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Slithering in the States #2 - Part 11: Six Flags America

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by HeartlineCoaster, Apr 18, 2019.

  1. Hixee

    Hixee Flojector Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    Ah man, Dollywood really got under your skin by the sounds of things. That is pleasing. :)
     
  2. HeartlineCoaster

    HeartlineCoaster Active Member

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    Oh yes, still torn on the whole favourite park thing. I feel like I want it to be, but I also feel I have to consider ride lineup and that just doesn't stack up to the Berg at present.


    Day 9 – Carowinds

    One of the contributing factors to this route plan other than dates is because I had my heart set on getting Copperhead. Completed the Mack Launch set in January only to have it immediately taken from me soon after. Gotta keep on top of it now.

    So obviously next stop was ‘where the Carolinas meet’. We had affectionately named it ‘concrete and riiides’ over the past couple of days, imagining it to be back to the same old US tradition after Dollywood.
    It was also raining and a weekday, so could the man’s prophecy continue for no liiines?
    Let’s see.

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    Only thing that did get lines was the new boy, so it was good to hit it first.

    Queue looks rather nice, other than the fact they’ve padded it out with tons and tons of extra temporary cattle pen well beyond the signposted 2 hour start point of the actual queue. I assume it got that busy for opening, but would be nice to put those away now.

    Station is typically bare, but got the cool screen about restraints and dispatches I’m enjoying seeing pop up everywhere now.

    Train looks weird with it’s frontage and the DC rivals seatbelts that clip into the top of the restraint at an awkward angle, but it’s still very homely once you’re in.

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    And what a start. Ridiculously slow roll out of the station that instantly gets the fun and laughter going.
    What’s in the shed? Nothing that explains much. Some old woman shouting about intruders while loud bangs and screeching tyres go off. All the practical stuff looks really quirky and good in here though.

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    World’s slowest launch, comically so due to the fact I think they published the stats like it was a big deal. 0-42 in 6 seconds springs to mind. But it doesn’t matter, it’s not the focus, it gets things going.

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    The first loop is as ridiculous as the start. Redefined hangtime for me in that you completely flop downwards into the restraint and out of your seat at the top. Love this, very different.

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    There’s a good hill straight after, followed by the first twisty section which is decent but nothing special. The pacing gets really weird and slightly off here as it doesn’t feel long before you hit the second silly slow launch, which is over a gentle hill.

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    Again, I love how different this is, but it feels a little clumsy and awkward in how it’s pulled off.

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    A couple more solid inversions and another good hill before it hits the second twisty section which unfortunately feels weaker than the first, so it doesn’t build particularly well.

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    There’s a really good kick right on the last hill and then you’re on the brakes. Hmm.

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    I like it. It’s a lot of fun and a very mixed bag of forces. It was never going to be the next Helix, but it’s about as good as ones of this size get, so that’s all I really wanted from it.

    The aforementioned rain was coming and going so we were a little anxious about proceedings, deciding to prioritise the big stuff.

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    Almost. Get this out of the way, first one of the trip that’s actually open. Eww.

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    And this. At least it was short. Eww.
    I imagine this is what Patriot was like before conversion and it would be another terribly boring one if they did it to this too. Don't bother.

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    And this. We aren't sticking to the plan are we.
    It sucked, but quote of the day - "I think this one just goes round bro".

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    Time for the world's best ride as of 2 years ago. They're still actually saying it in the station too. Bold.

    I take slight issue with this, because it's a long way from it. I really enjoyed it, it's a ton of fun, but world beater it ain't.

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    Best way I can describe it is that it does to B&M hypers what Valkyria did to dives. It moves with a ton of purpose and shows that they can give you something to really think about if they put their mind to it.

    I'll start off by giving the prize to this ride, the drop actually felt giga big in the way that it sustained its sensation.

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    Then some corners happen, fast, mildly enjoyable corners out to the other end.

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    Next highlight is the peak of the treble clef with some occasional sideways airtime. Mmm, that visual aesthetic.

    The best part of the ride is the support over a massive corner that looks like you're gonna hit it. This made me almost cry with laughter on the very first ride in the way that I saw it coming, then saw my friend completely duck out of the way like it was a serious threat. I couldn't really control myself until the brakes and that made it pretty special over the hills.

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    There's only 3 hills of significance and the 1st one is intensely trimmed, also to the point of comedy. They still provide a very sustained but gentle lift out of your seat, pretty much what the hypers fail to do on many occasions.

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    I love the way it looks with that two tone back of the track effect.

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    It has character and I have a soft spot for it, but I didn't properly fall for it like I wanted to.

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    Here's that forum background shot done poorly by me.

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    2 hours for this? Can't think of anything worse.

    These have always looked really unpleasant to me with the whole lying on your back thing. The worst part of the worst B&M flyer is when it decides to chuck you on your back for 10-15 seconds and its just uncomfortable and dumb. These have that in the station and on the brakes.

    The moment it puts you on your back for the first time creates more screams of terror out of large men than Flying Dinosaur does from Japanese schoolgirls.
    Then there's people coming back into the station in either tears or severe pain or both. Good.

    When the moment came for us, it jerked its way backwards unnervingly. Once on your back - yes, this is unpleasant.

    Kinda liked the lift hill. Not lying down. Bit of a 4D fear moment going backwards up it, looking out on the world, not knowing when the terror will begin.

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    Kinda liked the ride? Kinda. Until the end.

    Most of it was like a more forceful Air. Trying to scrape the ground a lot and simulate flying in a reasonably respectable manner. The loop is cool and intense, like something of a good bit from the better B&Ms.

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    Then the abomination that is the final 2 inversions happened and a bearable ride suddenly tried to kill you by violently jerking its way round and throwing you about. Nope.

    It hit the brakes and it was 2 train op, so we're stranded on our back for several minutes, leaning slightly downhill as well to make it even worse. Neither putting your head back and relaxing or lifting it up to look around and stop the blood flowing is comfortable. Please end.

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    The other Intrimidator was just across the way. Didn't know it had the staggered seating thing, but it makes sense being in the same park as the other lad.

    This was weak. Trims and sluggish and Shambhala all over again - literally doing nothing after the mid course. Hasn't even got the aesthetic.
    Oh well.

    Afterburn was the last thing of importance in our minds so headed over to that.

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    After a few inverts that hadn't quite hit the mark, this was back to what they're supposed to be. Snappy and intense.

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    Haven't done a batwing on one before, that was fun. The mince over the station adds character before kicking your arse in a corkscrew.

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    Very good, I approve.

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    I'm liking the look of this park more than I thought. Time to finish off the +1s.

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    It started to rain heavily as we hit Woodstock. Didn't really see what happened on the ride. Similar to the previous wooden one, bit of a laugh with some surprising airtime.

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    We're now getting stupidly wet, but they're still running things. Hurler?

    I believe this is the layout that became Twisted Timbers, so it was very interesting to see this and compare (from what we could see through the rain). The ride? Meh. Nothing bad, nothing special.


    The mouse was down, so we went for Carolina Cyclone. Mopping this stuff up. Got as far as sitting in the train with the restraints locked. Then they unlocked and cleared the ride due to weather. Nooooooooooooo. Never been that close before.

    Weren't sure why it had happened as we left, as it seemed to have died down a bit. We walked towards the entrance to get some food and dwell on it as Valhalla levels of rain suddenly hit us. Guess that's why. Everyone ran for the nearest shelter and we ended up in the Cinnabon with about 200 other people wet and sweating. This day has taken a turn.

    Queued about an hour for subpar food with nothing better to do, then went to the car to assess as everything was now closed.

    All credit to them, 30 minutes after a torrential storm had died down, Fury began testing again. This is now my favourite Cedar Fair park.

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    Back to Carolina Cyclone for some unfinished business. Can't be dealing with a spite like that.
    We got it. It was a thing.

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    A few people had gathered outside the Mouse like it had signs of opening for the first time. A few cars tested while they repeatedly announced for us to go away and do something else. Then a man came round and told us it wouldn't open today, go away and do something else. Fair enough.

    It did open later, so he was cool. Again, credit to them for bothering to do this with only 2-3 hours left in the day.
    Only thing that didn't open was the SFC. No big loss, but so close to completing the biggest park of the trip.

    Decent park in the end, got the makings of a very solid lineup (needs 1 more killer, but don't RMC Hurler) and is run pretty damn well from what we saw.

    Spent some time on the good stuff again before hitting the road and making enemies with the I-85.
     
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  3. Matt N

    Matt N Active Member

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    Great report, @HeartlineCoaster; I look forward to seeing where's next on your trip!

    Out of interest, which coaster at Carowinds was your favourite? Would it be Fury, like most other people's, or is it something different, like Afterburn or Copperhead?
     
  4. HeartlineCoaster

    HeartlineCoaster Active Member

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    Fury and Copperhead were pretty level for me, both a lot of fun and both very different experiences. If you really need an answer...mmm...... Copperhead's a bit more my style.


    Day 10 – Six Flags Over Georgia

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    This place already looks a lot better than Great Adventure on the outside. The arrival underneath a B&M hyper with nice landscaping, the sight of a fresh RMC, a new looking entrance, a beautifully re-painted B&M. All good signs.
    The bad sign was that we arrived to a slightly busy looking car park. It was back to being weekend again and there was some sort of cheerleading competition going on(?) with tons of small children dressed in disturbing fashion and their many families in tow.

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    We powered in to assess, first walking past the Georgia Spiter. Apparently it's our fault.

    From here we could see that Dare Devil Dive queue was terrible, as predicted. We would have hit it first, but hadn’t quite arrived for opening so it wouldn’t have worked well. Plan B was to join the queue for Goliath instead, which happened to move particularly swiftly.

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    Had a vague idea that this was meant to be one of the better ones of these. It wasn’t really. Might have been underwhelming after Fury or after so many others in quick succession.

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    Though the layout leaving the park was rather nice, it was the same old story of underwhelming hills and a helix.

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    Of particular note, the bottom of the last couple of hills had a bit of an unpleasant crunch to them, rather like El Toro was doing, but completely unjustified in this case.

    The final assessment was to head round to something else with reasonable capacity and judge.
    Mind Bender. 90 minutes. Right. This trip hadn’t really conditioned us for queues, so we weren’t particularly willing to put up with risking this park the hard way at this stage.

    It was time to put a Flash Pass to the test. It’s a reasonable enough price if you ever think you really need it to get things done, particularly when you’re getting into all the parks for free. It runs that system where you get to virtually queue for something while you do something else, which I’ve always enjoyed playing with on the odd occasion. It also seems to be the next generation, being a wristband with a touch screen rather than the egg thing.

    It was behaving weirdly to start with, working wonderfully in our favour, with most things seemingly not up to date and sitting on weird timings like a ‘4 minute queue’.

    So each of the first few rides were ready by the time we walked to it.

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    Always had Mindbender as one of those big names that’s a bit of a classic, almost one of the star attractions here. Was a bit of a let down really.
    It was just some loops and stuff, with a bit of nice (for Six Flags) landscaping.

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    Another Batman that didn’t quite perform at its best.

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    Pass was definitely broke for Dare Devil Dive with it being another walk on. A seething queue of what looked to be at least 2 hours were watching 2 out of every 6 seats on a car get filled by fast pass, while the remaining 4 seats were poorly batching groups of inappropriate sizes. Then it broke down as we left. The system works.

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    It was nice to have lap bars and a bit of a different layout on one of these. It’s not fantastic, but enjoyable enough. Got a mixture of awkward forces. Rides ok.

    I was still counting down (or up) to my 800 at this stage, working out how many more we needed to hit before the main event. Suddenly the pass seemed to get a hold of its senses and showed queue times that ended in 0s and 5s. The RMC was now 90 and remained that way for the rest of the day. Better book it then.

    Did some actual queues while that was being eaten away, starting with this weird Chance thing.

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    What an odd layout. Lift hill a quarter of the size of the ride, a drop, a corner, a tunnel, a kicker wheel cos it’s already too slow, a corner, and now we need some more tyre lift to get back into the station. That’ll do lads.

    Got lost on the way to the mine train, which took the prize for most unpleasant queue of the day. Seemed short walking in, but the station is huge with air gate queues of about 20 people each, all rammed in and sweating.

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    Ride was bad too, more dumb layouts. Diablo had comedy with its lift hill that leads to nothing, but this was just moving through leaves at 5mph for several sections in a row until the tunnel at the end that was weirdly rough. Served its purpose, taking me to 799.

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    It’s time.

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    Another RMC I know nothing about. It’s got a cool little pre-lift section, I’ve missed these. The first drop is amazing as always, then you get Wicked Cyclone’s uphill inversion into Twisted Timber’s downhill inversion. Clearly the trio aren’t just linked in name alone.

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    There’s a few more punches of ridiculous airtime in there, in between more funky stuff, keeping it varied again, but then it ends very suddenly by hitting the brakes at what feels like full speed.

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    So I love what it does, but it’s done a Lightning Rod again and left me wanting more. Weird that both the other ones in the aforementioned trio get so much more out of their extra 10ft of height. Is this a conversion limitation?

    In quest for completion, headed over to the final section of the park, forgetting what half the creds actually were. Superman was down, Blue Hawk had a sign up about having only 1 train and looked awfully grim. Decided to book that and have some food while waiting.

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    Thought it was another flyer, but it ended up almost as bad. It looks deceptively new having been relocated and repainted, but it’s basically blue Goudurix and it rides worse. At least it’s a somewhat rare breed.

    Lost the claim to worst ride in the park to GASM immediately after though, which also claimed worse ride of the trip for me. Not good.

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    When woodies catch me the wrong way they really suck hard, and this just didn’t want me to enjoy it. Struggling to describe what it was doing, but it’s like when SLCs do that weird forwards and backwards pumping motion, but not in a funny way and it only affects your internal organs, not the rest of your body. It wasn’t career endingly bad like Nash, but it’s another ride I would never risk again, particularly when it had no redeeming features anyway.

    Superman remained broke, even though it tested, so that was the best we could do with this place. At least it looked 100x nicer than the other one.

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    Did the Monster Mansion cos it’s old and cool. Didn’t quite understand it, sailing through a flooded mansion to be told not to go to the swamp. Going to the swamp. Monsters. Getting out of the swamp by someone firing a cannon? Hilarious noise. End.
    What a charmer, Six Flags should have more stuff like this to break up the monotony of concrete and rides.

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    As the lineup wasn’t all that fantastic, we were now left in a position of having to wait out any more flash pass stuff by just sitting outside and not suffering the actual queues. Queue times didn’t show any signs of improving so we just got the magic 3 on the wrong TC and left early to take some pics from the outside.

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    Got approached by a security guard for photographing this thing from an unsigned service road who thought we were up to something dodgy. Took us explaining where we were from and trying to convince him that we had basically come to this part of the world for
    “THAT RIDE?! Why is that so special…”
    “Umm…”
    “Did you ride it as the old one?”
    “No…”
    before he made us leave anyway. Odd.

    On paper this was the nicest Six Flags yet, as nothing particularly went wrong. Just a shame the queues were big, the rides weren’t the strongest and 2 of the B&Ms spited. I still don’t really like any of their parks then.

    Up next: a mission of madness.
     
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  5. Hutch

    Hutch Active Member

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    Did you not do Arachnophobia? I thought it was one of the better drop towers I've done. You're strapped in sort of in a standing position, but left dangling. That position, combined with the fact that it actually tilts you downward a bit at the top, actually made me a bit nervous when waiting for the drop.
     
  6. HeartlineCoaster

    HeartlineCoaster Active Member

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    Nah, think it's one of those ones I'd describe as falling on your balls, so not for me.
    I've done actual standing position with tilting (Apocalypse at Drayton). That'll do.


    This day was free to cover a lot of things going wrong in other parts of the trip, but we had done very well on getting everything major, so the regular plan was just revisits on route back to the starting point for fun.
    You know what would be cool?
    Riding 2 gigas in a day.
    So we did.

    Day 11 – Carowinds

    Back here again for opening, knowing the procedure like the back of our hand, feels like home already.

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    Couple of Copperheads.

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    An Afterburn. Still good.

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    A bonus cred! Kiddy Hawk opened for us. Park complete.


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    Couple of Furys. Hit the road.


    It was another long old drive to be doing in the middle of a park day, but we were spurred on by the idea of re-rides of our favourite RMC of the trip. Arrived late afternoon without any particular hitches.

    Kings Dominion

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    Couple of Intimidators. Mission complete.

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    A Dominator. Still not good.

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    A bonus cred! The other side of Racer 75 opened for us. Park complete.

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    Twisted Timbers til we bleed. Almost.
    Coulda gone more, but my cred counting companion was evidently battered by this stage of the trip (lightweight) and then some undesirables soured the experience – weird old people clearly on drugs started causing a scene in the queue while the staff didn’t know how to handle it.
    Got an insane ride in the rain and another couple of night laps though. It reconfirmed the doubts that it wasn’t just the first RMC of the trip getting us back in the game and feeling better than the rest, it actually was better.

    One more park to go. Everyone’s favourite.
     
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  7. HeartlineCoaster

    HeartlineCoaster Active Member

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    And here we are. Final bit of fun before the airport.

    Day 12 - Six Flags America

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    Visually another place that blows GAdv out of the water. Lets see what the fuss is about.

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    Started strong on yet another Great Chase, yet another Zamperla 80STD. There had been a tornado overnight (we had just missed it on the last couple of days which was a shame as I wanted to add it to the weather event collection), so the staff guy was nice enough to clean up the seats before letting us on.

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    Ragin' Cajun is good for the name alone. People that hate on this park name it as one of the worst rollercoasters in the world, but it's just a completely standard spinner. People are wrong.


    Wild One was being spiteful, but the staff guy was amusing, standing under a deafening speaker playing mardi gras music and seeming physically terrified of anyone who came and asked about it. More on that later.

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    Spitebird was being spiteful of course.

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    New for 2019. Toilets.

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    Outdoor Flight of Fear wasn't as disorientating, but seeing the tangled mess of supports whizzing by was quite a sight to behold.

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    Glad everything was walk on, queues looked grim.
    It closed for wind just after we got on it. Good.

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    On to this hilarious piece of steel. I believe this is my last in the set of unique Intamin Mega/Hyper layouts and what a layout!

    The sequence of events still makes me laugh now. It starts by presenting you with what a hill looks like. Then a glorious straight line and a giant helix. A giant, rattling, speed losing, pointless helix.
    Another glorious straight line.
    Another hill that does nothing.
    Another giant helix, this time in the upwards direction.
    It just leaves you sitting there watching what's going on around you and not really 'riding' anything in the true sense, thinking what the hell were they thinking.

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    A couple of hills happen at the end of mild significance. Intamin at their finest.

    Is this the one that had VR? A dent in the car we were sitting in reminded me of @gavin's story about smashing his face on it. I hope that was him leaving his mark.

    Batwing was on staggered openings, so we went to Roar, which broke down in front of our face due to wind.

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    Leaving us with the SLC. Looks pretty good for what it is. Rides alright. Middle of the road.

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    Roar had then fixed itself. Like Hurler, it was interesting to ride something which resembled what Joker used to be, spotting what they'd done with it, remembering better times.
    Ride itself? Meh. GCI again. Old trains made it a change of pace at least.

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    Back to Batwing. Longest queue of the day @ 10 minutes.

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    This thing fixed everything that was wrong with the original.
    The putting you on your back mechanism was smooth and sophisticated.
    They changed the shape of the final inversions so they dont physically assault you.
    They added a bonus helix!
    It only ran one train so you didn't lie on the brakes at the end.
    Quite liked it to be honest. Solidified the experience as more forceful and interesting than Air.

    It also closed for wind just after we got it.

    All that was left was Wild One. Went back to our guy to get the same old lack of information. Saw some activity over in the distance.

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    The reason it was closed was that the wind had blown down this stupid Snickers banner from the side of the ride. Entertained ourselves by watching them slowly climb around and remove it.
    It took down a piece of wood with it, who knows whether it was structural. We didn't care at this point. Just run the thing so we can ride it and leave. Then they did.

    Back over to our guy, still getting nervous and still not opening. Another man stuck his head out of the station and shouted down to him.
    "You can go on your lunch now."
    "Is the ride open?"
    "No. You can go to lunch now."
    Quote of the day - "Someone NEEDS to be here."

    Then he went to lunch. The very second he left, 50 guests turned up out of nowhere and instantly powered into the closed queue, fulfilling his prophecy that someone needed to be there. Still laughing, we followed them in.

    The station staff showed no resistance at this point, sending the ride for another test with us standing there. Then it opened. Success.

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    Best ride in the park, not that it was hard to achieve. Decent enough ol' woodie with the right level of shake, rattle and roll, plus a bonus helix.

    And that was that. Don't see the problem with this place at all. The lineup is lacking by Six Flags standards of course, but the park itself is perfectly pleasant and a good little half day out.

    Goodbye America.
     
  8. HeartlineCoaster

    HeartlineCoaster Active Member

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    Summary time

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    New creds - 96
    Total parks - 10
    RMCs - 4
    Miles travelled - 3200
    Current savings on car parking costs - $401
    Best coaster - Skyrush
    Best park - Dollywood
    Spites - 4/100 (4.0%)
     
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  9. davidm

    davidm Well-Known Member

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    Good trip/report - some fair old driving in there! :)
     
  10. Hixee

    Hixee Flojector Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    Indeed, really getting the hang of these big American trips it seems!

    Good to see your perspective on these parks. Thanks for writing it up.
     

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