of the ride. During the very last section of the ride, after the big drop, the boat curves around to head back to the station. An on-ride camera (the second of the ride) is placed to the left. I believe there is a sign telling riders to smile and look at the camera. Chris told all of us to look to the right instead. The result is a funny photo of all of us looking the other direction. The best part is other people notice this and can’t figure out what the heck we are staring at.

A quick ride on Supreme Scream was up next. Out of all the Turbo Drops I have ridden, this one still remains the most forceful one. Unlike other models, this one actually does shoot you down with great force and catches me off guard every time. The view from up top is amazing as well.

At this time we were to meet up with good friend Mike Kallay. I hadn’t seen Mike in a long while so it was good to know he was going to join up with us soon. He called Chris and said he was running a bit late so we took this time to take Barry to check out the Mystery Lodge. For those of you that haven’t done this attraction, it’s kind of an illusion “show” of sorts, but I won’t give away the details of what happens. This is not something I do every time I am at Knott’s. The only other time I have seen it was the first time I was at the park in 2000 and I forgot about the ending so it was almost like seeing it again for the first time.

Once our showing of Mystery Lodge was over, we walked around the park a bit before meeting up with Mike. As we were talking with Mike, someone walked out of a backstage area. It was none other than the GM of the park, Jack Falfas. Jack walked up to us and started chatting with us right away. Almost every time I have been to the park, I have run into Jack at some point in the day. He is very down to Earth and is an enthusiast at heart. We talked briefly about Silver Bullet and how it was coming along. I have a feeling that monster is going to go up fast even though the construction has just begun. It was good talking with Jack. He then walked away so he could help in the rebuilding of a bridge that was under construction. Yes, the GM of a park was assisting in the building of a structure. From what I hear, this is common for Jack and he has done work like this many times before.

Chris asked Barry and me if there was anything else we wanted to do. I would have loved to take a ride on the new KMG Afterburner (Revolution) and possibly take a ride on the Joe Cool’s GR8 SK8 but the lines were too long so we moved on. We hopped into Mike’s new Durango and headed out.

We were all pretty hungry by this time so we decided to go grab a bite to eat someplace outside the park. We also decided to head off to Scandia to spend part of the day. On the way we stopped at a Hooters in Anaheim. Believe it or not, I have never eaten at Hooters. I have heard mixed reviews about the ones in Columbus so I passed on going to one.

Yes, we all know what the main draw is when going to Hooters. While the Hooters girls at this place all looked like a typical Hollywood model in skimpy clothes, we still had the business of finding something to eat. To be honest, the menu didn’t look all that great. Yes, I know. That’s not the point but I was hungry as everyone else was. Since there wasn’t a lot of food for vegetarians like myself, I just decided to get a large plate of fries to hold me off until I reached Scandia.


These fries had to be the most salty and spicy fries I have ever eaten. They weren’t all that great. Yes, once again, I know. The food isn’t important. You don’t have to remind me. However, let’s just say I don’t have a desire to eat the fries at Hooters again. Maybe it was because I was sick or something. I don’t know. The fries just didn’t sit well with me.

After our rather, um, interesting meal at Hooters, we left for Scandia. The drive was probably only 45 minutes long but it seemed a heck of a lot longer due to traffic, oh, and the fact that those fries had seriously messed up my stomach. I was almost on the verge of telling Mike to pull over more than once but I figured I would be fine. Once we reached Scandia I wasn’t feeling so great. I won’t go into details of what I did for the first half hour while at Scandia but you can use your imagination. It wasn’t pleasant in the least.

I was feeling fine after a half hour and I bought a wristband like the rest of the guys did. I quickly found them and got in line to take a ride on Scandia Screamer. To this day, this coaster scares me. There is just something about it that lets you know who is in charge. It’s violent. It has scary airtime. It is one mean puppy, but I love it. I have found out that the scariest rides I have gotten on the thing are either early evening or late at night.

After a day at the IAAPA show last November, I had the chance to go to dinner with a few people from the show, including the maker of the Screamer, Fred Miler. Fred is a great guy to chat with and I learned a lot about his company and rides from talking with him. I told him that I think the Screamer is not only one of my favorite rides I have ridden, but it is still one of the few rides that still scare me to this day. I asked him if he ever thought about making a larger version as I couldn’t even begin to wonder what riding a larger version would feel like.

His comment?

“You ain’t seen anything yet!”

Now THAT really scares me.


After a couple of rides on the Screamer, Chris and Mike headed over to the smaller Miler coaster to get a quick ride. Mike, Chris, Jeff and Barry then went over to the go-karts. Chris told me these were a blast considering the track had a few hills and curves thanks to the terrain. I passed and decided to video tape them with Chris’s camera. I had a great time watching them as these karts seemed to be out of control. I saw many wipeouts and crashes. The cycle time was rather long as well.


If this wasn’t enough fun for them, they moved onto the bumper boats. As with most bumper boats, you control your boat in a large pool, but the Scandia version contains a couple of islands in the middle for you to drive around, and a couple of fountains that spray. The main goal of Chris, Mike, and Barry was to pin someone under a fountain so they would get soaked. More than once it worked but once people started getting the idea what was happening, they avoided the three of them.

Once they were done, the got back in a long line for the go-karts. I suddenly had a craving for something sweet. I don’t know what brought it on but I decided to find a cotton candy stand. There is one stand in Scandia and there were only 4 people in front of me so I got in line.

Did I get my cotton candy?

Not a chance.

The man behind the counter was, by far, the slowest working employee I have ever seen. Not only does the stand provide cotton candy, but it also provides sno-cones. It took the man, and I am not kidding here, 20 minutes to make 3 sno-cones. Two people were in front of me and they wanted cotton candy. It took him another 10 minutes to make 2 bags. I am no expert but I know that cotton candy isn’t supposed to be so stuffed in a bag that the bag barely can close at the top so it can be tied shut. If I had to guess, the guy was stuffing what are normally 5 bags of cotton candy into one bag. The machine kept on running out of candy because he was filling it up so tight. To be honest, it was humorous but I couldn’t wait so I went back to the go-karts to video tape more of the mayhem. That was the only negative moment of the day. Well, that and the “fry incident.” The guy was nice, and I have a feeling it was his first day, but he should have had some sort of assistance.

Once the rest of the guys were done racing, we decided to leave Scandia and head back towards Knott’s. Once at Knott’s we still had 2 hours to ride whatever. Jeff ended up leaving us at this time to go home. Once inside we could clearly see that some sort of high school prom was going on as the majority of people in the park were teens dressed in tuxedos or dresses. Mike Chris and I got in line and rode Revolution. I enjoyed it. As with most rides of this type, I was a bit dizzy after riding but it was all good. I love how you are able to keep your belongings on the very large floor that lowers at the start of the ride. I believe this is what PKI was wanting HUSS to do with the floor on Delirium but it just didn’t work out that way.

Next up was Joe Cool’s GR8 Sk8. With only one ride operator, it made loading a bit longer than we had wished but we had a good time in line. The ride operator kept on calling the ride “Joe’s Cool” by mistake. Each time he mentioned it over the P.A., we could laugh, but tried not to make it obvious. He eventually caught on and wondered why we wanted to ride such a kid’s ride.

The ride operator also told us the weight limit on the ride was around 700 pounds so he would only be loading the 4 of us. Barry and I say up front while Chris and Mike sat in the back. This version is much shorter and slower (the fins don’t retrack) than the version found on the top of the Stratosphere tower however the whole stopping effect does work here, although, as expected, it wasn’t as scary. Perhaps the 900-foot dangle off the Stratosphere had something to do with that. You think?


By this time. Ghostrider was open but we expected the line to be enormous so we decided to skip on riding the wooden monster and head over to Xcellerator for a couple more rides. Just like every other time I have ridden it, the line was under 5 minutes each time we rode. The front line lane was closed early so everyone that wanted a front seat ride could get one before the park closed. The only problem was they didn’t have enough riders to fill the front row so they reopened it just as we were getting in line. We decided to end our night with an awesome front seat ride. We also met back up with Josh Baker who had just gotten off work. Josh was working on Jaguar this night but it went DDM. We didn’t get to hang out for long as after our last ride we left Knott’s.

While in the parking lot, we said goodbye to Mike. It was great getting to hang out with Mike, Josh and Jeff on this trip. Jeff and I have done some insane trips and I know he is not planning on going many places this year, but it was great as usual to hang out with him in his area. The one trip I am doing with him this year will be another insane one and I can’t wait for it. Mike is always a blast to hang out with. His humor is insane and he doesn’t hold anything back. I look forward to the next time I get to hang out. Even though I didn’t hang out with Josh much on this trip, the time I did get to hang talk with him was cool. . Seeing his reaction last year after his first front seat Dragster ride was funny. You guys need to come back out my way. I am tired of going out your way……….well, not really. =:^)

Barry and I followed Chris to his home in Santa Clarita. Chris showed us some great slides of what Disneyland used to look like in the 60’s. Chris and his brother Tim had been going to Disney all of their lives so I can see why they love the place so much. Chris has the largest collection of Disney stuff I have seen, and a lot of it is rare. I always have a great time hanging out at Chris and Tim’s place. It was cool to see his monster dog Boris again as well.

The next day we had planned to go to Santa Monica so Barry could ride the West Coaster as well as checking out some of the sites around the area. The last time I was in that area was only for about a half hour so I kind of missed on seeing some of the cool things Santa Monica has to offer. I looked forward to a return visit for more than one reason.

Next up….

Santa Monica, the walk, and the evening before the big day.

Thanks for reading,

-Sean



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Tuesday, February 17, 2004 11:59 AM
You know, I think the food *should* be important at Hooters. I hate to say this, but if your sole purpose in going out to eat is to ogle at women, you're a pathetic perv. ;)
+0
Tuesday, February 17, 2004 1:11 PM
So tell us please why you feel the Scandia Screamer is so scary? Doesnt look too scary.
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Tuesday, February 17, 2004 2:37 PM
Just saw these trip reports today and read them. The pictures on rcdb make Scandia Screamer make it look like a ride at the shore but it is huge!


*** Edited 2/17/2004 7:39:38 PM UTC by SFgadvMAN***

+0
Tuesday, February 17, 2004 5:26 PM
My opinions of food seem to be taking a beating on these threads, but ah, so what....

My experience with Hooters is that the quality varies immensely depending upon where you are. I would have to say that the best hot wings I've ever had were at the Hooters in Tempe, AZ. I mean, these things were literally the size of wings and legs you'd get at your average KFC. On the other hand, probably the worst wings I've ever had were here at the Hooters in Janesville, WI. I guess it just depends upon your luck.

BTW, I consider a good Taco Bell combo #7 with steak to be fine cuisine!;)

Later,
EV

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Tuesday, February 17, 2004 5:40 PM
Den,

Pathetic perv? Possibly my friends I was with. =:^)

Bob,

What makes Scandia Screamer so scary to me is the drops and airtime. This coaster is basically a enlarged junior Miler coaster like the ones found at the Paramount parks.

There is a trim brake before the last turn that does effect the ending a bit, but those drops and airtime do freak me out from time to time. Before they added the trim, we used to call the last curve "dead mans curve" as it litterally felt like the train was going to go off the tracks due to the high speed of the train.

Add that to the fact that jets are constantly buzzing the coaster as it sits directly in front of a runway. Whenever I fly into the Ontario Airport, I always just glance out my window and can see the coaster up close.

Echo,

I hear ya'. I sometimes can find a "meal" at a truck stop or gas station. Not the healthiest stuff to eat, but it gets me by.

-Sean

-Sean

+0
Tuesday, February 17, 2004 9:28 PM
Hooters: Great service, lousy food
+0
Tuesday, February 17, 2004 10:50 PM
Yeah, boobs!

One of the two times I've been to a Hooters, apparently we didn't tip enough and the waitress got PISSY! It was hilarious, because we told the manager and she got put in her place.

Oh, good TR Sean. :)

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Wednesday, February 18, 2004 4:06 PM
I have only been there twice and didn't care for their food at all, especially the chicken wings. Just something about them didn't sit with me.

It's fun to go to with a boyfriend or any male friend and watch these chicks flirt with them. LOL!

Sean, incredible TR again! As far as truck stop food, I really have yet to find anything worth eating, unless it's a bag of chips. Then again sometimes you are so hungry and tired you don't care, and the pizza that has been sitting under the lamp for two hours looks yummy.

-Tina

*** Edited 2/18/2004 9:13:31 PM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***

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Wednesday, February 18, 2004 8:42 PM
Tina,

Whenever I am on the road, I admit, I don't eat the healthiest stuff. I am getting better about that and I am trying to eat healthier stuff so food at those types of stops are going to be a thing of the past for me soon. I still will drink the SoBe juices or Snapple Rain as usual.

-Sean

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Wednesday, February 18, 2004 9:10 PM
I think we are all guity of eating crap while travelling. Sometimes you can't help it. LOL! I am trying to do the same as well.

-Tina

*** Edited 2/19/2004 2:11:48 AM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***

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Friday, February 20, 2004 7:41 PM
Great TR Sean.

Hooters to me is a waste. The food, as previously mentioned is sucky and as much as I can appreciate a cute girl in short shorts... they have to wear pantyhose.

Shorts and pantyhose? Nah, I'm good. Thanks though.

+0
Friday, February 20, 2004 7:49 PM
Brian,

I guess I should have listened to those folks I know that didn't care for the food at Hooters.

Hmmmm.

I wonder if the food on the airline is any better?

-Sean

+0
Friday, February 20, 2004 8:49 PM
LOL! Not really Sean. Airline food is about as nasty as food wrapped in cellophane or saran wrap. :-(

-Tina

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