Well, here's my second trip report for this blog. Note that this is the only trip I've made this whole amusement park season, unless you count the Stock
Show carnival, which had no coasters. Sure I went to several arcades but that was it. The major trip for me will be a trip with my grandfather to the 2005
State Fair of Texas in October. That will basically close off the season unless a carnival comes through town. It should be noted that this trip was not
intended to be a coaster trip. However, it turned out to be one due to a crazy series of events.
My youth group was having an end-of-summer lock-in at the Putt-Putt Racetrack in North Richland Hills. I had my 11th birthday party there and I remember
a small rides midway. I didn't realize that this was the same one until much later; you'll find out. So, I was looking forward to some arcade games, hanging
out with my favorite girl (who turned out not to be there due to work issues), and doing some go-karts with some crazy maniacs.
We got there and found that there was a ten-minute delay due to the fact that we got there earlier than expected. This was the first Six Flags moment of
the night. I think that they should have been ready for us ahead of time. They knew we were coming, so why did we have to wait for 10 dang minutes to get
in? Very inefficient operation, but that's not my only criticism. We would have some bizarre things happen to us during the night.
We got our wristbands enabling us to ride the go-karts and play mini golf for free. What happened after that was one of the best moves I have ever seen
an FEC make for a private party. You see, on a normal operating day, you could maybe get 20 tokens and pay from there. However, they gave each of us 60.
Yes, you heard that right. Sixty! I still have over half of them left. Good job guys.
Taylor, the girl I was hanging out with, left me after we had gotten our wristbands. Luckily, Amy Harvey snatched me up and we headed into the arcade. Amy
is in my grade and is one of the nicest people I know, though I wish that Katie, my closest friend in the youth group, could have been there. She was missed.
Amy bought me an orange soda (I needed it) and we sat and talked with David Sutton and Morgan Shaw for a while. It was then that we had found out how many
tokens I had. Color me impressed.
After about 30 minutes, it was decided that we would head for the go-kart track. This has to be one of the best-run tracks I have ever been on. There was
no wait and we got to walk right into the station for maybe a 3-minute wait while the race was on. There were so many carts that capacity was not an issue.
Last time I was here, there was one track for two-person carts, and one for singles. Now they have merged into one and now it is awesome.
Due to my disability, Amy was going to drive me. This led to the second Six Flags moment of the night. The policy says that you have to show a valid driver's
license before you are allowed to drive. Whaaaaaaaaaaat? That is a ridiculous policy. Amy didn't have her license so it looked like we would not be able
to get our ride. However, Amy has a knack for charming people, and when she did this to the ride op, she was allowed in. Yeah!
Several of my friends would be racing us, including Benjy Rogers (who shouldn't even have been riding due to his reckless driving tactics), Rachel, and
Kristalin. We board our cart and I find that they have changed since I was there last. Now, you are very low to the ground and the experience is a lot
more close. Last time I was here, the karts were huge car-like things with high sides and high seats. It was nice to know that they changed them.
The restraints were shoulder straps connected by a seatbelt that went around your chest.
Now, here was the third and final Six Flags moment of the night. The stupid idiot of a ride op made us go last, resulting in us having no advantage whatsoever
due to faster karts ahead of us. What the crap? That is uncalled for and it meant that everyone would be trying to swerve to pass us. Bad bad bad bad bad.
We pull out onto one of the most intense tracks I have ever ridden. The turns produced some strong lateral G’s and it had an S-curve section that was very
intense. At one point, I had to yell at Benjy because he swerved into our lane to try and pass us. He didn't succeed because I made a scene. He wound up
going back to the lane he was supposed to be in and then it went smoothly until a guy named Clayton snuck up behind us and tried to nudge us out of the
way so he wouldn't have to go around us. Once again, I made a scene and he changed lanes. Some people will never learn.
After that, we headed back in and headed to have some fun in the arcade. First though, we talked to David and Morgan for a little bit. Then, Amy left to
go do something else so I started walking around looking for the Skeeball lanes that I knew were there.
Then I found a stool and sat down because I had given up. It was then that I noticed that I was sitting in front of an air hockey table. Woo hoo! Time to
find an opponent. David Sutton was nearby, so I challenged him to a game and he accepted. I am very good at air hockey though I am blind and he thought
I wasn't. What followed was the most intense game of air hockey that I have ever played. I mean, both of us kept trying to beat each other out. Plus, he
was a bit clumsy, letting me shoot straight down the middle several times. Bad player, though he got some good airtime out of the puck.
Next, we met up with Amy at the Skeeball lanes where I managed to play two rounds of my favorite arcade game. Didn't do too bad either.
David had told Amy how good I was at air hockey, so we played a game. This was not only intense, but it was extremely long (about 10 minutes!).
Next, I found my friend Rachel and we hung out for most of the time after that. We played some redemption games and I even tried a slot machine for the
first time. It wasn't a real one, but it was still fun. It was then that I got bitten by Tower of Power. You see, there is a little game on the other side
of the center where you put a token in and a wheel spins. As the light on the wheel spins, it passes numbers. The idea is to guess which number is the
bonus number. If you land on the bonus, you win loads of tickets. I played this about 6 times and came close several times.
Then, we tried a Wheel of Fortune-style game which was really blah.
Then, we headed for the go-karts again.
This time, Jay Fannon, our youth minister, and one of my good friends, Jonathan Mills, would be racing us. This was going to be a showdown as Jonathan is
notorious for maniacal driving. And Jay was after me because Lisa Jackson and I had spun him off a track deliberately so we could win a race 2 years ago.
That was a priceless moment.
Rachel drove a lot faster than Amy did, and I once again had to make a scene of myself by yelling at Jay for changing lanes when he wasn't supposed to.
I can also tell by the sound of the kart whether it's making a good move. One time, Jonathan tried to change lanes to get in the lead. I made a scene again,
and this time, we swerved around so that it looked like we would crash into him. This was a good move because he got back where he was supposed to.
However, this resulted in one of the worst losses I have ever had in a go-kart race. Jonathan changed lanes while we were trying to focus on getting around
the first curve on our last lap. We had maintained a good lead throughout and it looked like we would get first place. However, we were on the outside
of our lane going into the curve and Rachel had to slam on the brakes due to a traffic jam in our lane. Jonathan got behind the last person in the line
of karts, then picked up a huge burst of speed and Swerved around us without changing lanes until it was too late. He overtook us and won. GRRR! It was
BTW, when I say that I made a scene, it means that I asked my driver to slow down so I could turn and yell some insults at the others. That's what I mean
We went back in after that crazy race and I discovered a game that I would be staying at for the next 2.5 hours. It was a pay-extra mechanical bowling alley.
You didn't need any special equipment to play. The balls were small and very light. You didn't have to use tokens on this thing and I wound up giving at
least $12 for 4 games, one of which was with Jay, a guy named Richard, and my college friend, Kevin Rogers.
This game was very easy to play. The lanes were small and I did all right. Rachel didn't want to play, so David came again and Jonathan came to watch. Once
I was doing so bad that he bowled a strike for me just to get me a score. Seriously, I got so many gutter balls that it wasn't funny.
The competitive game with the 4 of us was intense and I decided to bowl without bumpers, which was very hard. Luckily Morgan was there and she helped me
try and orient myself. It was during this time that I noticed that Jay's little sister Katie was soaking wet. It turned out that there was a small set
of bumper boats out back. Could it be? The last time I rode those bumper boats, the water cannons on the boats didn't work. Now, apparently they were working
After the game, I headed out to the bumper boats. This is where the trip turned into a coaster trip. They had a small kiddie coaster sitting to the left
of us as we were heading out. Benjy, who was guiding me, said it was open but he didn't think I should ride. Of course, when you are a die-hard enthusiast
like I am, one of our bylaws is that whenever you see a coaster, ride it if they let you, even if it's a kiddie one.
So it was off to one of the weirdest kiddie coasters I've ever been on. Instead of a long train, this coaster had a large circle of cars that completely
encircled the track. I don't remember any of the major manufacturers that I know of having circular trains. I wonder if this is an in-house design. Either
that, or it's a very unique ride.
Can someone please tell me who made this thing?
The trains were surprisingly comfortable. They were like Schwarzkopf trains, with loads of padding all around and ample legroom, although that is probably
because of how slender I am. The lapbar was very big and well-padded.
Luckily, I was not the only one riding. This was a privelege that I couldn't pass up. I will now be riding kiddie coasters when I can. This one was actually
pretty intense. The ride was essentially a continuous turn, with an incline leading to two small bunny hops. iIt provided great laterals and I really enjoyed
it. It also went backward.
I wanted to go again, but the op had moved on. He went over to the Zamperla MiniTeacup ride that was next to the coaster.
Oh. My. Gosh. I boarded the tub not knowing what to expect. I fit comfortably in it. Then I noticed the Wheel of Insane Glee in front of me. Yeah! It only
took about 3 seconds to get the tub spinning. Friends, this may have been a kiddie ride, but if you spin it fast enough, it can be one of the most intense
rides you will ever experience. I was pulling some serious positives on this thing and my arms started moving uncontrollably.
I rode a second time, but had to slow down halfway through. It was that intense. Nobody else dared to spin the tub as fast as I did. It was so light and
easy to spin. This is loads better than the Wisdom Tornado. I think I got it to 30 RPM but I don't know.
Finally, to finish off the night, some of us headed to the bumper boats. There were only two operating due to there being very few people riding. My friend
Kevin and I were up against a guy named John Bradbury.
These boats are electric and you have to hold down a button to make it go. They can also not be controlled. We spun so much that we were disoriented by
the time we got back to the dock. We also had water fights in the middle of the pool. Seriously, the water guns on these things could soak you in one shot
if you weren't careful with them. We were, but John wasn't and water came showering into the boat at unexpected times. After that, I headed to take one
more circuit on the coaster. Or I would have were it not for the fact that it was time to leave.
Overall, I thought that this trip was fantastic. I got to hang out with great people and there was a coaster in the mix too.
Thanks for reading. *** Edited 8/8/2005 6:17:03 AM UTC by John Moore***
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