Winter Coaster Solace 4, Part 2

Associated parks:
None

Monday, March 3, 2003 1:14 PM
Winter Coaster Solace 4
Parks visited: DL & KBF (2/28/03), KBF & DCA (3/1/03), SFMM (3/2/03)
Weather: Unexpectedly nice
Crowds: Awesome everywhere!

Part 2

Day 3 - 3/1/03

Solace morning dawned bright and early for me at 9 am, LOL! This would be the first time I would be missing the morning session for the event. I certainly have no complaints about what Knotts chose to do...there was plenty of ERT already in the schedule, people loved the tours, and I for one severely needed the sleep! I hope they keep up the tours next year, I might actually get up and go to one. Perhaps we'll even have something new to tour? And I'm again going to go on record that the Log Ride would make for an EXCELLENT back-stage tour. It would be so cool to walk around in there.

After a nice leisurely breakfast with some of the crew from the prior night and new arrivals Rachelle "Screamer" Lagnado, Miles "Smiles" Ketchum and Mike Overell, we wandered into the park. A quick ride on GR provided the rest of the wake-up jolt the coffee had started. Following this we ran into Justin Adams and Greg Galley. I was glad to see Justin come up and hug Flare, as they had had a little falling out on RRC after previously having a great time together on our PPP trip back in 2001. Gladly, they had worked out their problems via Email and we all had a big group hug. Awwww. It was nice to see Justin again and I hope 2003 is a much better year for him than 2002 was.

Then, it was time to initiate a new brother into "The Brotherhood of the Plunge". In what is now a Solace tradition, there always seems to be one person with us who hasn't ridden this crazy ride yet and gets their only chance in the frigid (relatively speaking, so. Cal. wise) temperatures March and Solace usually have to offer. This year, it was Dave Frasier's turn. We would have inducted him last year, but Plunge was down. So, it was my job as one of the Brotherhood to help him lose his Plunge Cherry. I taught him the secret handshake, and made sure he was wearing the ornamental accoutrements required to take the Plunge (shorts and sandals!). Most of the other Brothers begged off, but CoasterFanMatt was crazy enough to join us. We donned the 17 straps necessary to hold us to the boat (I've seen S & M get-ups that were less complicated) and soon we were climbing skywards. Flare followed my instructions to look down as we trundled around the corner. He just kept shaking his head and saying "Oh no. This is so wrong." over and over as we gathered speed and then flung ourselves over the drop. Freezing cold water flowed over us in an epic baptism, and another Brother was born. He celebrated his induction with, what else, another ride, this time in the back seat. Hallelujah!

Following the blessed moment, everyone else went to Xcelerate whilst Dave and I went back to the Rad to shed the ceremonial robes and put some long pants on (LOL!). We met up with everyone and again dined in the A-list dining room this year. The chicken smelled good but I stuck to a salad as I had only had breakfast about 90 minutes ago. Unfortunately, I was the last one to the table and it was full, so I opened up a "satellite office" and went to work on my salad by myself. Following lunch we again exited the park and drove over to the Disneyland Resort, this time to use the other half of the prior day's ticket purchase at California Adventure.

I only visit DCA once a year or so, so I'm always looking forward to coming back when Solace comes around. It's not as good as Disneyland in my book, but it does have a few attractions that are definitely worth riding over and over again. Plus, we would again get the bonus of seeing new eyes get opened wide by Soaring, Screaming and Grizzly.

Soaring over California was first. In a good omen for the rest of day, the Standby que was only 15 minutes, so we opted to Fastpass the ride and then wait Standby. We held out for B-1, and there were 11 in our group, so we had the entire row to ourselves. It was hilarious to hear first-timers Rachelle and Chris scream and giggle respectively.

I had forgotten just how good this ride is. Taken individually, the music would be kind of corny, the visuals would be good but not necessarily "art', and the motion of the ride vehicle would be underwhelming. Put it all together, add in the wide screen, concave format of the screen and the impressive height you rise to in front of it, and you get a visceral, stunning, immersive ride that has people shouting in exhiliration (and lifting their feet for fear of having them chopped off!). It always makes me a little verklempt. It got high marks from all the first-time riders and proved again that it really is THE sleeper hit of DCA.

Grizzly was next and we walked on to it, dividing up into two rafts. I managed to get pretty freakin' soaked for the second time today, as did new Brother Flare. I guess water becomes magnetically attracted to you once you've plunged. We managed to divert the newbie's attention as we walked by the spinning drop before riding, so a few people were quite startled on that last drop. My raft got a <mighty> yank to the side, best spin I've ever had on that ride by far!

We next went to Paradise Pier and toured some of the rides there. Jim was a little bummed the Circle Swing was down for what looked like a refurb. We got Fat Passes for the Mouse and then did the Malibomber. I mentioned the single rider line and then laughed out loud when I saw there was no one waiting at all! I found the launch to be a little weaker than last year, and the slam at the top was nowhere near as good as it has been on my prior rides. Ah well, the view is still nice.

California Screaming was next, and was also virtually a walk-on, running 4 trains. This is such a sweet little ride, definitely my favorite Disney coaster (I've only been to the California Disney parks). The launch is nice (although everything fails compared to X-celery-ator these days) and the airtime is really pretty damn good. The bunny hops were giving awesome air this time.

After backtracking for a Sun Wheel ride and our Fast Mouse Passes (Miles escalated a lateral war by unleashing a Weapon of Mass Destruction, namely his pointy little elbows!), we ventured over to Flik's Fun Fair. This was my first time back here and I was amazed to see so much space in this new land. The design is actually pretty cool, even if the rides are uniformly "goofy". We nearly laughed ourselves into a coronary episode after seeing how slow the bumper cars were! But the kids were loving it, so what do we know?

We were all a little beat by this time and decided to hit the two 3D movies prior to heading back to the Rad for a nice long nap prior to evening ERT. First was It's Tough To Be A Bug, and we had a hilarious plan: put all the rookies in one row, and let all the veterans sit behind them. I was right behind Rachelle, and, boy, what a treat! She was screaming and jumping every 2 minutes! Chris and Dan were also funny to watch. Muppets was next, and I again elected to spend that time on a quality nap. It's not my fault those seats are so comfortable! We cashed in our Soaring Fast Passes for another B-1 ride and then left the park.

One of the returning cars elected to stop at Fatburger for dinner, but ours was bound for the Baja Fresh right across from Knotts. We all loaded up on food and again ran into Justin and his friend Bill, so we chatted for a few. Back to the Rad to eat, and then everyone took about a 2-hour nap, LOL! Getting old sucks.

I awoke at 9 pm thinking there was no earthly way I was going to make it back to the park for ERT. I was so wrung out, so tired, so dizzy, just getting out of bed was an effort. I finally made it downstairs and then almost turned right around and went back up. I made myself go, though, and boy was I glad I did. The ERT session was so much hellacious good fun! I spent the first hour on Ghostrider. Crowds were low and stapling non-existant. Heather "the Stapler" was working and it was nice to see her again. She did give me one staple for fun on my first ride but that was the last one for the night, both for me and from her. Ah, I have missed two-click Ghostrides so! Reminded me of being back in Michigan or Indiana...

After hearing reports that lines for Xcel were just as short, I decided to go over there (after stopping briefly for a Supreme Scream and having some fun with the ops). Debbie was again running Xcel and getting everyone fired up with cheers, waves, clapping and double/triple rides. I ended Solace with an hours' worth of rides on Xcel, each one blissfully fun and intense. With the formal part of the event over, we made our way to the front of the park, thanking every employee we passed on the way there. Knotts, if you ever have any question on how to run the Solace, just ask for tapes from #1 or #4. It literally couldn't have been better.

The night was not over, however. I returned to the Rad and journeyed up to the second floor conference room for the debut of Road to Nowhere 2. I was really looking forward to this screening, as the movie documented a number of trips I had been a part of, and I know from experience what "sick" senses of humor Chris Murray and Mike Kallay have. I downloaded the trailer last fall and I must have watched it at least 50 times. I was not let down in the slightest. As Sean Flaharty referenced in his California trip report a few weeks back, this is funniest video I have ever seen, and I totally lost it quite a few times. They chose to leave in my crowning moment of stupidity; I was really worried about how it would come across, as I feel stupid about it...my worries were needless, as the segment got a rousing ovation, LOL! I still think I watch too much Jackass, though...

The video ended around 2:30 am and I made my way up to my room after offering congratulations to Chris and Mike for producing such a professional and utterly hilarious film. It was the final capper that this already pretty-awesome day needed, and I do thank them for it.

Next: SFMM, Mooseburgers, Arrow-related child abuse, and goodbyes to the Crew (til Con, at least!).

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Mike Miller - Harbinger Of Doom - Killer Of Threads - Cheap Rates, Ask About Our Special!

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Monday, March 3, 2003 4:42 PM
Bass - chris and I wanna know how you got an hour of GR ERT and an hour of X-celery-ator ERT in a 90 minute ERT session.

Perhaps that delicious coffee & all those baked goods were to blame? Please explain!

Moosh & chris [still not a cute old couple]

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"Outside of a dog, a man's best friend is a book. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx

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Monday, March 3, 2003 4:47 PM
Maybe it wasn't a full hour? I started at GR at 10, and finished at Xcel at 12...I think.

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Mike Miller - Harbinger Of Doom - Killer Of Threads - Cheap Rates, Ask About Our Special!

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Monday, March 3, 2003 5:42 PM
Well...I dunno how it was at Ghostrider, but we got on Montezooma not too long after 10.

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Welcome one and all, y'all come have a ball!
Things a bear-y fine, ridin' on the old Knott's bear-y line!

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Monday, March 3, 2003 6:20 PM
I also rode xcellerator for the last hour or so of the night(except for one supreme scream ride to stretch my legs)and thought it was awesome how short the line was. It was great closing it down at midnight in the very front row for a third straight ride.
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I hope they kill that iron yuppie. Thinks he's so big. The great homer simspon
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Tuesday, March 4, 2003 2:09 AM
Nice TR Bass! In your last TR I asked you where the trailer was for RTN2. I looked on Google and couldn't find me. Could you give me a direct link?

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Sean Newman

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Tuesday, March 4, 2003 6:44 AM
To answer the question of how Bass got an hour of ERT at Ghostrider AND an hour at xcellerator, sounds like the folks over at Ghostrider started the ERT early. The schedule said ERT would start at 10:30, and 10:30 is when the ERT started at xcellerator...

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--Greg, aka Oat Boy
My page
"Friendship -- more lasting than love, more legal than stalking."

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Tuesday, March 4, 2003 7:10 AM
I think he got that extra ERT while he was in the 'Bass Zone.'
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Tuesday, March 4, 2003 8:22 AM
No fair taking advantage of the time dilation there, Bass...;). By *time dilation* I refer only to the West Coast's use of the Pacific Time Zone, nothing more....really...
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Dr. Thrill IS my family practitioner
Would you just LOOK at what you've done to CoasterBuzz - you're going to have to clean it up ;)
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Tuesday, March 4, 2003 11:14 AM
Glad you all had fun...the brownies were good then? These reports are making me totally jealous...but I did get 'skiied' to the bottom of a steep slope in a red cross covered tobbogan with a giant splint on my leg, so that was kind of like a roller coaster ride. :) Nothing's broken fortunately... ;)

PS: love the new sig 'Gator.

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UpsideDawnGrrl

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Tuesday, March 4, 2003 11:24 AM
Ugh, sounds like you had a not so great skiing trip.

p.s. Road to Nowhere 2 is the best coaster video ever. Moosh and I watched some of the director's commentary before I left last night. Very, very funny stuff.

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'That was totally mildly amusing.' - Dan Miron on Superman: The Escape

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Tuesday, March 4, 2003 12:03 PM
Yes, AFAIK, Ghostrider ERT started fairly close to 10 pm. I could have said I enjoyed 50 minutes of ERT on GR and 50 minutes on Xcel, but that doesn't scan nearly as well as an hour and an hour, plus it takes longer to type.

Gator: In "Bass time", it was about 2 hours on each.

Chris: I totally love that sig! Very easy to picture Dan saying that.

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Mike Miller - Harbinger Of Doom - Killer Of Threads - Cheap Rates, Ask About Our Special!

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Tuesday, March 4, 2003 12:06 PM
DeltaDawn - all the food Knotts had for us was great but the hot coffee and baked goods during the ElectroBlast performance were the best. Yes, the brownies were delicious and went fast...I don't think anyone but our group got any.

Sorry to hear about your skiing accident. First your car, then your leg...better stay away from SRM this year ;)

RTN2's audio commentary was indeed a hoot and I'm still laughing about the Animal Kingdom segment...by far *the best* thing I've ever seen on a coaster video [and yes, I own most of the Alvey tapes].

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"Outside of a dog, a man's best friend is a book. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx

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Tuesday, March 4, 2003 7:22 PM
Sounds like fun. I wish I could have gone. Work decided to get in the way and I ended up working most of the day :( Kinda sucks but that's the way things go.

I'm gonna work on making CAC this year, though.

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Tuesday, March 4, 2003 7:50 PM
Another nice TR Mike! The group hug was an "Awww" moment, wasn't it? Sickening. Very sickening... ;) I'm very glad that I ran into all of you as well, and here's hoping that this year is a banner year for all of us! :)

BTW, tell Mike and Chris that I want a copy of their video... sounds like it would be pretty darn good.

Justin "I didn't know Mike and Chris made a video" Adams

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Never look a gift horse in the mouth, because horses have very bad breath

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Wednesday, March 5, 2003 2:48 PM
When did Moosh hire the mini-moosh for the Solace?
*** This post was edited by boblogone 3/5/2003 7:49:21 PM ***
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Wednesday, March 5, 2003 2:55 PM
Huh?

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"Outside of a dog, a man's best friend is a book. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx

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Wednesday, March 5, 2003 2:57 PM
Somebody there told me a couple of people had mistaken someone else for you. He looked like your image at Knoebels.
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