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Antinos' 2017 Thread (Dollywood Finale! - Page 5)

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by Antinos, May 8, 2017.

  1. Mysterious Sue

    Mysterious Sue Well-Known Member

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    This. Thunderbird pisses all over the other wingriders. The launch and extra speed make all the difference.
     
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  2. Antinos

    Antinos Well-Known Member

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    I said I was doing a proper Kings Island trip pretty soon. I managed to mash a visit to @pkiknex25 along with some networking at the home office in Detroit this past weekend. Saturday night was ungodly crowded, but we had a great day on Sunday!

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    Banshee - I'm still torn between it and Storm Chaser in my top 10. Banshee has certainly grown increasingly rough over the past couple years, but it still does what it does so well. The 0-g is still the best one on earth and the rest of its massive inversions are incredibly intense. I'm sure glad it rarely has a line during my visits.

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    The Beast - The park has done an excellent job at taking care of the ride and improving its rideability over the years, but it's merely a few turns through the woods in the daytime. It's still predominantly a night ride and everyone knows it. This visit was the first time I've had to wait in the overflow queue closest to Vortex.

    Mystic Timbers - My lone ride on it earlier this summer wasn't a one-off. Timbers seriously delivers. I was more impressed with the job GCI did with each additional lap we took. Every single directional change has airtime and most hills have ejector air. Honestly, I'd rather ride this at night over The Beast - it's simply more exciting. Unfortunately, even with the cloak of night, it's still missing trees. I certainly hope some foliage grows in over the next few years to really add to the experience.

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    Diamondback - It isn't running poorly by any means, but they need to figure out what they're doing up in Canada with Behemoth. Diamondback's rattle is still present and it doesn't do a whole lot in the second half, but at least the first half is pretty good.

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    Invertigo - We grabbed a middle row and thought it was rather comfortable. Like the other boomerangs I've been on recently, this made me a bit dizzy after the backwards portion.

    Drop Tower - Still one hell of a freefall, but Lex Luthor is better.

    The Bat - Seems to be more rickety than it typically is, but it's still a swift, intense little ride.

    Adventure Express - Another coaster that seemed like it's not running quite as well as normal. At least the final lift takes your mind off of the jerky layout.

    Racer - Running quite well this visit. Extremely swift and lacking any jackhammering or shuffling.

    Flight of Fear - The lights were on surprisingly and it was more intense than I remember. Hit the brakes pretty hard tho.

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    Firehawk - I don't know why I had an ounce of excitement for when it was relocated - every ride I take just seems lower quality...or maybe it's because I rode the best of the three Superman flyers and Tatsu this summer...yeah, probably that.

    Windseeker - great view, but as Kevin pointed out, there's a plot of land right next to it that's the perfect size for a clone of Skyhawk at Canada's Wonderland.

    Backlot Stunt Coaster - this one is the most comfortable. That's about it.


    Aside from the rides...we did see that the park has fenced off an area across to Racer and begun to demolish a few weekends. There is also supposedly a new rumor that the park is receiving a SkyWarp, which would fit in this spot quite well. I guess it is only a matter of time before we find out if it's this SkyWarp or the revival of the antique cars.


    Next? Holiday World for some Voyage at night sexual intercourse :emoji_eggplant:
     
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  3. Antinos

    Antinos Well-Known Member

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    Yet another trip to Holiday World - this being my last of the season. This time I was accompanied by @Youngster Joey and @pkiknex25 as well as my buddy Dan. I went to college with Dan and although he's always had an interest in coasters, he just recently overcame his fear of heights this past August. Since then, he's been going to various parks every weekend and got his CC up to 75 (and he'll be adding 40 more next weekend). It was only natural for me to invite him.

    Weather wise, we got extremely lucky. There wasn't a cloud in the sky and highs were in the low 80s. Moonrise was at 3:00am.

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    Raven - Again...so smooth and so fast. The airtime in the back is incredible...if only the layout had about 500 more feet...

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    We got Dan on Howler for the +1 while most of the rides were closed due to drone filming.

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    Gobbler Getaway - Although the guns are tough to aim, we're all getting better after riding this so many times. The ride itself is still incredibly cute.

    Thunderbird - Still amazed by its launch and the intensity throughout the ride. At night, it's out of control.

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    Legend - We waited the extra bit for the front and aside from the bugs, I thought it was excellent. I still can't convince Kevin that it's a great ride because of that damn underbanked helix. Oh well.

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    The Voyage - Every time I ride it, I sit in the brake run and think to myself that I must be turning into a masochist because the return run kicks my ass, yet I want to ride over and over. Every part of the ride kicks up the intensity a notch. Night: confession - the lights up by Thunderbird were still on and they added a light to the mid course brake run. Unfortunately, I don't think we'll ever get another night ride like the legendary one we got two years ago. But with that being said, it is still the best night coaster experience in the world. No bull:emoji_poop:.

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    We had an excellent day at Holiday World and, of course, I had an excellent season visiting the park. I don't see myself visiting until next October, but I'm already looking forward to it.

    I also did some meditating on my Top 10 and shifted a few rides around. The Voyage moved up to #4, hopping Boulder Dash and Bizarro, and Storm Chaser hopped Banshee into the #9 spot.

    Normally at this point, I'd be stating that my season is over, but that's not the case in 2017. We're keeping this train rollin' full steam ahead! Dollywood is a go in one month and I just might squeeze in a trip to King's Island Winterfest. Damn homie.
     
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  4. Antinos

    Antinos Well-Known Member

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    WE DON'T STOP.

    Upon noticing that 2018 Six Flags season passes are fairly cheap right now, I was off to Six Flags St Louis to pick one up. I hadn't been to SFStL in seven years and the only coaster they've added was Boomerang - a relocation from SFOT back in 2013 - hardly a reason to return. Nevertheless, I braved the cold temperatures (40*F) and what I thought would be horrendous crowds on the Saturday closest to Halloween for some rides.

    Mr Freeze: Reverse Blast - The backwards launch made for a much more interesting ride. The tophat was a bit more intense while traversing backwards without any speed shaved off from the overbank and looking down at the top of the spike gave a great sense of height.

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    Pandemonium - aka "Panda Panda Panda broads in Atlanta-Monium," is yet another Six Flags cookie cutter ride. Luckily, my car spun fairly well and the ride is at least a bit interesting.

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    Screamin' Eagle - It's a ride that you look at, see its use of terrain and some of its surprisingly large drops, and say "this should be a damn good ride." The ride may be fairly smooth but unfortunately it doesn't really move you. The profile throughout the ride was probably great back in '76 when it first opened, but it's way too gentle now. I can see enthusiasts who grew up visiting the park multiple times per year having a serious soft spot for the ride but I can't feel the same way.

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    Superman: Tower of Power
    - This is one of my favorite drop towers due to its location and its randomized drop sequence. Luck was not on my side and my coach dropped first, but the drop was excellent!

    Star Flyer
    - It gives a great view of the park and the surrounding area and actually rotates you about the tower fairly swiftly. They also have this weird sequence where they lower you all the way and then raise you about 40% up the tower before slowing the carriage and lowering riders to the ground.

    Ninja - This ride gets BASHED to kingdom come and it really isn't that bad. My rides in 2010 and yesterday were actually fairly pleasant aside from the exit of the sidewinder (which is just all sorts of messed up). Also, kudos to the girl seated next to me who was riding her first roller coaster and screaming her head off while her friends were behind us getting SO HYPE - that's probably why I had such a good ride this year.

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    Batman: The Ride
    - Certainly one of the better clones. It was interesting watching the ride cycle empty prior to opening because each train looked like it was sloooooowly crawling around the circuit. Luckily the ride picked up the pace and resembled typical Batman: The Ride operations with a train full of humans. The drop seemed more intense than usual and every inversion and curve was filled with positive geforces. Excellent ride.

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    American Thunder
    - That's what this ride is called now, right? Leave it to Six Flags to open new rides with licensed branding and then drop the names when they don't want to pay for the licensing anymore...anyway. Evel Thunder is pure quality. Although it lacks a pre-lift, American Knievel feels fairly long and is wild throughout the duration of the ride. As I've been saying all summer, this ride was built when GCI had really figured out airtime - Evel Knievel has it in every transition and directional change. I'm particularly fond of the four-banger of airtime towards the end of the ride just before the final turnaround.

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    River King Mine Ride
    - Why? Just why? It's so BAD! So poorly designed piece of trash sad excuse for a mine train. What the :emoji_zipper_mouth: are those s-bends that seem to be prevalent throughout the ride? Horrendous.

    Boomerang - Hey! +1! This particular Boomerang was fine - fairly smooth and minimal headbanging - up until the second lift. Apparently I was seated above the chain dog, which provided a MONUMENTAL jolt unlike any I've experienced on a ride when it engaged with the chain. So I guess my opinion is a wash.


    Unfortunately, The Boss never opened due to the cold temperatures. I was looking forward to taking a spin on it as it seems to be receiving a good amount of praise lately, yet my last ride was not memorable at all. Maybe I'll get a lap on it when they finally RMC it :p


    St Louis has become a city full of wonderful memories for me. Walking around the park, waiting in line, and riding various rides gave me flashbacks to the 2010 Missouri Live and the obscene amount of fun we had. I also took a pit-stop at the park across the Mississippi River for a quick photo-op and thought about my three visits to the city for the robotics world championship (once as a student, once as an alumnus, and once as a mentor). The robotics world championship is moving to Detroit for 2018 and beyond (convenient for my team and me) and I honestly don't see myself visiting SFStL for quite some time, but I'm definitely going to miss having opportunities to visit this awesome city.

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    And we're STILL not done. Dollywood in three weeks!
     
  5. Antinos

    Antinos Well-Known Member

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    Alright, I apologize about the length of this post - as I mentioned earlier, I might squeeze in a King's Island Winterfest visit, but for all intents and purposes, I'm considering this my 2017 finale.

    Before I write about Dollywood, I'd like to write a bit about Launch and Louisville, as it was one of the enablers for visiting so many parks this year. The launch is over - almost everybody has returned to Michigan (myself included) and vehicles are being shipped for purchase across North America, the Middle East, and China. The job was stressful and filled with long hours, but it's going to be great to see these trucks driving about.

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    As for Louisville...It took me only a few weeks to fall in love with it. There was so much to do, so much to see...It's such a fun place to be. If anybody is planning a trip to Kentucky Kingdom or Holiday World, I recommend spending a few hours exploring Louisville. As great as it is to be home, I'm certainly going to miss it.

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    I told myself that it'd be a damn shame if I was four hours from Dollywood and didn't make a trip down to Tennessee, so I made it happen with an entire crew! From the north, @Youngster Joey, @pkiknex25, @Error, significant others, and myself piled into two cars in Cincinnati and headed south. Heavy traffic and the like delayed our arrival by a few hours, but we arrived at the cabin (with an incredible view) to meet @tomahawk, Tom's wife, @RCF, and Danny (I don't remember his CF handle)! Tom cooked hot dogs and burgers and we all spent the evening catching up on life over the past few months/years. After a hearty breakfast, we were off to the park.

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    Lightning Rod - We've been hyping this bitch up since we rode it last summer and were eager to ride again. After last summer, Tom was determined to lose enough weight to fit (he got on Twisted Colossus last summer, Outlaw Run last year at this time, and The Joker and Storm Chaser earlier this year). Danny hadn't been on an RMC yet and didn't even know what was over the top of the hill. It was our turn to board - everybody was already excited but became absolutely elated when we saw the light on the panel illuminate when Tom pulled down his lap bar. In no time, we were flying 206 feet up the first hill. The train crests the top of the lift noticeably slower, but after the second crest it does not matter in the slightest. Everything about the ride - the enormous wave turn, the outerbanked hill, the off axis camelback, the double up, and the legendary quad down - all completely confirmed the ride's place at the top of my rankings. It's mind boggling that we hyped up the ride so much and the first timers still walked away with the ride as everybody's unanimous #1. And the gap between Lightning Rod and #2 is significant...and Outlaw Run is an unbelievable ride itself. It's simply outstanding and will remain in my top spot for quite some time.

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    Blazing Fury - It's real silly, and I'm glad we didn't get wet.

    Tennessee Tornado - Another one of a kind oddity at Dollywood - The lateral shifts in the loops are so bizarre, but Arrow did so many things right with this looper. It's kind of a shame that they went bankrupt with X2 and couldn't build another similar, longer looper like this. It's actually re-rideable.

    Wild Eagle - My appreciation for this ride is sky high (no pun intended). I think the ride is beautiful the way it sits on top of the hill and I think the station is impeccably designed and does a great job at saving space. Unfortunately, the ride itself just doesn't do much to move me. By no means is it a bad ride, but I think it's a bit too traditional for the ride type.

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    Firechaser Express - this little guy is so much fun for just navigating turns. It just has its niche and it fills it so well. The backwards section is pretty neat as well!

    Mystery Mine - I was unable to ride last year as I had to leave early and drive all the way home, thus I missed out. After this year's ride, I'm glad I missed out. I didn't remember much of Mystery Mine except that it was a super weird ride. What I didn't remember was how horrendously rough and jerky it was through all the tight elements between lifts in the trestle section. Thinking back, I don't recall Rock Bottom Plunge being rough in the slightest and Dare Devil Dive was probably the smoothest coaster I've been on. Bizarre and disappointing.

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    Thunderhead - Another ride I had to skip last summer - my last ride was back in 2010. I'm not sure if it was simply an off day or if my tastes have really changed that much over the years, but now I understand why people absolutely RAVE about Thunderhead. The ride was absolutely relentless from start to finish, throwing us every which way. I'll take more of this please.

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    Whistle Punk Chaser
    - We got the +1, but with the amount of shade being thrown at us, I could have done without the second or third lap :p


    At this point, the park began to shut down for high winds. We missed out on the drop tower and rerides which was a bummer. We moseyed about a bit to see the lights before heading over to the Smokey Mountain Alpine Coaster, which was absolutely fantastic! It's recommended if you wrap up your Dollywood visit early. We headed back to the cabin, baked some lasagna, and resumed the drunken hangout sesh from the night before while savoring every second before having to part ways in the morning.

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    What an absolute blast of a weekend. I absolutely live for these trips and spending time (even if only a short amount) with so many people that I've been able to meet and interact with over the years. It's truly awesome getting to share this hobby with some great people.

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    I completely adored Dollywood on this past trip - so much that I think it's my new favorite park! The park has a one of a kind setting and a top notch ride lineup. I'm not quite sure when I'll be back to visit, but I'm sure I won't wait too long.


    And speaking of...the plot of land they're clearing for something is gigantic. The plot is across the way from Mystery Mine and up on the hill. As of right now, it looks roughly the size of Wild Eagle, although I can imagine it will continue to grow throughout the winter. Whatever the project ends up becoming, it'll be one more excuse to take a visit in (probably) 2019.


    Well that's it. It's been one hell of a year of traveling and riding for me. I was able to visit 20 parks - nine of those were for the first time - and nabbed 62 new creds. I didn't count the total number of coasters I rode but it was well over 150, probably close to 200. Really glad I had the opportunities to travel so much:

    Cedar Point
    King's Island
    Kentucky Kingdom
    Holiday World
    Six Flags Magic Mountain
    Knott's Berry Farm
    Disneyland
    California's Great America
    Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
    Columbus Zoo
    Six Flags Over Georgia
    Lake Winnie
    Beech Bend
    Darien Lake
    Seabreeze
    Fantasy Island
    Canada's Wonderland
    Waldameer
    Six Flags St Louis
    Dollywood


    What does 2018 have in store for me? I'm not quite sure yet. Certainly Cedar Point and Kings Island. Maybe I'll convince some people to go to Michigan's Adventure? I'm eyeing a TBD weekend in New Jersey for some cred whoring. Aside from that, I have rough (emphasis on rough) drafts for trips through the northeast (Great Escape, Canobie, etc), the deep midwest (Adventureland, Valleyfair, Wisconsin Dells, etc), and Texas. We'll see what happens - I'll get my :emoji_poop: together soon.


    Finally, I'd like to thank everybody for reading my reports. I was unsure of whether this thread would gain any traffic but it appears that there were quite a few who enjoyed them :D I'll likely do a similar thread next year as well!
     
  6. Hixee

    Hixee Most Knowledgeable Member 2016 Staff Member Moderator CF Award Winner 2016

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    Brilliant. So jealous and I'd have loved to be able to join you guys. Sounds like a great time!
     
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  7. Mysterious Sue

    Mysterious Sue Well-Known Member

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    Really enjoyed your report updates this year so would be happy to see them appear again in 2018. What a great way to round off the year. Theme parks aren't all about the creds, it's the people too <\gush>.

    Looks like you had a brilliant end to the season. Really jealous of your cabin in the smokies - I had a look at a few this summer but, in the end, decided I didn't have time to appreciate one. Fabulous place to take a group of friends though.
     
  8. Coaster Hipster

    Coaster Hipster Well-Known Member

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    Really fab pictures Antinos! Great to hear Lightning Rod still rides amazing despite the slower speed through the first hill :D
     
  9. jay37415

    jay37415 Active Member

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    Did you ever get to try the Cinnamon Bread?
    Glad you enjoyed yourself. It was fun meeting all of you at DW.
     

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