Wisconsin Dells 8/15-8/17

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008 5:47 PM
I went to the Dells this past weekend to check out Mt. Olympus and Timber Falls, bungee jump, and ride the Ducks.

Mt. Olympus Water & Theme Park- I didn't know what to expect as I pulled up and saw the massive amount of Greek themeing everywhere. I bought a one-day attraction admission and got the second day for free, as I was also planning on hitting the waterpark. The park was clean, and had a fair amount of CCI/Gravity Group coasters, so I was happy. First, I rode Zeus:

Zeus- I knew this was an out-and-back, and had heard it was fairly decent. The first ride I rode was in the back, which was a complete mistake. I was disappointed in the way the ride rode, as it was extremely rough with pot holes everywhere, especially right after the first drop. I love 'intense' rides, but this was just plain rough. Later in the day, I rode the front seat and had a totally different experience, which seemed to be the trend throughout the day with the rest of their wooden coasters. The staff of these coasters were horrible. They sat for long periods of time and yelled at the other employees from across the way, and were extremely slow and looked bored and apathetic. With one train operation on all the wooden coasters, is it really that hard to get up, let people in and out of the train, check restraints, and dispatch? They were rude and did not care about guest experience.

After Zeus, I noticed that there was no more Dive To Atlantis, as it was now a big Group Pavilion. Trekking down the hill I get to Hades, which was one of the main reasons I was to be hitting this park.

Hades- Amazing beginning, leading up to a smoking lifthill, literally. There was smoke coming from the chain, although I didn't think too much of it. The ride itself was fun and intense, especially underground. A bit rough, but much more enjoyable in the front seat. Overall a very solid ride, although again I ran into lackluster employees. This time they were yelling to the girl running Zeus and asking her something about what they were going to do that night. I actually took a picture of them sitting down while the train was parked and they were just sitting there and didn't let anyone out until they were ready to get up. I told one of the girls about the smoking chain, and she just shrugged her shoulders and obviously didn't care. Nice. Anyway, I decided to move on to Cyclops.

Cyclops- Wow! What a surprise! I had no idea of the layout of this coaster, although I knew about the 18+ back seat policy. Instinctively, I made my first ride in the back. Lots of airtime all around the course, with only a few "rough" spots, which I didn't mind. Very fun coaster and my second favorite, behind Hades, at Mt. Olympus. After Cyclops, I finished my wooden coaster binge on Pegasus.

Pegasus- Cute, peppy layout with a fun finish. The girl running this was slightly better than the last previous experiences, but four rows were blocked off due to lapbar problems. Mind you, that is a full two cars out of four or five cars out of one train that was being run on a busy Saturday in August. After waiting awhile for Pegasus, I wanted to check out the waterpark and the indoor park. The waterpark was nice and clean, with a good variation of slides themed to different ancient Greek culture. Near the waterpark was Opa!, Mt. Olympus' standard Zamperla mouse. It was fun for what it was, and I noticed that one of the cars (the red car), started spinning on the very top portion of the ride, the part where you typically do not start spinning yet. Has anyone else seen this? People were going down the drops backwards and sideways, which looked very fun, so of course, I waited for the red car. Decent ride! I finished up with the waterpark and took some more front seat rides on a couple other coasters. The go-kart tracks were fun, although the waits were severely long for all of them, so I only did the trojan horse track, which was enjoyable.

After Mt. Olympus I decided I would try out bungee jumping, as Extreme World was right across the street. (Note that Extreme World also has a SCAD tower, a Skycoaster, and a Slingshot). A bit steep ($35), but the experience was one I will never forget. A professional staff with safe standards assured me that I was not to die on this day. Once strapped into my ankle braces, or whatever you want to call them, I was elevated up about 200ft to the top of the bungee tower, and was told to keep my body stiff and to just fall. Having always been a thrill-seeker, it was difficult for me to "just fall" this time, probably due to the lack of any upper-body harnessing. It is such a 'free' feeling, and the initial drop is blissful. After bouncing and swaying hundreds of feet in the air, I could not help but yell and scream and do what any cliche first-time bungee jumper would do, until I was safely put back on the ground. I thought to myself, "now what am I going to do after I just jumped off a tower? What the hell will top such a thing?" Avalanche, of course.

Timber Falls' Avalanche- I have ridden the Beast. I have ridden the backseat of the Georgia Cyclone. I have ridden the 18+ Cyclops backseat and have felt the intensity of the Voyage, but I was not prepared for the wrath of the Avalanche. Although such a short train, there was an obvious difference between the front and the back seats. The front was fun and airtime-filled, with wonderful visuals of the Wisconsin Dells area. The back was out-of-control and taunting, with several moments of "oh my god how does the train stay on this track" feeling, with ejector air and quick, intense left-hand turns. This was it. In conclusion, I do like the Avalanche more than Hades...something about the compactness and sheer intensity of the ride, it was almost scary. Just seeing such a small train FLY around the track and the reaction of the riders afterwards just did it for me. Oh yeah, and the log flume was long and fun, although the second lift was swarming with flies.

After Timber Falls I rode the Duck tour. Informative of the area, although there is no longer a lake so they had to take us on the river. It was enjoyable and our guide was hilarious. Thanks for reading my TR, I enjoyed the Dells and would love to come back sometime soon. :o) *** Edited 8/19/2008 9:56:46 PM UTC by cdrpointcrazy44***

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008 1:16 AM
^You went two weeks too early, Patrick! Glad you liked Cyclops, the wood up there in Wisconsin is pretty amazing. I guess Paul Bunyan demands alot of airtime. :)

As for this: "she just shrugged her shoulders and obviously didn't care." - apparently you weren't informed in advance of the Wisconsin Dells policy (regarding pretty much everything involving the tourists) - "do whatever you like, just don't bother me in the process."

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008 10:11 AM
What has been described about the ride ops at MtO has been going on for a long time. They just don't care. I do miss their policy of sending riders out on the coasters twice. But that was before Hades.

Cyclops is a very nice surprise of a ride. Especially before that right handed swoop into the ravine. Zeus was more fun when it ran through the trees and didn't have the parking lot next to it. Does Zeus still have the lap-bar-to-the-gut double drop after the turn around?

Overall I think that they could improve on the maintenance with their woodies. It is a great collection. But their focus has been on expanding. And they have rather fast over the last 5 years. So I'd say the money may be thin for the coasters.

Avalanche is awsome! And you can practically get your own ERT whenever you go. Simply a gem that could possibly be better than anything just down the stree.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008 11:18 AM

Does Zeus still have the lap-bar-to-the-gut double drop after the turn around?

You betcha.
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Wednesday, August 20, 2008 11:46 AM
^Oh yeah, I definitely felt that one. I could tell that the maintenance crew doesn't pay attention to sections along the track that need severe work done on them. But what do I know? *shrugs*

It was also disappointing to see writing all over every single one of the trains and chunks of padding missing from the side padding and the seat dividers. I forget which one, but one of the trains had explicit language written in sharpie marker. I just can't see these coasters being tolerable for very much longer unless extensive work is finished on them. I just hope Hades doesn't end up intolerable in several years :o(

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008 12:18 PM
What Mt O really *needs* for '09....a maintenance budget and a mechanic or two who do more than make critical repairs. Closed seats and rows seem to be fairly standard - and when I took a first-timer last year only to find the back row of 'Clops roped off - kinda a bummer.

Eliminating "Disaster to Atlantis" - that's addition by subtraction. ;)

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008 12:56 PM
The utter lack of customer service and lack of maintenance on the coasters has kept me away from Mount Olympus this year. Yeah, it's been a problem in previous years, but it is getting worse and worse every single year.

Most of the people they hire are Eastern Europeans that speak little to no English. Their coaster operators not only run the rides slowly but unsafely. On many of my visits I have noted many safety violations by these crew members. I think it is only a matter of time before a serious accident occurs at that park.

The final straw was last year when my mother was injured on the go-karts. My parents were there with some of their auto racing friends. They get a little aggressive, even my sixty year old plus parents, so when my mother was hit by the son of one of her friends and ejected from the cart, it was likely their (my mother and his) fault. What I was upset about, however, was the lack of medical attention. My mother broke her leg but not one employee did a damned thing about it. My father and I had to go out to get her as no one else was doing anything. We had to carry her back to the car. Not one employee asked us if she was okay or if she needed help. When she was still on the track and we asked if they were going to do anything they just stared at us with blank faces.

As for the Avalanche, that ride is tops in my book as far as wooden coasters. The fact that it has so much airtime, even on the hills, is made even better when it is always ERT when riding it! The only bad thing is they are making people get off and walk around this year. Oh well, I need the exercise anyways!

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008 2:43 PM
As I wrote in my TR a couple weeks ago---Mt. O is the place to go if you like your wood to give you that "I just might die" feeling.
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Wednesday, August 20, 2008 6:10 PM
By the way, here is a link to my pictures and specifically, the picture of the employees sitting while the customers are sitting, and a picture of one of the employees drawing on the control panel. There are some other good pictures on there of the area, though.

http://s3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/cdrpointcrazy4/Wisconsin%20Dells/?action=view¤t=015_15.jpg

http://s3.photobucket.com/albums/y96/cdrpointcrazy4/Wisconsin%20Dells/?action=view¤t=017_17.jpg

Edit: Evidently both of those links lead you to the same place, but the pictures are numbers 15 and 17. *** Edited 8/20/2008 10:13:13 PM UTC by cdrpointcrazy44***

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009 9:43 PM

cdrpointcrazy44 said:
^Oh yeah, I definitely felt that one. I could tell that the maintenance crew doesn't pay attention to sections along the track that need severe work done on them. But what do I know? *shrugs*

It was also disappointing to see writing all over every single one of the trains and chunks of padding missing from the side padding and the seat dividers. I forget which one, but one of the trains had explicit language written in sharpie marker. I just can't see these coasters being tolerable for very much longer unless extensive work is finished on them. I just hope Hades doesn't end up intolerable in several years :o(

Well we just got married last Thursday and took our honeymoon to the Dells. Rode all the wood. Hades was a fantastic ride... all the way till the last few turns, can't remember where exactly, it was all a blur, there was one section that was god awful as far as it needs to be retracked extremely badly. Wife had a blast on Hellcat. I think I created a new coaster freak :). Another complaint I had with Mount Oly is the dang uphill battle and then the 4 sets of stairs just to get to the station. But all in all we had a blast!

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009 1:55 AM

I too found Avalanche to be THE coaster in the Dells although I enjoyed them all. The Ops were so rude to us as to let us walk up the steps at 931pm let us sit in the train and tell us to get out because the ride was closed on Hades. Still had a great time if It weren't for that it would have been perfect. The Go Kart track behind Zues and Hades, The one with the two helics on each end is simply awesome and great for Fat guys. You get passed by a couple on the way up but on the way down Fat guys pass everybody! :)Thanks for the TR. I plan to make that trip again real soon.Chuck

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009 8:08 AM

Last time I was in the Dells was Labor Day Weekend of '07. Hellcat (Avalanche) was a big surprise for sure. Hades was amazing except for the turn that everyone talks about now. I believe it's the turn right after the hill coming out of the second tunnel. It jackhammered like crazy... especially in the back. If not for that, it would be even higher on my top coasters.

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Wednesday, June 3, 2009 1:58 PM

Great TR---thanks for the coaster reviews!

I laughed out loud at the picture of the girl writing on the control panel...classic.

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