Monday, 18 June 2012


I joined the coaster force US live in June 2012.

The short Trip report:

The itinerary was:

Day 1 (June 2nd) - Fly from Heathrow to Boston, and on to Lake Compounce and Quassy
Day 2 - Six flags New England
Day 3 - Coney Island & Rye Playland and new york sightseeing
Day 4 - Six flags Great Adventure
Day 5 - Dorney Park & Knoebels
Day 6 - Six flags America
Day 7 - Hershey Park
Day 8 - Kings Dominion
Day 9 - Busch Gardens Williamsburg

I also added a few extra days:

Day 10 - Kennywood (flying from Richmond to Pittsburgh)
Day 11 - Idlewild and overnight train to Sandusky
Day 12/13 - Cedar Point
Day 13 - Flight back, summing up and souvenirs

I didn't take as many pics as I'd have liked, as most of the parks were a bit too rushed to take the time, but the net should provide a good source of pictures for your enjoyment!

Days 1-6 were with about 15 others, mostly from the UK, but including 2 Swedes, a Canadian and a couple of Americans

Days 7-9 we were joined by about 10 more, mostly from the US
Days 10-13 were just me!

Sunday, 17 June 2012

The short Trip report:

Length of trip - 13 days

Number of parks visited - 11
1 park closed when we planned to visit (Rye playland)
Number of parks with unscheduled closings: 3 (Quassy, coney island and idlewild (the 2 coasters out of action))

Number of coasters ridden:
Steel - 75 (Including 1 racing, both sides ridden)
Wood - 22 (including 2 racing, both sides ridden, and 1 racing with only 1 side)

Number of coasters out of action:
Steel - 8
Wood - 4

Number of coasters out of bounds to us non kids - 4

Boulder dash (eventually)
Bizarro (sfne)
Twister and haunted house at Knoebels
the company
Hershey - in particular the woodies and skyrush
Blue streak and wicked twister at CP

Quassy being closed
Coney island + rye being closed
El toro spiting
Stinger spiting
Idlewild spiting
Not having quite enough time at Knoebels
The 2 Slcs and 3 boomerangs
Six flags America
the 4 stand ups (Apocalypse was the only bearable one)
Running out of time in kennywood, and missing noahs ark
Mean streak

Nice Surprises:
Knoebels haunted house
Dominator, Back lot stunt coaster and flight of fear at Kings dominion
Realising how much I like wild mice coasters
Exterminator and Sky rocket at Kennywood
Blue streak and wicked twister at CP

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Day 1 - Lake Compounce and Quassy

After an uneventful flight with a few other Cfers, we reached Boston and completed the immigration lark, collected baggage and met up with the rest of the group and headed on to Lake Compounce - home of the woody Boulder Dash (hence the "dash" in the blog title) - Highly recommended by other CF peeps.

Park entrance and Wildcat. We didn't come across the "Polish American Congress"!

We arrived at the park, and saw the car park next to the entrance was service vehicles only, and the car park opposite was employees only - the trip to the customer car park took another 5-10 minutes, but we were soon in and queueing for BD, which unfortunately wasn't running as well as it should, so we went round the other coasters hoping it would "warm up".

First was Wildcat - the parks other woody, and one which many people say is very rough - the group was divided - about half thought it was awful, and half loved it - including me

Next up was Zoomerang - a Vekoma boomerang, which was rather rough, despite people saying it was one of the better boomerangs (Wipeout at PWH is better).  We weren't allowed on the kiddie coaster, and along with a few rerides on BD (which was running better, but wasn't the super awesome coaster we'd expected) - the only other ride we had time for was Ghost hunt - a dark ride / shooter which was ok.

We then made the short journey to Quassy, for Wooden Warrior

Unfortunately they'd closed early - I think due to the rain. - Ahh, the joys of being a coaster freak!

Friday, 15 June 2012

Day 2 - Six Flags New England

After finding our way through the hotel corridors, which really needed a Sat Nav! We headed on to the first of the Six flags parks for the trip, and the home of Bizarro!

Security at six flags parks is pretty tight - they all have airport style scanners and bag checks! Although they are pretty good when it comes to removing queue jumpers etc.

First ride of the day was Goliath - the newly relocated giant boomerang - which was pretty good fun, and gave some nice air on the drop backwards, it only broke down once when we were queueing (These rides are notorious for reliability). After this was flashback - another boomerang, I think I was the only one who preferred this one, to the one at Lake Compounce. We then did "pandemonium" - one of the Gerstlauer spinners, which I'd heard good reports on - it wasn't as good as expected, with little spinning and staff stapling you - although there was a nice pop of airtime in there.

Some of the group did the sky swat, and then we all did the cyclone before lunch - they started on one train operation, and added the second just as we were due to board, and sent about 8 empty trains round - the ride was ok, thanks to some new topper tracks which gave some air, and according to those in the know, prevented the ride from mashing your insides up.

Lunch was a pretty poor chinese at Panda Express.

After lunch we did thunderbolt - a very nice woody and great chase (kiddy coaster), it was then time for the main attraction - Bizarro. Not only did it live up to expectations, but totally blew them away - so much airtime, and so reridable, Great in the back, and great in the front.. I'd have happily sat on it all day - my new #1. Came across some queue jumpers - a group of about 10 ducked under the barriers and one of them spent about 10 minutes getting ratty when challenged!

The other coasters were:
Batman - the dark knight - a B and M floorless, which I really liked
Mind eraser - an SLC, and a particularly rough one too
Catwoman's Whip- a Zierer tivoli
Gotham City Gauntlet Escape from Arkham Asylum - a wild mouse

All in all - a great day, the only real disappointment of the first few days, was that we didn't really get enough time to do the non coaster stuff - all 3 six flags parks had madhouses which we missed on. and most of the parks had some flats which I'd have liked to do.

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Day 3 - Coney Island & Rye Playland and new york sightseeing

Today didn't go quite as planned..

firstly we realised Rye Playland is closed most mondays!

Woke up to the discovery that 2 of the 3 hire cars had gone (presumed towed), and as we didn't know the reg,it was really hard to get info on whether they'd been impounded. Decided to get to Coney island and sort that out later.

90 mins later we arrive at Coney to find it closed - we asked when it would open and were told "tomorrow, cos of the weather" (it was only a moderate shower) you'd think they didn't want the place to survive!(coney island is made up of several individual attractions.

After a disappointing lunch bagel at dunkin donuts we went back for sightseeing and lots of walking - finished up in toys r us on times square. were we saw 2 Elmo's outside - one was shouting at people to avoid leapfrog as it was an "international jew toy", then someone approached us and asked if we liked stand up comedy, and one of the group started a 20 minute debate!

Shortly after this - I lost the rest of the group, and decided to get back to the hotel... Subway back was interesting too - got on "track one" instead of "line 1" and ended up going back and forth a couple of times!

On the plus side - the cars were recovered, with a $180 fine!

a few pics from the sightseeing:

Squirrels were everywhere

Ground Zero

Some random statue:

it's my favourite too:

Times square, where it looks like there's a fight about to start

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Day 4 - Six flags Great Adventure

The highlight of today, and probably the whole trip, was to be El Toro - a coaster that consistently features in top 5 lists everywhere. Unfortunately, continuing the spityness we encountered on the trip, it was out of action for "maintenance" all day- GRRRR - so If you did see some annoyed people around New Jersey on tuesday 5th june, this was probably the reason.

Nevertheless, it was still a pretty good day.

First ride of the day was Nitro - which had some nice bits of airtime, and a great helix.All in all a fun ride! Then we moved just round the corner to Batman the ride - which was just as good as the one in madrid - ie VERY nice indeed, some great forces to be had! We left the 2 indoor coasters for if it started raining, and walked to the other corner of the park for superman ultimate flight (B and M flying coaster) and green lantern (B and M stand up) - Superman had a great pretzel loop picture here, but little else, and green lantern was FAR too intense for most.

Before lunch, we did Kingda Ka - the worlds tallest, and now 2nd fastest coaster - 456 feet tall, 0 - 128 mph in 3.5 seconds (This was probably the coaster I was expecting to be out of action, it does have a lot of downtime!). We all queued for the front row - I think everyone really enjoyed it! The lauch really does get your cheeks flapping! Lunch was Japanese, and slightly better than the chinese at New England

I'm the one on the right, in front of the guy who seems to be asleep

1st ride after lunch was rolling thunder - which was rather rough, and all the time we had the reminder of the great El Toro next door... grrr! I think next was runaway mine train, which was ok, and then Bizarro (not to be confused with the bizarro at Six flags New England) - which was my 250th coaster - and not a bad one for 250 either - Similar to batman the dark knight from New England, but not as good (imo).  We also did the 2 kiddie credits, and the dark knight (not to be confused with the one at New England) and Skull mountain indoor coasters which were also both ok, before a couple of rerides on nitro and batman and the journey to the next hotel.

After checking in - we went out for dinner, and ended up in an awesome italian place - best pizza ever, and the service was absolutely brilliant, noone finished their's though - someone actually ordered *2* cheeseburgers! - it was one of our group's birthday, so we got ice cream cake too!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Day 5 - Dorney Park & Knoebels

actually changed to Knoebels and Dorney park, as dorney was open until 8

Only got 4 hours at knoebels, which was enough time to ride the coasters and their haunted mansion (great ghost train!), and we had a tour of the flying turns site (a coaster which they have been building for several years - they want to recreate the older flying turns coasters), which was good, but just took a bit too much of our riding time - it was an ace park, with a Blackpool pleasure beach feel, and there were a lot of historic flat rides which we didn't get time for.

Black diamond was an indoor coaster - the dark ride elements were very good, but the coastery stuff was a bit naff.  They also had Kosmos Kurves - which was pretty nice for a kids ride, and 2 woodies, both with just buzz bars and no seatbelts - phoenix gave really good airtime, But I prefered twister - which was park built, and sort of troy on acid!  great stuff!

The park was obviously very well cared for, and the team design and build a lot of the rides themselves, I really wanted to spend the whole day there!

And then onto dorney park - which was nice enough, if unspectacular.  Stinger was the last ride on the "official" tour that was out of action.

First ride was possessed - which gave a lesson in not trusting the test seat - even with a couple of others pushing the restraints, it wouldn't do up - there was no queue, so I gave it a try - and got buckled up easily - must have been about 2-3 inches difference! The ride was ok.

Continuing the OK theme, steel force was quite fun, with a few bits of airtime. Hydra wasn't as bad as some people say, even if it was a bit rattly, and I actually prefered it to talon, which most people love! Thunderhawk was rather rough and horrible though.   There was also a wild mouse and another kiddie ride.  The interesting ride here was demon drop - A first generation drop tower, which I'd first seen on QED about 25 years ago, and finally got to ride! Demon drop in action - from when it was at cedar point ...... the QED programme part 1 is here- drop ride starts at about 7:40, parts 2 and 3 are in the related videos. Was rather bumpy, but I don't care!

After leaving - we had dinner in TGI Fridays, the service sucked, but the steak was great!