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

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

  1. Antinos

    Antinos Well-Known Member

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    So if you haven't seen the Trip Plans for 2017 thread recently, I'm planning on visiting a couple parks this summer: http://forums.coasterforce.com/threads/trip-plans-for-2017.40460/page-7#post-990356

    I figured it'd be worthwhile to start a thread for all (let's be honest, it'll likely be most as I'll probably forget this thread) of my park visits throughout the year. I can't promise a full journal style write up for each park, especially since I'd rather not write about yet another visit to Cedar Point or my 8th visit to Kentucky Kingdom to whore Storm Chaser after work, but I'll attempt to put in a solid effort for the new parks or the ones I seldom get to visit.

    So let's start with Cedar Point, shall we?

    - First thing's first...Mean Streak: http://forums.coasterforce.com/thre...onversion-rmc-i-box.40073/page-45#post-991285
    - The park was experiencing opening weekend growing pains. It was evident that employees were still green and there were frequent, minor breakdowns all across the park. Magnum didn't even open today.
    - Ripcord has a new location where Shoot The Rapids used to be and blends in quite well.
    - Maverick was running great today.
    - Millennium Force, unfortunately, gave its worst ride in probably seven or eight years for me. It was a bit surprising as the park has been taking great care of the ride over the past few years and it's been aging like a fine wine, getting a bit faster and more intense every year. Hopefully it'll run great again once the weather warms up.
    - The park expanded their barn yard and features more animals, including some emus, hares, a second camel, and a lot more goats. I thought it was pretty neat to see all the kids getting up close to the animals.
    - Cedar Point Shores looks like a snoozefest, but is anybody surprised?

    I'll leave everyone with this photo of Sampson. If you get to the Point this summer, take some time to say hello to Sampson and Ardee:

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Antinos

    Antinos Well-Known Member

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    I'm all settled in down in Louisville and I'll be heading to Holiday World tomorrow, but I decided that it'd be worthwhile to better explain WHY I'm in Louisville.

    As some of you may or may not know, I'm a product development engineer for Ford Motor Company. We have two assembly plants in the Louisville area. About every three years or so, a vehicle program has significant enough changes where it requires a large team of engineers to "launch" the vehicle. Ford sent me down to our Kentucky Truck Plant to help launch these:

    2018 Ford Expedition:
    [​IMG]

    2018 Lincoln Navigator:
    [​IMG]


    The UK members won't see these unless they hop the pond as they're not European products, but I'm sure that I align with you in thinking that they're land yachts. The Expedition and Navigator have both been around for two decades, yet this is the first time they've been completely redone from the ground up. They feature an aluminum body, new architecture, revamped powertrains, and much more technology than their previous generations. They're quite an exciting product, especially to a company that makes tons and tons of cash off of its trucks.

    But what exactly is launch? Launch consists, on a high level, of the following (but not limited to nor in any particular order):

    - Engineering verifying that all the parts go together properly and in a timely manner
    - Engineering verifying that all systems work as intended with no detraction to customer satisfaction
    - For complete redesigns like this, completely gutting most of the plant and setting up all new tooling: stamping presses, welders, riveters, trim lines, etc.
    - Redoing the flow of materials to the plant, around and through the plant, and out of the plant
    - Retraining each shift on how to assemble the new parts

    Launch is absolutely insane. On paper (or on a computer screen), everything works properly in theory. It's an entirely different animal when products start getting built and people learn that various designs aren't quite as ergonomic as planned or holes don't line up, or there were missed interferences, or something isn't sealing properly, and the list goes on and on. I'll be here til the end of November, but launches are typically a 10-15 month endeavor of working 60-90 hour weeks, including weekends. It's gonna be a blast.


    Despite the hours, I've had some time to explore the area around me a bit. My apartment is located along the Ohio River and next to a bike trail. I'm quickly learning that Louisville has a fantastic food scene - I'm sure I'll be biking about Louisville to go grab dinner or hit up a bar. Here's a few more photos from around Louisville - just to make the post a bit more interesting:

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    If anybody has any questions regarding launch or the vehicles, I'll gladly answer them as long as people don't ask about sensitive information. Stay tuned for Holiday World!
     
    Mysterious Sue likes this.
  3. Snoo

    Snoo Well-Known Member

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    Gayyyyyy. :p
     
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  4. Hixee

    Hixee Moderator Staff Member Moderator CF Award Winner 2016

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    I thought Louisville was really fab when I started my trip there last year. Seemed like a lively and interesting city.

    Plus, Storm Chaser and Lightning Run are literally just down the road. <3
     
  5. Antinos

    Antinos Well-Known Member

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    One of the nice things about Holiday World (and Kentucky Kingdom for that matter) is that it's easily doable on Saturdays. We got to sleep in, mosey about, and stop at Waffle House before arriving at the park around 11:30am. We faffed about quite a bit and were still done in four hours.

    Raven was up first. It still delivers a fast paced, intense ride through the woods. I only wish they were able to extend the ride about another 500 feet to make it feel a bit more complete.

    Voyage was up next, which had our longest queue of the day - about 30 minutes. The ride was running swiftly and further solidified its spot in my Top 10. Seriously - if anybody hasn't had a chance to visit yet and ride this monster, figure out a way to get here.

    We stopped at Gobbler Getaway before heading up the hill to Thunderbird. Gobbler Getaway is a silly little dark ride shooter and acts as a great way to cool off on a hot day. Thunderbird, being in the farthest corner of the park, had no line whatsoever so we rode twice, once on each side. Left side is definitely the better side and this wing coaster is definitely the best that I've been on.

    Legend was our last stop before heading back to Louisville. Even with a significant retracking, people still hate this ride and I honestly don't know why. There's only one bad valley which contains jackhammering and that's prior to the turnaround. The laterals in the helix are a bit much, but by no means is the helix a bad section of the ride. The revised ending is my favorite part, with some good pops of air in the lead ins and lead outs of the turns. Who knows - maybe people will thaw out with a few more rides on it.

    This trip was a quick one - it was hot, we were tired, and we were looking forward to a fantastic meal and some beer back in Louisville. We ended up eating at HopCat, a Grand Rapids, MI based taproom that's expanding throughout the midwest. I've only been able to get into their Detroit location twice, so I'm tickled pink to see a massive venue that looked half empty within biking distance from me.

    As always, the obligatory photos:

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    Where to next? Let's see how long it takes me to go pick up my Kentucky Kingdom season pass (voucher's sitting on my desk, I just have to run over there).
     
    Mysterious Sue likes this.
  6. Hixee

    Hixee Moderator Staff Member Moderator CF Award Winner 2016

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    Ahhh, empty Voyage trains. Love how much they rattle and shake when they're empty. They still do with people in, mind, but it's not quite as noticeable.

    Thunderbird is so fab. Nothing else to say, just wanted to type that out again.
     
  7. GuyWithAStick

    GuyWithAStick Captain Basic Staff Member Moderator Social Media Team

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    Holiday World is such a wonderful park. Glad to hear you liked it!

    Voyage and Thunderbird are two incredible coasters. Definitely the best in their classes.
     
  8. Mysterious Sue

    Mysterious Sue Well-Known Member

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    Wow, can Holiday World really be done that quickly? I always assumed it would be a full day park.
    Glad to hear you enjoyed it though. And Louisville looks quite fab.
     
  9. Snoo

    Snoo Well-Known Member

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    Nope! HW is half day tops. Last year we did both Kentucky Kingdom and HW in the same day with plenty of time at both parks.
     
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  10. Antinos

    Antinos Well-Known Member

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    There is certainly enough there to warrant staying an entire day. It was my 4th trip in two years and it's an hour away, so I skipped the rerides on the coasters and flat rides like their flying scooters, their shot tower, and the star flyer, and instead simply got my coaster fix. Doing all of these combined with spending a few hours in their water park, one can definitely turn their visit into a full day at the park.

    Turns out Kentucky Kingdom mailed my pass to my parents' house back in Detroit. They sent it down here and it should arrive in a few days.
     
  11. SimonSays99

    SimonSays99 Guest

    These cars won't fit into our standard parking spaces and garages...

    Holiday World is such a great park - sadly so in the middle of nowhere.
     
  12. Mysterious Sue

    Mysterious Sue Well-Known Member

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    Reshuffles trip plans...
     
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  13. Snoo

    Snoo Well-Known Member

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    When you hopping? I want to meet up! :D
     
  14. LiveForTheLaunch

    LiveForTheLaunch Well-Known Member

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    I have to disagree about Holiday World being a half day park. If you want to do it as a cred run, you can easily be out in two hours, but the park (although not amazingly themed) has wonderful charm and one of the best water parks I have been to, which warrants more than half a day. The coasters are almost all rerideable, and Mammoth/Wildebeast are the most insane water slides I have been on and should not be missed! I am really not picky with rough rides, but I do disagree about Legend. I had an unenjoyable ride on it, but I was sitting on the right side of the car so I think maybe my left side hitting the seat divider may have contributed to the pain I experienced. Voyage is still amazing, but I wish that it was running like it did back in 2009-2010.
     
  15. Mysterious Sue

    Mysterious Sue Well-Known Member

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    @Snoo I'm planning to come over in early September (I'm there for work, it's not the date I would pick myself). Not 100% on the itinerary yet but hope to do a loop out from Detroit. Will do a planning topic when I know as it'd be fab to meet up with a few of you lovelies again.

    Thanks for the tips @LiveForTheLaunch. I like a waterpark but, if I end up going to the park alone, doing the water park would be a bit too weird I think.
     
  16. Antinos

    Antinos Well-Known Member

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    They hardly fit in ours!


    Definitely keep us in the loop, @Mysterious Sue! We'd love to see you, especially if you're coming to our neck of the woods!


    This past weekend, I drove up to Columbus for a wedding. We were going to run to the zoo to grab the +1 there but weather and time constraints unfortunately left us in a less than ideal situation. I ended up heading home such that I could finish a grad school assignment (yet here I am writing a trip report instead), but I decided to stop at Kings Island to grab Mystic Timbers...because priorities.

    I was quite critical of the ride when it was first announced. GCI needed a winner as they hadn't built a ride in the US in four years due to their reluctance to make anything other than traditional wooden roller coasters. The ride seemed like a questionable business decision from Kings Island, considering how The Beast is right next door. Kings Island even went as far as to block me on Twitter due to my criticism:

    [​IMG]


    So how was it? After a 30 minute wait and a lap in the 2nd to last row, I was impressed. GCI absolutely delivered and Mystic Timbers as a roller coaster exceeded my expectations. Adam House and the team did a fantastic job in designing a relentless, non-stop ride filled with a good mix of floater and ejector airtime and directional changes. Most turns had a lead in and lead out that was shaped such that it provided airtime - subtleties that put Mystic Timbers above many of GCI's other rides. It's not the best wooden coaster ever - one would be crazy to prefer it to an RMC. Yet the ride is a solid, fun coaster that, in my opinion, shows that GCI can still hang with the top dogs in modern coaster design.

    Kings Island, on the other hand...I expected disappointment in the shed but what the :emoji_zipper_mouth: was that shed? They can keep me blocked on Twitter because the shed is just so stupid, it's actually a buzzkill. All of my excitement from a good ride died off in the shed. Completely silly.

    My other complaint is the amount of trees that were removed from the area. The ride was marketed as a "terrain hugging race through the trees," yet there are sections of the ride where the ride runs through open space. The lack of trees is so unfortunate because the ride could seem even quicker and have more excitement if it were surrounded like The Raven at Holiday World. Oh well...onto the generic photos that everyone's already seen:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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    In other coaster related news, my Kentucky Kingdom pass arrived! Unfortunately, I don't think I will get a chance to visit the park for a month as I will be studying for a final exam this week. I leave for California the day after my exam to do some butt stuff with @tomahawk, and by that I mean Knott's, Magic Mountain, Disney, California's Great America, and Discovery Kingdom. He's referring to it as "The Disappointment Tour," I'm just excited to finally ride Tatsu.

    More to come!
     
  17. Mysterious Sue

    Mysterious Sue Well-Known Member

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    What on earth did you say to get blocked? XD

    I gave in recently and watched some POVs of the shed. I likes the 80s as much as the next person but it all seems a bit odd and...unnecessary, especially if the ride is good in its own right as you suggest.
     
  18. Snoo

    Snoo Well-Known Member

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    It is if you want to cred run which is what I was pointing out. We've spent many a day there and not even been to the water park. I could do MANY small parks as a full day even though their ride supply is lacking.

    Yay! I know a number of us folks who you've met before would love to see your face. :)
     
  19. Antinos

    Antinos Well-Known Member

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    I think it must have been when I quoted a tweet of theirs where they said something along the lines of "are you ready for a terrain hugging race through the trees?" My reply was more or less "yet the attached photo shows a section of the ride on flat ground with no trees around."

    Honestly, the ending is quite a lot like Adventure Express, but I doubt they centered Adventure Express' entire marketing campaign around the ending.
     
  20. Coaster Hipster

    Coaster Hipster Well-Known Member

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    Glad Mystic Timbers exceeded your expectations. I was part of the skeptics as well, and it's truly interesting to hear so many people warming up to the ride! Oh and your pictures might be generic, they still look great to me :)
     

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