TR:TR:TR:TR:TR:TR:TR……etc. (or how I learned to love ‘the bomb’).
Friday April 5th, a day like any other….PKI wasn’t too busy (at least during the day, for a change)! It started out fine. I got my gold season pass in record time (The 30th anniversary passes sure look nice; might be a keeper, if it weren’t for the excruciatingly bad photo), and made my way back to the Tomb Raider area…
The first impression I got was ‘I like it.’, which, I guess, is as good a compliment as anything. Overall, Rivertown still looks like Rivertown, except when you look at TR. Don’t get me wrong, TR is a vast facelift for the area, just don’t get over excited about new buildings and the like. They don’t add much to what was already there before TR. (and the fries with cheese are just as tasty anyway….)
Now, outside of TR was my first test. At 6 ft. 4 in. and 315lbs., I was extremely leery of the ride, because I usually couldn’t fit on most of the stuff there. So wonder of wonders, I drop 45lbs in the off-season to 270, but that doesn’t change the height issue. So, I plop down in the test seat by the entrance (which I think should be standard fare in the park, but I digress). Lo and behold, I sit down and close the harness with belt room to spare! I already love Huss!
Now, I’m psyched. I get in line and wander amidst the turnstiles. There aren’t any tarps over this area at present, I’m guessing due to cold temps. I’m sure they’ll go back up in the summer. Once you go thru the outdoor queue, you enter the cave…
SPOILERS ON… you’ve been warned.
Once in the cave, you see bricks, bamboo shafts, and various other artifacts covered in cobwebs. After a couple of turns, you arrive at an attendant, who will section you off into groups of roughly 70-74 (depending if anyone got on thru the exit). Once in your group, you make the turn into the stone monkey room. Here is where you are sectioned off into rows 1/2/3. You don’t have a choice of row, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. The row on the left is the front of the vehicle (row 1), the right is the back (row 3). Nothing of significance happens in this room except for a small light show and music swell on the door leading to chamber 2. The stone monkeys and the artwork are very intricate and this room and the main antechamber remind me very much of Poseidon’s Fury at IOA (a very good thing).
After said light show, the big stone door numero uno opens and you go into the chamber with the Buhrma statue and the griffons. The stone door closes behind you and the room goes dark. This is where you watch the movie. If you missed the movie in theaters or video, don’t worry. The video encapsulates all the major elements. Literally.
After the movie ends, then you’ll take what’s behind door number 2: the ride itself.
Now, since I’ve never ridden a top spin before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I mean everyone on these boards says how they hate spinning so much, so I had a little trepidation going in. I got two rides in today. The second was back row left, but the first was dead center front row. Man did I luck out. We locked ourselves in place, and the attendants checked our belts. Then all the attendants scattered like cockroaches after a light comes on. Next, the ramps that you walked on to get into the ride vehicle, lifts out of the way.
Here’s where the fun begins. The room goes dark and…
Well, lets just say, I felt like I was in my washer and dryer, except there were lots of screaming people in my laundry. They set the setting to tumble dry and away we went. I didn’t get sopping wet. I don’t think anyone did. But I did get wet. There were a lot of times I felt inverted. I counted 5, but it might have been more, in the 1:30-2 minute ride time.
The ride is VERY accommodating to those with weak stomachs. There was only one flip where I really felt the G force. What surprised me the most about the ride is how well choreographed it was. I love the ‘lava drop’ surprise, and the very first sequence with the statue is really well done. My only complaint about the ride itself, is that I felt the fog is used at the wrong time, otherwise it’s a literal blast.
Anyway, once you get off, you can pick up a photo of your ride. It wasn’t running today, so I don’t know when you can expect it.
Now here comes the bad news. I really hope this gets better, I really do, but unless they enforce the ‘no loose articles’ policy at the BEGINNING of the line, expect over three hour waits in the summer. AT LEAST three hours. On my second ride, a lady had a jacket tied around her waist. The ops made her get out of her seat to put it on. To do this, it took 15 MINUTES. This affects the line outside drastically. There were periods where the line didn’t move for 20 minutes or more. I expect this to improve, but as for now, be prepared.
The other problem is spill over. The outside queue isn’t exceptionally big, and most people were spilling over to the Rivertown bathrooms. Yep, the very same spill over line for the Beast. Comedy might ensue here too. Again, be prepared.
Overall TR is a great ride, nicely themed, and leagues better than what we deserve for not living in Florida. It’s a real (but a little short) treat. (Oh yeah, and it’s better than SOB, but that’s apples and oranges.)
What about the rest of PKI? Well, the Ham on Rye thingy is by the climbing wall near Adv Express. It wasn’t running yet. The slingshot is not where the King Kobra helix used to be, it is on the walkway to Oktoberfest right in front of the area where KK’s loop was. This means that whatever is going in for 2003 will be small. My guess is either another giant flat ride or a wild mouse, judging by size. But that’s for the next off-season to contemplate. The old KK entrance has the following on it: ‘Check Back in 2003 for the Adventure of a Lifetime’. Let the guessing begin.
Otherwise, the DDR machines are still there.
‘Eye-e, eye-e, eye, you’re my little butterfly…’.
Argh, now it’s stuck in my head. Anyway, it looks as if PKI has another great year in store for us…now back to your regularly scheduled news and rumors.
*** This post was edited by Chris Rettig on 4/5/2002. ***
So what is better? SFMM or CP? I don't care! They both have 29 coasters between them that they build so we can have a good time!
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