Six Flags Over Georgia, Austell, Georgia, USA
Kings Dominion, Doswell, Virginia, USA
Carowinds, Charlotte, North Carolina, USA
Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Williamsburg, Virginia, USA
Wild Adventures, Valdosta, Georgia, USA
SeaWorld Orlando, Orlando, Florida, USA
Nagashima Spaland, Nagashima, Japan
Tokyo Disneyland, Tokyo, Japan
Fuji-Q Highland, Japan
Tokyo Dome City, Tokyo, Japan
Space World, Kita-Kyushu, Japan
Tobu Zoo, Tokyo, Japan
Sega Joypolis, Tokyo, Japan
Universal Studios Japan, Osaka, Japan
Tokyo DisneySea, Tokyo, Japan
Hanayashiki Amusement Park, Asakusa, Tokyo, Japan
Fun Spot America, Kissimmee, FL, US
Yokohama Cosmoworld, Yokohama, Japan
Fun Spot America, Orlando, FL, USA
I'm a little late on this, mostly because I had some Mac issues and couldn't post. Anyways, 2017 was a really great year. I went a lot of new places, had a lot of fun, and ended the year riding coasters. Oh, I also went international for the first time. On to 2018!
I still love living in Charlotte. Seven years in I still get excited seeing the skyline.
Early in the year, an American Institution was announced to be closing for good, so I had to take a chance and go see it for my final time.
I wanted to go see the other touring group in Greensboro a month later, but I had to miss it, so this was my final time seeing The Greatest Show on Earth!
In February, my friend Isaac and I spent the weekend in Raleigh/Durham and I finally got to go to the NC Museum of Natural History. It was opened a few years ago, and I've been wanting to go ever since.
Spring wouldn't be complete without a trip to Carowinds to sample the new wares. Four new (much needed) flat rides debuted along with other additions. The area looks great. They had some hiccups, some that lasted most of the season, but all four rides are a lot of fun.
Also in the Spring I headed to Atlanta for the second (of 4) trips of the year, and hit up Six Flags. This wasn't open yet, and I've still yet to ride it. I did, however, get to ride Blue Hawk (Formerly Ninja) with it's new paint/train/etc. and it is now a good ride.
Supes looks good with the new paint job, but every time I tried to get Isaac on over 2 visits, the ride kept breaking down. He finally got to ride 2 B&M flyers in Japan, but still doesn't have this one.
Fair season is a little different in NC than I'm used to. It starts in the spring but ramps up in the fall. My first of 2 fairs this year was the Queen City fair. When I first moved here, there was one small fair in Charlotte, now there are a couple of decent ones.
Went to Va for the weekend. I really like InvadR. Next time I return I hope the day isn't quite as busy so I can ride much more.
This year I came to the realization that, though I like the park, Kings Dominion just isn't a park I'm hugely excited about. I didn't used to feel this way. However, Twisted Timbers could change that.
Along with several Friday nights at the park enjoying rides in the cool weather, I also hit up Carowinds for the Taste of the Carolinas a couple times. Food is really good.
Took five attempts to finally ride this, and it was really great. Took longer before the lights were installed, and nearly all seas (Winterfest) till all of the lights started working.
Spent a weekend in Asheville and saw Franz Ferdinand. Great show, great weekend in Asheville. I love Asheville.
My next fair was the Charlotte Fair. I went for the credit.
The only reason I didn't ride this was because I'd just eaten. A few weeks later, this was the very same one that was involved in the fatal Ohio accident.
And then THIS happened! No, not Epcot. I finally, after nearly 2 decades, made my way to Japan!
Tokyo was amazing.
Such an amazing place.
We just happened to stumble across the oldest park in Japan, with the oldest coaster in Japan, and my first international credit on our first full day.
We headed to Kyoto where we got our first, but not last, taste of a typhoon.
But seeing the Imperial complex in Kyoto, even in the rain, was breathtaking.
Also amazing? The food. We had sushi once. And I don't regret not having it more because everything else was so amazing. Didn't have a bad meal there. Not even McDonalds.
Cedar Fair's aggressive secret expansion in to Japan was shocking.
I hate that this park closed 12/31. It was a really great park with some unique rides, not the least of which was the log flume with a helix.
Good ride. If it had better restraints, it would have been great.
First and last time ever.
Universal Studios Japan was the best of the Universal parks I've been to, and that is saying a lot. They took the best of USH, USF, and IoA and put them right in the middle of Osaka.
This was the best coaster of the trip, surprisingly. LOVED it.
Cosplaying/Parkbounding is Huge in Japan. Mostly adults, and not just young adults and millennials.
Express Pass and planning helped us get the most out of the park, even with Halloween Horror Nights starting at 6pm.
Himeji Castle may have been my absolute thing in Japan. One of Japan's 12 original castles, and one of the 3 highest regarded, you get to explore all 7 floors (you take your shoes off and walk on the hardwood, and it was great), as well as much of the rest of the complex. Also the town of Himeji was charming.
There was a park/zoo right by the castle that we didn't have time for, and another park across town with a Batman clone & more that I forgot about, so no credits, but no regrets. Look at that castle!
Spent the nite in a traditional Japanese Ryokan, and it was great.
We went to Mt. Inari. I got to hike up into the bamboo forest, and it was amazing.
The Inari Shrine is famous for it's 5000 Tori gates.
The day started out gloomy with little hope, and it was the only day we could go to Nagashima Spa Land. However, the only major coaster that didn't end up opening was the Jet Star. I love Schwarzkopfs, but I've ridden this model before.
Steel Dragon was a lot of fun, and even the Corkscrew, which was very retro Arrow, was fun.
White Cyclone wasn't as bad as I'd heard. But its closing and apparently RMC is re-doing it. That would get me back there.
Went to the Tokyo Dome area and adjacent park. Like I said, Cosplayers everywhere. Apparently Sundays are Cosplayer day at Tokyo Dome City.
Thunder Dolphin is the only coaster left at the park, and was closed for several years. It is visually impressive, and fun, but not what you would normally expect from an Intamin hyper coaster.
Gekki-On Live is the current coaster at Joypolis. Its a Gerstlauer spinning coaster, with interactive elements, and an inversion. It was super fun.
The light show on this building was amazing.
The park near Joypolis was really great. The area is very touristy, but the beach had loads of locals enjoying their evening in the humid weather.
Finally got to experience Shibuya Crossing, the busiest crosswalk in the world. It's basically Tokyo's Times Square (Even though we actually visited an area themed to Times Square elsewhere in Tokyo).
Why, yes, Fuji Q was as bad as everyone says. But as long as you get there and get some skip the line passes, you can have a really fun day. Fujiyama was great.
Eejanaika was a lot of fun.
Though I'd have loved to have ridden before, the launch and loop on Do-Dodonpa was really good.
Then of course you get great views of Mt. Fuji and rollercoasters, like the amazing Takabisha. Can't wait till the clone of this comes to New Jersey.
Spent the nite in a pod hotel. It was interesting.
One of the Five Lakes of Mt. Fuji.
Me & Mt. Fuji.
Just so stunning.
Regina at Tobu Zoo was outstanding! I didn't expect it to be so good.
Kawasemi was also a lot of fun. I like the mini Chance HyperGTX a bit better but this was fun.
Tokyo SkyTree is the second tallest building in the world.
Tokyo is just so Massive! But so clean and beautiful.
Mixing old and new in Asukasa, Tokyo, Japan.
DisneySea was amazing.
So different, but so amazing.
This is unquestionably the best themed park in the world.
Volcanoes at parks are in now.
Tokyo Disneyland was a bit of an odd mix. It was super busy, obviously. And of course, there were amazing things like Pooh, there were copies of amazing things from DL and MK, but then there were parts of the park that needed major overhauls like Tomorrowland. I know they're planning on and currently working on updating the park. I can't wait to go back when it's done.
Hopefully this will get the Disneyland overlay inside. Otherwise it's just music and a projected starfield.
Again, Cosplayers everywhere.
But of course, parts of it are so very familiar.
We made a last minute decision to head back to Yokohama early and hit up Cosmoworld, which we kept having to push back. Diving Coaster: Vanish was a lot of fun, and the area was very charming.
No update including Japan can go without a massive Ferris Wheel, of which we saw several.
Arriving back to the states, I knew the rest of September and October were going to be insane as I had major plans nearly every weekend, including a work trip, that just happened to be at the beach.
Followed by Trips to SCarowinds.
And another SFoG-less trip to Atlanta where I ran into Robocoaster.
In November I hit up Winterfest. Fun, but not something I needed to do more than once. I took November easy.
December, however, was back to being busy. I followed Janet Jackson around on her last 2 stops of the State of the World Tour.
I saw her in Columbia on Saturday nite.
At 51 years old, with a baby, she looks amazing as usual. Still dances too.
Then it was time for my final trip of the year to Atlanta for the final show. She brought Missy Elliott out on stage, and there were several celebs there, like Samuel L. Jackson. Janelle Monet was supposed to be there, but I believe she got stuck at the airport, as this was the weekend that ATL (Thats the Atlanta Airport Code, Jason) shut down.
We lucked out and got rooms at the Omni CNN Center, which is attached to the venue for the concert, for $99 a nite. And that was split 3 ways.
I had taken Monday off work, so Isaac and I did some exploring.
And I finally did this. Not my first time having Beverly or Mezzo Mix, either. Still like both.
At the end of the month I headed to Florida by way of Valdosta GA to stop by Wild Adventures. The day was rainy and my time there cut short, but it's a fun park, and I'll likely go back next time I head south.
Herschend has done a great job with the park. I'd like to see them add something like a HyperGTX or one of those newfangled Vekoma mini loopers.
While in FL, went to Disney Springs a few times. Discovered Blaze Pizza. Imagine my surprise when I found out there are TWO in Charlotte (I went to one for dinner this past Friday nite).
SeaWorld was also fun. And I got to get the Manta and Acrobat credits back to back, which was kinda neat.
Mini Fury was also great, as was Kraken.
Whales! (not so much...)
This! This was a lot of fun!
And so was this!
So heres hoping for more travels in 2018. My major trips I'm planning for are a week long cruise with NO coasters but a new country credit in Mexico, as well as heading to NY/Canada for coasters and another new country credit. Plus CP and SDC, but not on the same trip. And if I get lucky, maybe finally getting to NorCal in November or December.
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