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

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

  1. Coaster Hipster

    Coaster Hipster Well-Known Member

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    Your pictures are truly beautiful! Excellent camera quality, at least from my noob perspective ^^

    Flight Deck looks really appealing with its new colour scheme and the sunny weather. Too bad the coaster itself is underwhelming and dated. Flight Deck on the other hand seems very exciting!
     
  2. Antinos

    Antinos Social Media Team Social Media Team

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    All of these photos with the exception of Disney and a few Hawaii photos have been from my Google Pixel XL phone. The camera is pretty excellent for a phone's camera.
     
  3. Antinos

    Antinos Social Media Team Social Media Team

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    Alright, I happened to be at the Columbus Zoo this past weekend, except I did a terrible job at documenting anything, so I'll have to resort to the lovely RCDB for this bit of the report.

    So what was the occasion? It was @Snoo's daughter's birthday, of course! I actually ended up taking Mini Snoo off of his hands for a few hours. And yes - Mini Snoo - because she was so excited to ride Sea Dragon and giggled for the entire duration of the ride. Like father, like daughter.

    Anyway...the section of the zoo where Sea Dragon resides used to be an adjacent amusement park called Wyandot Lake, which in its latter years was owned by Six Flags (like Geauga Lake). In Parallel, the zoo underwent a massive transformation after Jack Hanna came in to improve the grounds. The zoo was revamped, Wyandot Lake was assimilated, and the entire property is now regarded as one of the best zoos in the country.

    Sea Dragon stands a mere 35 feet tall. It's essentially a predecessor of the mini wooden coasters at the former Paramount parks (and Michigan's Adventure but who gives a flying :emoji_zipper_mouth: about that park) with a few minor differences. The ride features a curved station and trains with buzz bars. So yeah...tiny ride that doesn't do a whole lot but is still fun.

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    Yeah.

    It was a great weekend in Columbus. We also got to hang out with @Hyde. Here is a proof:





    More to come!
     
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  4. Antinos

    Antinos Social Media Team Social Media Team

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    Last week was one hell of a week at work. Our launch team had multiple director reviews and pulled some insanely late hours. During all of this, I looked up the distance from Louisville to Atlanta and said ":emoji_zipper_mouth: it, I'm doing Six Flags over Georgia this weekend." @pkiknex25 met me at my place at around 4:00pm this past Friday and we were off!

    Joker Funhouse Coaster - certainly a bizarre family coaster. It starts off with a drop above an abnormally large entrance plaza for a kiddie coaster, but then dives down below said entrance plaza. After a few helices and some neat midway interaction, the train is back in the station.

    Superman: Ultimate Flight - Superman got a fresh paint job sometime recently. The track is all red now instead of red and yellow and the supports are a slightly darker shade of blue. The ride looks pretty nice! This installment of S:UF was by far the best out of the three flying coasters. It had the bone crushing G's in the pretzel loop like the one at SFGAdv, but the terrain really set itself apart. Much like Tatsu, there are a few subtle spots where suddenly the ground is not close to you anymore. More flying coasters like this please.

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    Battle for Metropolis - It was a pretty good dark ride shooter. It started off a bit slow with too many cut scenes, but the interactive portion was extremely fun. The virtual targets were new to me as well.

    Great American Scream Machine
    - It's not good, but it's not bad. It jackhammers, but it's not painful. It's tall but there's not much airtime. A for effort I guess?

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    Blue Hawk - The former Ninja seems to have had a really bad reputation in the past so I'll admit I was apprehensive to ride. Fortunately, the ride has new trains with the vest restraints - a game changer. Not only did I get off the ride thinking it was not rough at all, I actually thought it was quite enjoyable. The butterfly is extremely intense and the layout between the butterfly and corkscrews is fast paced and fun. You can still feel where all of the bumps would be on Ninja, but the vests are forgiving and allow you to move with the bumps. I would be more than happy with every Vekoma (and even Arrow) looper like this receiving these new trains if they improve a ride as much as this one.

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    Dare Devil Dive - We tried to ride this first thing, but it wasn't open yet. Thus, we had to suck up our :emoji_poop: and wait. Luckily, they weren't utilizing VR and the ride ops were doing a pretty good job at keeping trains moving. Hands down, Dare Devil Dive is one of the smoothest roller coasters that I've ever been on. I liked how tricky and technical all of the elements were - the airtime in the dive loop's roll, the airtime in the immelmann's exit, the upwards barrel roll, etc. It really was a great little ride!

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    Mindbender - It's a classic Schwarzkopf, so you know it's going to be excellent. It's unbelievably good. Mindbender's layout flows so nicely - both loops have the typical Schwarzkopf intensity but are broken up by a few moseying curves and the giant and ultra intense rose bowl. I can't put into words how much fun this ride is - it's just so damn good.

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    Batman: The Ride - Another delicious Batman clone. This one didn't seem to have quite as much oomph as the others, but you won't hear me complaining.

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    Goliath - I spent the entire '05/'06 offseason watching this ride get built. With every photo (construction or complete) and every POV I saw, I thought to myself "yeah, there's no way that's not an amazing ride." Like Tatsu, I finally got to ride this monster. Although a bit rattly in the first few valleys, Daddy G is an airtime monster and its helix turnaround is pure coaster nirvana. I loved every second of it.

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    Dahlonega Mine Train - At the beginning of the ride, I looked at the layout and wondered what in the world this ride was. It's bizarre. It has three lifthills and they're all short. The ride doesn't seem to go anywhere or do anything. Yet as the ride went on, I found myself enjoying it somehow. So much better than the one at Six Flags St Louis.

    Acrophobia - Now THIS is how you drop tower. For whatever reason, there aren't many drop towers in the United States that tilt your seats. Holy :emoji_zipper_mouth:ing :emoji_poop: it was terrifying.

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    Georgia Scorcher - If all stand ups were like this, B&M would still be selling them. Scorcher had the classic B&M forcefulness with some nice twists and turns and even a bit of airtime here and there. It's layout flowed the nicest out of the few stand ups I've been on.

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    Overall thoughts - I'm pleasantly surprised at how nice the park was . There was tons of shade throughout the park and the entire park was quite scenic. The operations were halfway decent and we didn't have that typical "have a Six Flags day" snafu as we've come to expect. Finally, as you can probably tell by my summaries of each ride, I thought the park's lineup was absolutely stellar. It took such a long time to get down here for a number of different reasons (geographic location, airfare, never going to Atlanta, etc), but I'm glad I finally got to make it down here.

    Georgia Cyclone. While there's no visible signs of deconstruction yet, we could hear saws when walking by the ride in the morning.

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    I'll have another post tomorrow. When originally drafting this little road trip, we considered Dollywood (expensive for only a few hours that we'd be able to allot), Carowinds (I didn't want to spend 11 hours in a car today), and Alabama Adventure (we would have if they had more than just Rampage), but we ended up deciding on Lake Winnie, which was right on the way back to Louisville.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2017
  5. ASteelersMidget

    ASteelersMidget Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like SFoG is one of the better parks in the chain. I don't know if and when I'll get down there to visit but after reading your report I'm actively looking forward to it. Maybe when Cyclone re-opens I'll have to get down there.
     
  6. Hixee

    Hixee Flojector Staff Member Moderator CF Award Winner 2016

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    Quoted to save myself typing out that exact post. ;)
     
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  7. Antinos

    Antinos Social Media Team Social Media Team

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    Honestly, we viewed Lake Winnie as a cred run. We thought we'd be in and out in less than an hour - a nice way to break up the drive a bit. Little did we know as we walked up to the entrance of a park that had screaming similarities to Knoebel's, Waldameer, Stricker's, and the charm of Indiana Beach, that we were in for a real treat.

    Wild Lightnin' - I can't remember going on an L&T Systems wild mouse before. The second half was a bit different than the typical mouse. It was alright!

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    Cannonball - A John Allen classic! Cannonball stands a mere 70 feet and features an out and back layout, but it's so enjoyable. It's fairly smooth for its age and features original rolling stock with buzz bars and skid brakes. Such a fun piece of history.

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    Wacky Worm - @pkiknex25 swiped his wacky worm v-card here. I'm still not quite sure why people enjoy these as much as they do, but whatever: +1.

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    Overall thoughts - we completely fell in love with this tiny park's charm. It's absolutely adorable and extremely inviting. We wanted to stay and keep riding the rides, but we knew that would mean a late arrival back home. We also rode the drop tower and their cable cars as well as snapped a few photos before heading out. I wish there were more places like this, but if that were the case, it probably wouldn't feel as magical as it did.

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    Lake Winnie had us feeling some type of way, so we did some research and found out that Beech Bend sells discounted tickets after 3:00pm. After leaving Lake Winnie and taking a quick detour to cross the Alabama state line for the state cred, we were on to our next park! I'll have a write up posted tomorrow.
     
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  8. Hixee

    Hixee Flojector Staff Member Moderator CF Award Winner 2016

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    I don't think anyone actually likes them. They like the +1. ;)

    Looks like a cute little park, and I'm loving the aesthetic of the white woodie against the blue sky and [somewhat] green grass.
     
  9. Antinos

    Antinos Social Media Team Social Media Team

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    ^Can't beat that aesthetic!


    We met foreboding skies and some sprinkles as we crossed back into Kentucky - we were going to have to make the call whether to go or not as we were arriving in Bowling Green. After stopping for a bite to eat at Culver's, we committed to quickly running through Beech Bend.

    Kentucky Rumbler - This ride gets quite a bit of flak, so we were apprehensive as we walked up to the entrance. It had been raining at the park earlier, as evidenced by the dark wood and still wet pavement. Based on how we slammed outward in every turn, the ride was probably operating 5-10 mph faster than it normally does. The ride was filled with strong airtime and intense laterals from start to finish. Rumbler only had one bad spot - there was a shockingly jarring shimmy in a turning valley about 2/3 through the ride. Despite that small drawback, we thought this GCI was better than we were led to believe.

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    Spin Out - I'm still not sure what this ride is. It's technically a coaster with two lifts and then the manufacturer decided to throw in some spinning coaches to make things interesting. The ride is more fun than one would think, to be completely honest.

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    Wild Mouse - A Zamperla spinning wild mouse. The top half provided an awful clanking in our coach as we exited every left turn. Fortunately, the bottom half more than made up for the poor top half. We observed that spinning was unlocked prior to a left turn, so @pkiknex25 and I sat on the left side. The seats were unlocked, the chassis turned, and our mass proceeded in a straight path until the end of travel which induced some excellent spinning. Luckily for us, our spins were timed fantastically with the next three out of four corners. The corner before the bunny hop down the middle of the structure was timed perfectly with regard to the dynamics we experienced - we were sent into a whirl of enjoyment throughout the rest of the ride.

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    Overall Thoughts - I'd struggle to call Beech Bend a :emoji_poop:hole...at least I'd struggle to do so this year. Honestly, it appears that the park has put in some effort by paving the midways, but that hardly cuts it. The park has potential - if they at least used some facade to hide the fact that basically all of their flat rides are fixed to trailers, or do some landscaping on the sides of the midways, or built bathrooms where the counter wasn't bought at Home Depot, the park would look much more like a park instead of a glorified carnival. Although it lacked any and all charm that Lake Winnie had, we were satisfied with our visit, but just barely.


    Copying my list over here from the trip planning topic:

    Visited:
    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


    Planned:
    Darien Lake
    Seabreeze
    Fantasy Island
    Canada's Wonderland
    Waldameer (might as well since it's on the way home from those above)


    Hopefuls:
    Dollywood


    My next trip is up to upstate New York and Toronto to visit @Youngster Joey and company. After that, I'm sure I'll get to properly visit King's Island as well as stop by Kentucky Kingdom and Holiday World a few more times. Finally, it'd be a shame if I couldn't get down to Dollywood this year considering how close Louisville is to it. Time will tell.
     
  10. Snoo

    Snoo Well-Known Member

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    TWO WEEKS BITCHES
     
  11. Hixee

    Hixee Flojector Staff Member Moderator CF Award Winner 2016

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    At first glance I thought it was you and Kevin running past in the first photo. :p

    I find Beech Bend such an uninspiring park. I mean, the woodie looks okay, I guess, but... no desire to visit to be honest.
     
  12. Mysterious Sue

    Mysterious Sue Well-Known Member

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    Finally caught up with all your adventures. Looks like you've had a really great summer!
    Forget the creds though, that train out through Cali is magnificent! Totally putting that on the bucket list.
     
  13. Antinos

    Antinos Social Media Team Social Media Team

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    Sweetheart, we leave in eight days <3


    Yeah...I'm still a bit surprised we decided to go, but what's done is done!


    It's been a blast so far! That route - Coast Starlight - actually runs from LA to Seattle. The entire trip duration is 36 hours and the scenery certainly makes the route worth it. The deserts and farmland give way to forests, hills, and snow covered peaks as the train heads north of where we disembarked.
     
  14. Coaster Hipster

    Coaster Hipster Well-Known Member

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    I love these reports! The regular updates and your good writing makes me truly feel you're on a memorable journey :)

    It kinds of remind me of Energylandia's new Spinning family thingy:

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    It found that one to be more eventful than it looks, but also fairly bouncy as well.


    Otherwise, Kentucky Rumbler has very good looks. Good to hear it's running well except for one bit!
     
  15. Antinos

    Antinos Social Media Team Social Media Team

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    And here we are again! Launch has been ramping up over the past few weeks as we push towards mass production. As a result, my life has been oscillating between hellish workweeks and much needed, amazing weekends - including this past weekend where many of the attendees got to visit some brand new parks that have been on our hit lists for years.

    It was time to get as much of the gang together as possible. I departed Louisville immediately after work last Thursday and met @pkiknex25 in Cincinnati. We hopped in his car and drove to @Snoo's house where we hopped in his van and drove to our hotel in Erie, PA. The next morning, we continued our drive up to Darien Lake where we met @ASteelersMidget and Erich.

    Predator - It appears that a large amount of carpentry has been done on this woodie recently. The structure is thicker and doesn't appear quite as normal as other wooden coasters might look. Fortunately, the park's efforts have paid off and Predator offers a pretty decent ride. It's nothing mind blowing, but the ride features some floater and laterals without any jackhammering or shuffling.

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    Ride of Steel - What a difference eight years makes. I rode RoS's clone back in 2009 as my 200th coaster and I though it was great. Seven RMCs and many other fantastic coasters later and the airtime these machines have to offer just can't hang. With that being said, it's by no means a bad or even mediocre ride. Ride of Steel does offer some new (as of last year?) trains with plain old T-bars which really aid in a fine experience.

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    Boomerang - It ended up being one of the better boomerangs I've ridden.

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    Motocoaster - I expected tame beyond all belief after Pony Express out at Knott's. The MUCH stronger launch should have been enough of an indicator that my relaxed, unprepared body was going to get whipped through the first turn. I was pleasantly surprised at how intense this little ride was. Not bad!

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    Viper - Started singing the Rolling Stones while on board because it's painted black. For a 35 year old coaster, it ran extremely well with the exception of the transitions at the top of the batwing, which decided to murder your neck. Certainly one of the better Arrow Loopers out there.

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    Mind Eraser - Well...that's exactly what I want to do...erase my mind of that experience. It sucked, and the ride ops got EXTREMELY mad at us for unbuckling our belts as we were rolling into the station. Whatever.

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    Overall thoughts - Darien Lake gets bashed so much and the park honestly doesn't deserve it. The park is actually quite lovely - it has a beautiful setting next to the lake and has plenty of trees and shade. Five of the six coasters we rode were better than expected and the rest of the rides (and slides at the waterpark) looked good as well. The park has an adorable kids area featuring a ride called Moose on the Loose. Although we didn't take the time to ride it, it's the cutest thing. For what it is - a smaller regional family park - it serves its purpose quite well.

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    The five of us stayed at the park for not quite two hours before heading to Joey's house in Rochester, NY. We relaxed a bit and grilled some food prior to heading to our next park on the trip: Seabreeze!
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2017
  16. ASteelersMidget

    ASteelersMidget Well-Known Member

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    I can't remember. Were we able to snap the scooters at Darien lake?

    Also I hadn't even realized this but apparently RMC did the retracking on predator recently.
     
  17. Hixee

    Hixee Flojector Staff Member Moderator CF Award Winner 2016

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    Glad you guys had a good time! Makes me miss those trips we did to Texas and the Live last year. I look forward to hearing the rest. :)
     
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  18. Mrsupersonic8

    Mrsupersonic8 Member

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    Thank you so much for giving my home park some love! Seriously, Predator isn't as bad as people say it is. The only coaster in the park that's really bad is Mind Eraser, but that's a given seeing as it's an SLC. What the park REALLY needs is a new coaster, either by way of building the Intamin stand-up they have in storage, replacing Mind Eraser with a B&M invert, or possibly an RMC I-Box conversion for Predator (which, funnily enough, was planned in the past but fell through). Given the current financial state of the park, though, I have a feeling that it won't happen any time in the near future. Oh well, wishful thinking, eh?
     
  19. ASteelersMidget

    ASteelersMidget Well-Known Member

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    This probably isn't the place for this discussion, but i don't think the stand up can really be put back together because of the way they had to tear it down. Hopefully with the new ownership group in place they'll actually install a new coaster. There's a few rumors floating about for 2018/2019 but if there's one thing I've learned about Darien Lake over the last 18 years or so it's not to get my hopes up. I'll believe the rumors floating around when the ride opens.
     
  20. Snoo

    Snoo Well-Known Member

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    Darien was.. interesting to say the least. Good news! I won't really have to go back. :p
     

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