As you may recall from my earlier PKI TR, submitted for your approval
a couple weeks ago, I though my coaster season was over on October
20.2001. Fortunately, due to the way some events unfolded, I found
time to make one last run on the park in 2001. (Yeah!)
As had been pre-arranged through the magic of FREE long distance (the
same way HW offers FREE Pepsi), Rideman would pick me up bright any
early at 9am. I was not prepared to also meet up with John Peck, and
was it Arrowguy that was in Rideman's fine automobile? With precise
parking we found a close parking space at PKI and headed to Checkpoint
I recently read in a major news magazine that if you whine about the
current state of security checkpoints at ever major venue you are not
a true patriot. I woulnd't have cause to whine about it, IF the
checkpoint did what it pretends it does. Since the park is closed for
the season, I feel no risk of revealing my grievance with it. Park
security is doing a fine job at making sure NOTHING contraband enters
the park in your carry-in items, however they are not addressing
concealed contraband about your person. While they have metal
detection wands, I have not seen them actually used except as toys.
"Look at me, I'm an Advanced Rent-A-Guard cause I get to carry this
metal detection wand" Never mind the fact one could easily pass an
item over the temporary fencing seperating the entrance checpoint from
the exit lanes. It's not the delay in (re)entering the park that
annoys me, its the fact that it's totaly ineffective.
After getting through security, I made my way to meet what has to be
one of the largest ACE contingnets ever. The park actually conducted
two walkbacks, and ofered a choice of either Beast or Son of Beast.
While the majority chose Son of Beast, a good contingnet went with
Papa Beast. I was in the Papa Beast contingent. Papa Beast was
running the best it has during the day in a long time, and with
virtually no wait, we went for a secnd trip on the Beast. Those of us
in the first train reported back that the Beast was still givng
amazing rides, while those in the second relayed that reality has
kicked in. Time to move on.
We moved on to Flyers, I lost Rideman somewhere between the ride
unloading and me stepping out onto the midway. We foolishly frittered
away our virtual ERT session on a rehearsal session for the "Flyer
Enthusiasts Air Show, scheduled for 6pm" Severa Flyer ride, and one
Troika ride later, we were on our way to Flight of Fear. Just in time
to see Rideman exit and report a 15 minute wait in our future. It was
in actuallity a 30 minute wait, but a pleasant one. I took a ride in
the back of the train and confirmed that Flight of Fear is awesommly
smooth and fun to ride in the back as it is in the front. Worst to
We exited Flight of Fear to hear "You guys have to get back to Vortex,
the line just started getting crazy" Vortex line was about 30 minutes
with only two trains on. I took the chance to hydrate myself with a
fine high markup "Pause that Refreshes" Except that regular Coca-Cola
wasa hard find in bottle form. You could get Cherry Coke, Sprite, or
Diet Coke, but forget about regular Coke.
We rode Vortex in the rear ("Float Trick") Vortex was running a bit
rough, but having just ridden FoF may have influenced that opinion.
We then headed out for the Budget Gourmets to enjoy the Parking Lot
Diner. As well as shed jackets and stuff.
Dining Tip for Budget Minded Amusement Park Goers - Be careful when
you pack your cooler. It is not wise to place the sandwhich under the
6-Pack of Coke. John Peck - How was that flattened sandwhich?
We re-entered the park, and headed to Racer. Two trips on Racer, one
forwards, one backwars confirmed that Racer was delivering some nice
airtime today. Forwards was running rough, and backwards was giving
better air, but backwards was running single train operation, as
opposed to the two forwards trains. Racer was runing 15 minutes,
recaR was running closer to 30.
We ten headed to Vortex so that Derek and girlfriend could have a ride
on Vortex before heading home. Back car gain, float trick again, the
ride seemed better this time.
We then said our goodbuyes to Derek and partner. The park was really
starting to get crowded at this point, so we deicded to get out of
Coney Maul. (I know FearFest is over, but some remnants remaied, the
Coney Maul sign being one of them)
Adventure Express was back to the midway, but since the line moves
fast, we opted to take a ride on Adventure Express (30 minutes).
Still a mighty fine Mine Ride. We then headed into the Action Zone,
under the assumption that people will have moved beyond the Action
Zone by now.
No such luck. King Cobra was running 1 train, and a full queue back
to the miday (PASS), Son of Beast was back to the 2 Hour marker. We
decided not to invest 2 hours in that waste of good wood. We again
spied Rideman exiting something in the Action Zone area and he told us
that Top Gun was about 45 minutes. We decided to ride it. It's a
fine suspended coaster. It's short, and running exceptionally rough
today. After riding Top Gun, we high taled it out of the over crowded,
low capacity ride ridden Action Zone. We opted for a visit past the
gift shops. We also stopped by for some LaRosa's pizza. Two slices
and $4.50 later we were venturing into Hanna Barbera Land. Okay, HB
is packed. Lines of kiddies streamed everywhere. After waiting in
Beastie line for 10-15 minutes and not even getting so far as the real
queue house, we high tailed it out of Hanna Barbera Land.
John and rowGuywanted to take care of some business, so I took this
opportunity to go to the top of Eiffel Tower and shoot some videos.
It may have taken close to half an hour to even get on the elevator
up. I then proceeded to liesurely walk around Tower, shooting video of
anything and everything. After much time was spent shooting video, I
caught an elevator back down. John and Arrowguy were actually still
waiting for me.
We headed over to Racer for a ride, then high tailed it back to the
Flyers for the aforementioned "Flyer Enthusiasts Air Show" A 2 hour
exhbition of some of the best Phlying this side of Knoebels. It ws
noted that we may have scared a good number of non-Phlyer enthusiasts
away from the ride as our antics grew even more turbulent and noisy.
KERCHUCK! A special note of thanks to Bisch-Rocco for this fine piece
of riding machinery, and to PKI for still operating this fine piece of
ride machinery, and to some real cool ride-ops for operating this fine
piece of ride machinery.
We then waited for a newer park custom. For the last three years,
members of ACE have gotten the final rides on Beast. So what if we
had to wait around for almost an our and some for our final ride. Our
host Jeff was very congenial and the hour or so just seemed to breeze
Beast ran in fine form for our final ride, then Sean Flaharty got some
photos for the regional newsletter. Then we passes thanks out to
Angie and Jeff as we made our way to our cars.
And a dining experience that could be the subject of its own TR, but
I won't spare you will all the details, but on this night the Fields
Ertel Steak N' Shake was unequivicolly lousy.
Consider that they were out of Chilli, Ice Cream, Iced Tea, Onion
Rngs, cleaning supplies for the FILTHY dining room, and short on staff
members and managers. How a Steak N Shake served Shakes without Ice
Cream is a real mystery to me. They must be using some Soft Serve mix
crap. It was noted that after we left, this particular Steak N Shake
locked the doors, and put up "Closed for Routine Maintenance" signs.
I mean it took 2 hours to get a meal there. Okay, maybe I have gone
on way to long about Steak N Shake.
The only other noteworthy point, is that coaster season had scarcely
been over for half an hour when we resorted to video. Yep some folks
were mesmerized by watching television mn my camcorder while they
waited for their food,
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