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!

Monday, 11 June 2012

Day 6 - Six flags America

I'd heard bad reports about this park, and I'm not normally the complaining type, but, god, this place was a dump!

First up - the gate security confiscated a bottle of water (outdoor food), someone's bandana and someone else's plastic hair curlers

then the games stalls had people with megaphones shouting for business, the place had a serious lack of shade and it had the usual sucky six flags food...

first ride was the newly relocated "apocalypse" - not actually too terrible, less intense than green lantern anyway. The others seemed to enjoy jokers jinx, but I found it pretty rattly. Then we did superman - which could have been decent if not for the restraints - they had extra "shin bars" which were damn painful - like these..

The last of the main coasters was Batwing - a vekoma flyer, which have a bad rep for being painful - I didn't find it too bad, although I did have a tunnel vision moment from the intensity!  The 2 woodies were pretty rough and crappy, and the SLC was just as bad as the rest, and there was the kiddie coaster.

we'd done everything by early afternoon, and decided to make the journey back to SFGA to ride El Toro, It didn't go to plan - our car's satnav went gaga, so we headed back to the hotel, and the others hit traffic and abandoned mission!

The guy at the hotel recommended texas roadhouse for dinner, where we had an awesome steak, but the rest of the hotel was interesting - there was this sign in the room saying the housekeeper had been "Dustin"

The bathroom mirror could have done with some "cleanin" however

The notice is warning you that all towels etc. are security marked so they can charge you if they go missing.

also - the shower curtain needed "replacin"

and the final yuckiness was next to the toilet!

But at least I didn't have cockroaches like some others did!

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Day 7 - Hershey Park

Today was the start of the "official" trip - so far it had been just the "add on" for those from Europe.

The manky hotel breakfast consisted of stale bagels, no butter, and chocolate donuts! yum!

the journey to the park should have been about 10 minutes, but it was quite dificult to find how to get into the (ginormous) parking lot. Eventually we made it and headed into the park

One of the organisers had arranged for us to have ERT on fahrenheit before the park opened, and Skyrush (their new coaster) in the evening. In exchange we agreed to buy a meal ticket for $13, which actually saved us about $10 on food! bargain!

The first ERT ended up as 15 minutes each on fahrenheit(intamins version of a eurofighter) and storm runner (intamin launch coaster), I thought they were both fun, quirky coasters - but there were some grumblings of roughness particularly on storm runner. Next up was sidewinder, another boomerang - which was pretty rough despite the new restraints, and roller soaker - we chose this early because it has awful capacity and reliability, followed by some getting wet faffing around.

Lunch (with the bargain vouchers) was a beef sandwich, with about 12 slices of beef, barbecue sauce, and "texas taters", kept me full all day (don't think we had dinner!)

Someone asked if we could go on skyrush before the evening ERT as it was a milestone coaster - on the first go, it was pretty obvious it was a very good coaster, the fast lift hill really catches you out! - but we would have to wait until ERT to find out how good. The other highlight steelie was Great bear - another B and M invert - no nemesis, but pretty decent anyway - was the longest queue of the day at about 45 minutes (I think someone was sick so they had to clean that up!), also - every despatch they checked restraints 2, sometimes 3 times!

At about 3, when we were almost done, there was mention of a cool off in the water park - woulda been nice, but when this was mentioned again just before 6, we realised the waterpark closed at 6! oh well!

The three other steelies were superdooperlooper, a schwarzkopf looper - getting quite rare now - this wasn't as good as nessie at hansa park though, a wild mouse (actually - I quite like wild mice coasters!) and trailblazer - possibly the lamest mine train coaster in existence!

The park also had 3 woodies - an oldun called comet, and 2 nice newer GCIs - wildcat, and lightning racer (which unsurprisingly, was a racing coaster). All were great fun!

All coasters done, we headed for the cheesy hershey factory "tour" and reeses cup challenge dark ride shooty thing.

after a few rerides, we headed to skyrush for ERT, About 7 or 8 rides during ERT, and opinions were that it was very good, most have it in their top 5 or 10 - it's my 2, nothing prepares you for the huuuuge ejector air, particularly in the outer seats, it really does try to hurl you out.  A word on the restraints though - they are a unique design - a sort of "over the shoulder leg squasher", The restraint tends to tighten throughout the ride, which for a lot of people results in painfully squished legs - hence the rides nickname of "thighcrush", being a bit chubby, I was fine.  Even with the restraint pain, pretty much everyone stayed on for the whole of the ERT.

We left the park at about 11pm, and the drivers had a nearly 3 hour drive to the next hotel - was glad I could get some sleep!  There was a bit of confusion on the hotel booking, so a few people had to share rooms.

It was an awesome day though!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

Day 8 - Kings Dominion

The breakfast room today was the smallest yet - just one table with 3 seats around! but at least we had toast and cereal today!

Todays park was one of Virginnia's 2 major theme parks - the other was on the menu for tomorrow.

We also had an ERT today - this time it was on Intimidator 305 - I thought it was ok, and it definitely improved later - but it was a bit spoiled by a vigorous trim brake about 2/3 in, seems your just about to get some nice air - and you slow down! (most of the group found the first turn too intense)

Next up was Flight of fear - an indoor version of Jokers jinx from SFA - and I thought was a much better ride, and then Volcano (another coaster with poor capacity, so best done early on) - it's a suspended launch coaster, where the launch takes you into a vertical climb, out of the top of the "volcano".  I liked the ride, and thought it was unique and quirky.

After this was Anaconda - a slow and painful arrow looper, then Back Lot Stunt coaster, which had a lame middle section sandwiched between a nice launch into an intense helix, and a very cool indoor section at the end, and then ricochet - a nice wild mouse, with an unusual layout. Before lunch, and further coasting, we got a soaking on the rapids (which were decent), and goes on the drop tower (not as good as grona lund), and windseeker - which isn't as good as a starflyer

We returned to the scheduled coastering, with shockwave - a togo stand up, mercifully short as it was pretty painful, and the 3 grown up woodies (including 1 racer) which were all pretty forgettable, before "ghoster coaster" (A nice junior woodie), people tried to get on taxi jam - it's one of those kiddie coasters, where you need to have a child to ride - the group passed off one of the members as a 12 year old mute, who rode it with about 12 other members!

Dominator was next, and was located bizzarrely on it's own, like a naughty child in the corner - I really liked this b and m floorless - after a good faff in the shade, we moved on to the final coaster - avalanche - a mack bobsled, which wasn't as good as blackpool's, after that - some of the group went to the hotel, I stayed with a few others (they hadn't done a few of the coasters yet, as they'd arrived later), got a reride on I305 and flight of fear - and then a couple of rerides on dominator before we headed off

All in all - it was a pretty good park, even if the layout had a few quirks, and seemed to lack shade.

Got to the hotel, and saw the others were heading out for dinner so we joined them - coulda done with a shower first though - and walked the "1 mile" to restauraunt's nearby - walked about 15 minutes, gave up and went back from the cars - the "1 mile" was closer to "3 miles".  They were all closed, so we had yet another subway!

Friday, 8 June 2012

Day 9 - Busch Gardens Williamsburg

The final day and park of the group's tour was upon us. Busch gardens in Williamsburg, Virginnia is reckoned to be amongst the best looking parks in the world - and it's a lot more picturesque than it's sister park in tampa.

Just 6 coasters to enjoy here - first up was Grovers Alpine express - or the kiddie credit. Then onto Apollo's charriot - a B and M mega, like nitro at Six Flags Great adventure - it wasn't as good as nitro - the layout just seemed to rob you of any airtime in a lot of places.

Then on to Verbolten - their new coaster - this was a part indoor, part outdoor family coaster with a few surprises - and was a very good ride - everything 13 at Alton Towers should have been, and a bit more! Was themed around a journey in the German Black forest - cue lots of "Fahrt" related merchandise - naturally I'm far too mature to succumb to a "did you fahrt yet?" t-shirt ;-).

Before lunch we did Mach tower - a drop tower, which was good, but could have been better if there was a bit more drop before the brakes hit!

The parks food was excellent - the sampler plate in the Italian place had chicken, Canneloni and eggplant, each "sample" would have been a good lunch, and the cheesecake was one of the best I'd had!

After lunch was Curse of Darkastle - a dark ride similar to Spiderman at Universals Islands of adventure in Florida - very good too! and then the remaining 3 coasters.

Griffon - a dive machine, an extension of Sheikra in tampa, which in turn was an extension of Oblivion - I still think oblivion does the drop better than the others, but the rest of the ride on Griffon was great!  Alpengeist - another B and M invert (which a lot of people rate higher than Nemesis) - was good, but not as good as nemmy (a theme here!!). Finally - loch ness monster - another arrow looper, but smoother than most, and the first coaster to feature interlocking loops.

We had rerides on Griffon (good everywhere), Alpengeist (I thought better in the back - had real snap through some of the inversions) and Charriot, along with the 3 water rides - rapids, a log flume and escape from pompeii - which wasn't as wet as tidal wave at thorpe, or the chute ride in tampa. Verbolten was broken so we couldn't get a reride on that.

So - after goodbyes to those who weren't staying at the last hotel,  it was off to the final hotel of the official tour, and the drivers dropped off the cars, as we had to be at the airport at 4:30 the next morning!.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Day 10 - Kennywood (flying from Richmond to Pittsburgh)

My flight to Pittsburgh (via atlanta) left at 6:15, about the same time as those returning to the UK and Sweden, so we got the shuttle bus from the hotel at 4:15 - most of the others had gone on the 4am one, so I didn't have time for proper goodbyes.

The plan was to do kennywood today, and idlewild tomorrow. Due to the wonders of the internet, I'd noticed that both coasters at idlewild were out of action for maintenance (I'd emailed the park and been told they would be unlikely to be back up and running yet), this combined with the fact I was knackered, with sore feet, meant I made a change and had today off - going to kennywood tomorrow.

Arrived at the hotel in time for the England France match in Euro 2012. watched that and thought about getting the evening in at kennywood, but decided I'd have bags of time tomorrow, so chilled and popped to the shops for a tin of chilli for dinner, as well as cereal for the morning.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Day 11 - Idlewild and overnight train to Sandusky

Ok - so as you read on the previous days entry, today ended up at Kennywood instead!

Although I'd rested the previous afternoon, I still needed a bit of a lie in, and by the time I'd got to the giant eagle for my discount ticket, and had the long bus trip - it was gone 12 by the time I was in. I still thought I'd have everything done, including rerides by 6 or 7, and have plenty of time to get my luggage from the hotel and get to the train station, (either way, I'd have to get the 8:50 bus back to Pittsburgh), but it was a lot busier than expected.

First up was skyrocket - a launch coaster, which was pretty good fun, even though the lapbars squished your legs a bit. It was a bit different to have one of these launchers without over the shoulder restraints, had about a 20 minute wait

I then did Garfields nightmare (dark boat ride accompanied by garfield cartoons) and Kangaroo (last one in existence) before lunch.

I almost forgot where I was, until I saw this helpful sign:

I then hit 2 of the park's 3 historic woodies - the historic Jack rabbit, which had really good air for a 1920 coaster, and then Racer, which is a Moebius coaster (looks like a racing coaster, but is one continuous track, So you arrive at the opposite platform to the one you left on)  The loading station is sexyyyy!
The ride itself is rather meh, particularly in comparison to grand national at blackpool! so - I didn't bother about the other side - and it was another 20-30 minute queue.

before the final woody (Thunderbolt), I went on the rather average log flume, and the ace, if very wet, rapids to cool down. And then onto thunderbolt.  This one has an odd "feature" in that because the cars don't have split seats, you HAVE to ride with a partner, or you'll be all over the place, once I'd found a ride buddy, I was just about to board the next train, and looked out of the station - Oh - it's raining, heavily, so the ride was shut down, and then thunder started. The storm lasted about 20 minutes, and about 10 mins after it finished they started the other rides, it was another 15 minutes before they started thunderbolt again, and then they sent about 8 empty trains round. making an overall delay of about an hour - I was thinking this would mean the crowds died down a bit, but no luck there! - The ride was very good.  After this I was rushing again, and didn't have much time for pics!

after that, I rode the turtle/tumble bug for the history, and Ghostwood Estate - an okish shooter

Next was exterminator - an indoor spinning mouse, with a queue of about 30 minutes.  They didn't have it spinning much, which actually helped make it more awesome, and Phantoms revenge - a coaster that was originally made in 1991 with 4 inversions, which were removed for the 2001 season - was great fun if a bit bumpy.

Black widow's queue was about 40 minutes (new ride), so I missed that, and went back to thunderbolt, and guess what - it started to rain again just before my ride!  this time the rain lasted just about 3 minutes - they hadn't closed either phantoms revenge or the turtle, but 15 minutes later and they still hadn't reopened thunderbolt, so I decided to go get in the noahs ark before going back - the queue for that was also about 30-40 minutes so I called it a day and went back to the bus!

I'd read all sorts of bad reports on American trains - mainly cancelations and delays, but I decided to give it a go anyway, was booked on the midnight train to Sandusky.

So - I got back in Pittsburg centre at about 10, and had until midnight to make the 10 minute bus trip to the hotel for my luggage (and buses were every 10 minutes) so I went to MacDonalds for dinner - They took about 15 minutes to get my mushroom and swiss cheese burger, and then I ended up waiting about half an hour for the bus back to the hotel, so by the time I'd got back it was about 20 past 11 - I asked the hotel to call me a taxi - and after trying a few places, they called a man called George, who they sometimes use for shuttles - I arrived at the station about 5 minutes before the train was due, and was sooooo relieved that it was running about 40 minutes late! (the next train was the following evening at midnight, so I'd have needed to get a coach!)

I was really impressed by the comfort on the train though - the seat was huge, and there was a lot of leg room - it was similar to business class seats on short haul airlines!  Due to the delays, my taxi wasn't there - and I ended up in another companies cab to the hotel at cedar point. Even though it was about 5am, the park was well lit up, and I had a sense of the size of the place, it seemed to take the taxi for ever to get round to the hotel! Had a couple of hours wait for the average breakfast in Perkins, and then another hour and a half before the resort early entry started

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Day 12/13 - Cedar Point

The final park on my tour was Cedar point - at the time of writing, it held the record for the most coasters at a park (17) along with 6 flags magic mountain in California. about 2 weeks before the season start - they announced that wildcat would be taken down before opening, meaning only 16 left!

As a rather large person, I was concerned about fitting on all of the coasters - Millenium force, top thrill dragster and wicked twister are all pretty well known as a tight fit - MF and TTD were no problems though - wicked twister however wasn't quite- more on that later.

As I only had 1 and a half days there, I decided to get the fastlane tickets for the first day to make sure I got on everything - was a great decision, and the fact they allow rerides meant I got a few goes on most of the stuff there. As it happened, I did all the riding I wanted on day 1, and could spend day 2 taking photos.

Also - staying at the resort meant I got an hour early entry, for "Ocean Motion, Midway Carrousel, Raptor, WindSeeker, Millennium Force, Iron Dragon, Maverick and Planet Snoopy", to my surprise, TTD was open as well - so I headed straight to that. It was built a couple of years before Kingda ka, and a little slower and shorter, but most enthusiasts rate it higher due to the smoother launch, and lap bars instead of over the shoulder restraints - first ride was in row 2, and I certainly thought smoother than Ka. And I decided I had to get front row (did later, along with back row and a middle seat), because the seating in row 2 blocked the view a bit more than other intamin coaster trains.

The top hat

One rather nice aspect of the ride, was the seating area on show here, along with Mantis and Iron Dragon:

Gave a nice chance to take pics of the trains as they zoomed by! (Millenium force is the blue coaster in the distance)

I then moved on to iron dragon, one of the last Arrow suspended's left in the world. It was great fun, shame Busch gardens had closed big bad wolf, also a shame I won't get to ride eagle fortress in korea. The coaster looks lovely over the water...

Final ride of the mornings early session was on MF - 300 foot tall, and according to "amusement today", the best steel coaster in the world - it was better than I305, due to lack of trim brakes, and night rides were great - but Bizarro is in a totally different class.

I then headed over to wicked twister, there was no queue so I headed straight on, figuring I'd be more likely to fit with a ride op squishing the restraints, than just using the test seat - it was a squash but I made it - It's a similar ride to possessed at dorney park, but I felt had more oomph in the launches - really enjoyed it - went on again later, and didn't get close to fitting - According to pointbuzz, the belts are all the same length, but some of the harnesses are a bit more forgiving - the test seat was even worse, the problem was with the positioning of the buckle - as you can see on this picture, there are 2 possible holders, and a number of holes for the buckle to be attached to - the test seat just has one, and that's positioned in between the 2 real locations here - making about 3 inches less!

Disaster transport nearby was closed (opened later), and space spiral was down both days - both rides are due to be demolished for a new coaster next year. So I did Maxair (Frisbee ride, not as good as flip flop at flamingoland or maelstrom at drayton), power tower - neither the launch or drop sides really did much for me and then moved over to raptor and blue streak -  Raptor is another B and M invert which wasn't as good as nemesis - although this one was pretty intense, particularly at the back.

Blue streak, in the distance here:
Was a rather decent woody similar to a shorter grand national at blackpool, without the "racing", Was a better ride at the front - my first ride was delayed about about 10 minutes becuase someone was sick on it!

Next ride was corkscrew, which was as bad as expected

After a lunch burger, I went on to Mantis - another uncomfortable stand up! And on to the other side of the park for Maverick, A coaster with 2 launches and a few inversions - first half of the ride is great, lovely smooth inversions, nice drop, and the launches are great - then some of the transitions get a bit rough in the second half, which is a shame, because it could have been excellent, but was just very good - still just makes my top 10 though!

Next was Mean streak - a rather sexy looking wood coaster
Twisty!!   Unfortunately, it was the worst coaster of the trip, and only rivaled by bandit for the title of "roughest I've ridden"  - It vibrates the whole way around the track, with no notable plus points!

Cedar creek mine ride was a nicely located, pleasant enough mine train

I also got my only "screaming swing" cred of the trip - despite having seen about 7 others!  YAY! Love these rides..

That left just 4 coasters left to ride - (Jr Gemini will only let adults ride if they have a kid with them!) Woodstock express is a standard vekoma junior coaster, Gemini is a hybrid (steel tracks, wood structure) racing coaster - was ok.

Next was Magnum XL-200 -Built in 1989. was the first coaster to exceed 200 feet in height - wasn't bad
bad had a poor turnaround, and some of the hills had painfull air as your thighs whacked against the lap bars!

The final cred of the trip - Disaster transport is an enclosed intamin bobsleigh coaster - which begs the question "why does it have side by side seating?" (Mack bobs have bobsleigh style cars)

Dinner was a poor "all you can eat" affair- which seemed to be limited to pizza, cheeseburgers and dry turkey.
after that I did some rerides - and got on the racing derby - was just as fun as blackpools version.  The park looked really nice at night, all lit up, should have bought my camera!

On the final day, I just walked round and took some pictures, rode the skyway and train, and had yummy BBQ ribs for lunch

got some Millenium force lifthill porn from the train

I'm not a big fan of enterprises, but their's did look quite handsome:

it was then time to leave :(

Monday, 4 June 2012

Day 13 - Flight back, summing up and souvenirs

After leaving Cedar point, I got my packing finalised, and got on the scruffy (but $30 cheaper than the others) taxi to the airport, checked in and tried for an upgrade (but failed)

The flight was booked through BA, but on American Airlines

The flight from cleveland to chicago was on a tiny plane - 15 rows of 3 seats, and not enough room to put my rucksack on once I'd retrieved it from the overhead lockers.

Spent the rest of my dollars at chicago airport, tried again for an upgrade but "completely full". I wouldn't fly american again - there was less leg room, and an extra seat in each row - and to cope with the extra passengers, they'd reduced the hand luggage space by about 1/4 compared to BAs, had the entire flight with bags by my feet, in the middle of a row of 5 seats, everyone in front reclining, everyone either side asleep and had a dodgy tv screen - 8 hours of misery! At least Heathrow and the train back were uneventful!

Despite a few closed parks and rides, it was a great trip, Can't wait to get back and get Toro, Coney island and others!

Of course - no park visit would be complete without a trip to the tat shop, and I got a few nice gifts

A bouncy ball from hershey
it flashes too!

A nice cf live souvenir from Busch gardens

There were also tshirts to be bought!
SIx flags New England:
Six flags Great Adventure:

Jerry got me one of the Apocalypse t shirts from the media event

Dorney park:
And the free dorney park one (spent over $20 there!)
and the Verbolten "Fahrt" related t shirt which I'm far too sensible to buy!
(don't tell anyone- but I fahrted in the kitchen too!)

finally - a keyring from cedar point: