What's new

My Dream Trip to America's East Coast

CookieCoasters

Active Member
My family and I have been planning to do this trip for over 2 years, ever since my real enthusiasm for coasters set in. I picked the most renowned parks on this side of the US to visit to fulfil a dream holiday that may even surpass our trips to Florida a couple of years ago.

First we flew into Boston, and drove to Mystic, CT. We originally planned a stay here mainly because it was one of the places my parents didn't get to visit on our New England holiday 3 years ago and because I knew that going to a theme park on the 4th of July was not the best idea.

However, we decided as we had woken up very early on our first day (3rd of July) to go to Lake Compounce first as opposed to going to it at the end of the holiday like we originally had planned. The rainy weather forecast didn't give us the best hope, but we thought we'd risk it.

We went to LC on the holiday I mentioned above, back when we were naive enough to think that an education day wouldn't have much impact on crowds. We didn't spend much time here because the queues were long-ish and I didn't feel very well anyway, so I was glad to return and give the park (and Boulderdash) the justice it deserved.

After a bit of faff, due to our Sat Nav taking us to the service/employee entrance, we eventually got to the park about 20 mins before opening. As the gates opened my heart raced as the first theme park of this amazing trip begun.

Shockingly we headed straight for Boulderdash. Thankfully due to the park being very quiet because of the forecasted rain (even though it stayed sunny all day) the ride was a 1-2 train wait at most even with one train operations. On our first ride we rode in the front of the back car, because I tend to find that woodies are better in the back of train. I only got to ride it once on my last visit and I thought it was pretty good, but didn't particularly stick in my memory. This time it made much more of an impression.

To sum it up, this thing is FAST!!!! There's no doubting it's relentless pace, airtime, intensity and laterals are all in abundance here. Generally speaking, the roughness is of an acceptable level to make the coaster feel more exciting, although when I tried the very back row I found it bit too brutal on the return journey (mainly on the double-up). I found that the airtime was frequent with a nice mixture of ejector and floater, and there weren't really any boring sections. Not a coaster to ride if you're looking for a snooze.

I have to say its brilliant coaster, just not a number 1 for me. I can see why it may be many people's favourite because it essentially has all the ingredients for a perfect coaster, but I just didn't fall completely in love with it. I found some of the laterals and transitions to be awkward and slightly uncomfortable, which detracted a bit from the experience. I rode at the front as well, which I'd say was probably smoother, but had less of an out-of-control feeling. Overall, it is still one of my favourite woodies and definitely the most impressive CCI woodie I've ridden. 9/10

After my first two rides on Boulderdash, I had a go on their turbo drop tower Downtime. Just your typical model from S&S, fun but not amazing.

Next, I made my way over to Zoomerang, which I didn't ride last time. Yah for it being my first +1 of the trip, but boo for it being a boomerang. To be fair, it was one of the better boomerangs I've ridden because it was pretty smooth, but they get a bit boring after riding more than one of them. So decent, but not as awesome as Speed of Sound <3. 6/10

After Zoomerang, we got a free drink from one of the Pepsi drink stand places and proceeded to talk about how awesome these free drink stands are and how more parks should do this. We then made our way along by the lake past Boulderdash's 'back' section to the Mountain Rapids.

I remember the rapids ride being pretty good last time and was pleased to see it was the same again. I don't know why I like it so much, but there is just quite a lot of actual rapids (as opposed to just relying on showers) and although it was a tad slow, it never really got boring and there was always the potential to get very wet. Definitely, my second fav ride in the park :p .

After a couple of soaking rides on the rapids, we made our way back to the main section of the park. We walked by the chairlift thingy, which was closed presumably because of the forecasted storms. We then sat down somewhere in shade near the entrance and after a little while I decided to make an effort to ride Wildcat. I rode it on my last visit and it instantly became my least favourite wooden coaster. It was dull and rough. I wasn't gonna bother with it again for obvious reasons, but I noticed some of the track was brown instead of white, so I assumed some of the rougher bits had been re-tracked.

I wouldn't say I was 'glad' that I gave it another go. It was still dull, but not really rough anymore, which I guess was a positive. Tbh it goes so slow, that it shouldn't be rough anyway. 5/10

I was actually kinda sad that I now don't really have a least favourite woodie. I actually don't feel I have ridden a completely horrendous one, just a load of dull ones. Probably find one on this trip though, with the likes of Hurler and Hershey's Wildcat coming up, or maybe Ananconda at Walygator later on in the summer.

I then went on to ride Boulderdash a few more times before having a chicken strip and fries lunch, which is basically the lunch I've had at every theme park on this holiday so far. Thunder N Lightning was the last new ride to go on. I love screaming swings as they're easily some of the most thrilling flats, but it irritates me how parks always run them on such **** short cycles. I swear this one only gave you two swings at full height. Never mind, it was still a good ride.

Finally, I ended what had been a great first theme park day of the trip with two last rides on Boulderdash, which was the only ride in the park where you actually had to wait at all (not surprised).

The log flume was shut, but from memory all it did was go up, meander for a bit and then come down, so not really having a mental breakdown over that.

My overall thoughts on the park was that it felt quite unique and the setting was nice, but I can't ignore the fact that it lacks rides. If Boulderdash was not here, I would probably not come back or even have come in the first place. It is a really good for a signature ride and downtime and thunder n lightning do supply sufficient thrills, but the park needs more rides to be a great park. Still really enjoyed my visit though and I'm glad I managed to experience the park in much more relaxed and enjoyable environment than last time.

Ride count:

Boulderdash: 7
Downtime: 1
Zoomerang: 1
Mountain Rapids: 3
Wildcat: 1
Thunder N Lightning: 1

Total: 14 rides

Thank you for reading my report of Lake Compounce. My report of Six Flags Great Adventure will be coming soon, where I experience some thigh bruising, rib cage rattling, face flapping (but mostly awesome) coasters.
 
I'd love to do an east coast trip but without being able to drive it seems almost impossible. Got 3 weeks in Florida booked for September/October though.

Really excited to read the rest of your report. I love reading people's opinions on theme parks ive yet to visit
 

Hutch

Well-Known Member
I can see why some people think Boulder Dash can be a bit too rough, but like you said, the out of control feeling just makes it a lot more fun.

I'll be heading back there in a couple weeks. I'll see if back seat is still my favorite (I have ridden front too), and I also need to try out some of the other smaller rides that I neglected to do last time (just because).

The park actually does have a lot of flat rides (mainly family-thrill rides), so I'd say their ride selection is pretty balanced. I think a new large-scale family coaster (i.e. FireChaser Express or a family-launch like Verbolten) would be perfect. Nice start on your report though. :D
 

CookieCoasters

Active Member
^^ thanks

I'm going to do my Six Flags Great Adventure report in two parts because I was there for two days + a couple of hours the evening before. So here is Part 1

When we got to our hotel (Radisson Freehold) in the afternoon, we decided to go to SFGAdv in the evening to sort out our six flags season passes and mostly just to get a feel for the park layout. As it was the Saturday after the 4th July i was expecting very long queues for pretty much everything, so actually riding wasn't really an expectation.

After we got our season passes sorted, we wandered round the park a bit, asking various employees about ride wait times. And when we eventually made it to Nitro, it was only 30 min queue so there was no way me and my dad were gonna pass up on this.

I'll give Nitro a proper overall review and rating a bit further down, but my first ride although very good, didn't blow me away the same way Shambhala did. On a plus side the rattling was more minor than I expected.

After Nitro, we headed round to Batman which was only a station wait :--D . This was shocking to me as it was July 4th weekend, but I guess most parks have that one ride that doesn't attract long lines. I'll do my batman review now as it didn't really change throughout my visit.

This is the third batman clone I've ridden and they're all brilliant coasters and extremely intense. I love the way they're so relentless that you literally have no time to take a short breather. This one was so intense that it felt like my legs were gonna be ripped off at some points. For me, B&M Invert + Great intensity = amazing coaster, so that's what Batman is, although what stops it from being one of my absolute top coasters would be that I don't find the layout particularly interesting even though it is executed very well. 9/10

After batman, we decided to call it a night, which i was fine with as i got a lot more out of these couple of hours than i thought I would.

The next morning, we got to the park about 9am because our season passes got us one hour early ride time on Nitro, Skull Mountain and the rapids. As soon as we got into the park, we headed for Nitro again to get a few early laps in. We got three rides in, twice near the back and once in the front seat.

I thought Nitro was better than the previous night. This could be because my expectations were lowered, but i felt that the airtime was stronger and the drop was better. It's a very graceful coaster, with beautiful floater airtime on all the larger hills and a rather intense helix, which adds a bit more diversity to the coaster, than say Silver Star has. I thought the three bunny hills at the end were probably the weakest in terms of airtime, which made them a tad on the dull side, but still pleasant fun. The two hills which banked at the top provided much better floater than I was expecting and gave quite an exciting sensation.

Unfortunately my ride at the front was spoiled by one of the trains rattling SO MUCH at the valleys of the hills that i experienced the very unpleasant sensation of my rib cage being viciously rattled. Not fun at all, but I wasn't going to rate the ride down for this as it was avoidable, by simply not riding train C. Comparing it to other B&M Hypers I've been on, I would say that it is slightly better than Silver Star, but not quite as amazing as Shambhala. 9/10

After Nitro, I got a quick ride on Skull Mountain. I love dark coasters so i was expecting to like this. I did really enjoy it. I guess its nothing amazing, but I found it to be really fun and while not anywhere near as thrilling as many of the larger coasters at the park, it adds a bit more variation to their lineup. Plus first drop back row airtime <3 :--D . 7/10

We were then about 5-10 mins away from the actual park opening, so we got our flash passes, selected El Toro (obviously) and off we were to my most anticipated coaster of the whole trip. It actually had no line, so flash passes were useless for this first coaster, but yipee to the fact I got to re-ride it 4 times while staying on.

As I entered the station, I chose the back car, but the middle row as I knew that was mostly likely to provide a smoother ride, which was something I learnt from riding Colossos at Heide Park. My heart really started to race, as the train was propelled up the lift hill at a very fast pace. I have to admit, looking over at that insanely steep drop as you crested the lift was **** terrifying. I have not been so scared on a coaster in years.

To quote the person who sat behind me "that drop is a beast!" It easily has the best drop of any coaster that I've ridden. The ejector you get is insane at the back and just gives a taster as to what you're going to experience next. The following two hills have even more insane ejector airtime. I've never been so thankful for a restraint in my life. The other highlight of the ride was the smaller hill that I believe used to dive over Rolling Thunder, that just seems to come out of nowhere. The over-banked turn and twisted finally are also very intense, which adds more diversity to an already exceptional coaster.

I think it gave me the biggest adrenaline rush I've ever had from a coaster and obviously the airtime is just phenomenal. Easily the strongest I've experienced thus far. Now even the most amazing of coasters (except black mamba) I can have a little niggle at. For the amount of pressure your thighs put on the restraint during the ejector really requires the restraints to be softer. It didn't turn out to be too much of a problem once I found various ways of reducing the issue, but it did leave some (minor) bruising on my thighs. However, the ride is still splendifirous, so predictably it gets a 10/10.

Next, we headed over to Kingda Ka, which although I didn't think was going to be a beloved coaster for me, it was definitely a landmark coaster in terms of height and speed. Flash pass merge point still required a decent length queue for this coaster, which was annoying, but definitely preferable to waiting in a near two hour queue. Sadly after nearly 45 minutes of waiting it broke down :roll: . Typical intamin, although I generally have quite good luck with their coasters. We waited around for a few mins, but then decided to leave as it was very hot and we needed a drink.

After our drink and ice cream :) , Kingda Ka was still down, so we decided to plug in Zumanjaro: Drop of Doom. Riding this was actually an unexpected surprise as I was convinced it wouldn't be open by our visit. I'd missed out on Lex Luthor at SFMM two years ago, so this almost felt like redemption.

As a massive fan of drop towers, riding the tallest one in the world was certainly going to be an experience to remember. Going up was quite unnerving because it does go up SO HIGH. The drop was very long (for a drop tower) and the speed of it near the bottom seemed very fast. The airtime wasn't the best I'd experienced on a drop tower, but it was good enough to still make it a very fun and easily re-rideable ride. I also like the restraints because they make you feel more free and exposed.

We got two rides on Zumanjaro in relatively quick succession and as Kingda Ka was still showing no signs of opening soon, we headed over to the front of the park where S:UF and Green Lantern are. Now I do really like this park and I'm sure regulars are used to it, but I have to say for first timers the park does have shall we say, a rather challenging layout to navigate. Plus all the dead-ends are really annoying.

Anyway back to rides. Superman: Ultimate Flight was my first to ride in this area and as I do really enjoy Air (Yes I said it) and especially Manta and Tatsu, I was excited to ride it. Now obviously I did enjoy the ride, but I kinda wished I'd listened more to the majority of people who say the ride is rather meh. I chose not to apply that to me fully, because I consider myself a greater lover of flying coasters than most, but apart from the first drop and the always fab pretzel loop, the rest was a tad underwhelming. I would actually say that Air is better because even though it is pretzel loop-less, the layout is way more interesting with the way it follows the terrain. Anyway it was still a really fun ride. 8/10

Next up was Superman's neighboring stand-up coaster, Green Lantern. Before this I'd ridden three stand-up coasters (Shockwave at DM, Riddler's and Vortex at CGA), two of which are pretty awful and one which is brilliant (Riddler's). I chose the second row on this coaster because I remember Riddler's being best in the front row, but I couldn't be arsed to wait for that. On the whole, I thought the ride was pretty good for stand-up coaster and surprisingly almost glass-smooth. However, I am starting to dislike standing up on coasters more and more, which is a shame because I used to find quite thrilling to do so. The rides forces were decent enough and the layout was fairly standard, but well executed. I don't like it as much as Riddler's for reasons I can't really explain, but it is still good. 8/10

After I took another ride on Green Lantern, we then headed up to the log flume/mine train/bizarro area of the park, mainly for Bizarro, but we actually rode Saw Mill Log Flume when we got their because we were so hot. I love log flumes as they always bring back old memories of when there wasn't much else I rode but log flumes.

I found Saw Mill to be a definitely above average flume, because I thought the lack of splashdowns in order to make the in-between drop sections faster was quite unique. I'd seen these 'no-splashdown' type of drops on other log flumes before, but none utilised it as well as this one did. Finally, it ended with a good ol 'big' drop with a nice soaking. The only thing I didn't like about this flume was announcement in the station. OMG, why did they have to run this on a continuous loop, it was soooo irritating :evil:

I was gonna do the mine train and bizarro after the flume but as we were so wet, we thought it was better to go back to the hotel for a couple of hours break to have lunch and come back in later. It was good to have a rest from the heat, but I did spend most of the time itching to get back into the park :) .

We got back into the park about 7.30pm, which gave me two and half hours to pick up the remaining coasters. We picked up our Q-bot again and headed for The Dark Knight . Don't really have much to say about this ride. The pre-show was annoying as I just wanted to get on the ride, which was just a slow, average wild mouse that didn't even seem that dark. Tbh, I don't know why I was expecting more. 5/10

While I was in the area, i nabbed a ride on Batman, before moving onto Kingda Ka Take 2. Last time we were waiting for the front seat, but I decided it would be better to get this seat first tomorrow when the queue would be shorter for it. Right now I just wanted to ride it before it breaks down on me again.

Waiting on the launch track had added suspense as we had to wait for Zumanjaro to complete its cycle. Darkness was starting to fall on Six Flags, which meant the stage was set for a truly memorable ride. Was it memorable? Yes. Was it good? No!!!!! This coaster vibrates, rattles and shakes like no other for practically the whole ride apart from the start of the launch and the crest of the top hat. Easily one of the most disappointing coasters I've ever had the displeasure of riding. I mean i expected it to be rough to some extent, but this was seriously nasty. I cannot fathom how anybody can enjoy riding it. I really wanted at least to feel some sort of major adrenaline rush from the speed, but all it left was a bit of a head-ache. IMO, calling this coaster overrated is an understatement. 4/10

After Kingda Krap, I wanted to get the park's final major coaster I was yet to ride, Bizarro. Now i was a bit depressed following my previous ride, so going onto this run-of-the-mill B&M floorless coaster didn't fill me with much enthusiasm. Plus, its essentially the same as Scream at SFMM, which although was a good coaster, didn't really blow me away.

However, to my great surprise my enthusiasm level shot way up after a ride on this under appreciated B&M. It really is a beautiful coaster and even more graceful then Nitro. It is practically glass-smooth and while it isn't the most intense coaster in the world, it still packs a pretty good punch. Why do people never talk about it? It is really fab and so re-rideable. Definitely underrated. The highlights of the ride were probably the zero-g-roll, cobra roll- and the interlocking corkscrews, all of which were surprisingly quite intense. So when you're planning your trip to SFGAdv and thinking about what to expect from the coasters, don't underestimate this average looking B&M. It is really is a hidden gem. 9/10

After two rides on Bizarro, I was originally gonna grab the mine train cred, but I passed on it again because night rides on El Toro were much higher on my priority list. WOW. This ride comes even more alive at night. It is truly spectacular. I know it's been said many times before, but El Toro kicks serious assssss!! It should be near the top of everybody's must ride list who hasn't yet experienced it. It only loses to Black Mamba as my no.1 because of the slight thigh bruising thing.

Anyway that wraps Part 1 of my SFGAdv Report.

Ride Count for day one (including Saturday evening)

Nitro: 4
Batman: the ride: 2
Skull Mountain: 1
El Toro: 6
Zumanjaro: 2
Superman: UF: 1
Green Lantern: 2
Saw Mill Log Flume: 1
The Dark Knight: 1
Kingda Ka: 1
Bizarro: 2

Total: 23

Part 2 of my SFGAdv report will be coming soon, where I find how faffy it can be when trying to avoid a particular train on a coaster. Plus I will give my overall thoughts of the park itself.
 

CookieCoasters

Active Member
Sanchezmran said:
I can see why some people think Boulder Dash can be a bit too rough, but like you said, the out of control feeling just makes it a lot more fun.

I'll be heading back there in a couple weeks. I'll see if back seat is still my favorite (I have ridden front too), and I also need to try out some of the other smaller rides that I neglected to do last time (just because).

The park actually does have a lot of flat rides (mainly family-thrill rides), so I'd say their ride selection is pretty balanced. I think a new large-scale family coaster (i.e. FireChaser Express or a family-launch like Verbolten) would be perfect. Nice start on your report though. :D
I wouldn't say it is 'too' rough as long as you avoid the very back row (from my experience). I'm generally not to fussed on the smaller flats as they tend to be a bit boring, but I did notice it had a chairswing, riptide, disko (ugh) and I think a pirate ship, so I guess its fine for flats.

For their next coaster, I was thinking maybe a long the lines of a spinning coaster (not mouse), but a good family launch coaster could be even better.
 

CookieCoasters

Active Member
Re: My Dream Trip to America's East Coast (SFGAdv Part 2)

Six Flags Great Adventure Part 2

This will be a much shorter report than the other one because I've covered most of the ride reviews already, but some thoughts did change the second day, as well two new rides and I'll also give my overall thoughts on the park.

As soon as we got into the park, we headed straight for Kingda Ka, which may seem very strange as if you read the first part of this park report, you'd know that I was less then pleased with the ride, but as I've heard it rides better in the front, I thought I'd give it a try.

It's better in the front, but still far from deserving the credit some people give it. It still shakes, rattles and vibrates to no end at the front, but less so than my ride the previous day. For a front row ride i'd probably give it a 6/10, so I'll average that from my rating (4/10) from the previous day and give it a 5/10.

After Kingda Ka, we decided to make our way round the whole park to get re-rides and my mine train and rapids cred :) .

First I got two rides on El Toro. Nothing new here, still amazing, definitely my favourite woodie.

Next I got two rides on Bizarro, which was just a fun and smooth as yesterday. Again very underrated coaster.

I then went on Runaway Mine Train. I was expecting it to be pretty rough, but honestly it wasn't too bad. The layout was mostly slow as expected, but mildly fun in some parts. 6/10

We all then went on Saw Mill, before we made our way over to the other side of the park, where Nitro stands. As we were already wet, we decided to go on Congo Rapids first. It was very short and not much was occurin' on this rapids ride. I did get pretty wet which was a plus for me though given the heat.

After we dried off a bit, my dad and I had two goes on Nitro. Neither of us wanted to spoil either of our rides by riding on Train C, so we were going to avoid it all costs. When we got into the station, we realised that only Train A & C were running, so avoiding C was gonna be harder.

I never thought there would be so much faff involved in trying to avoid a particular train on a coaster. On our first ride, we quickly sussed out that we just needed to let one group in front of us to get on Train A. But by sod's law, there were some platinum flash passers who got to stay on, thus ruining our previous actions. Luckily, the group behind this time wanted to ride with their friends anyway, so it all got sorted in the end.

The second time round, we were asked by someone if we wanted to go in front of them to ride Train C, but said no and especially after an explanation of why, they seemed very puzzled, which i guess is not surprising.

After a bit more faff, we successfully made it onto to Train A again. It was definitely worth it ensuring we got to ride this train because we got two fantastic rides on it, including one where I was not stapled in.

Seriously though, they need to sort out the other train or just get a replacement. It's sooooo bad.

While in this area, I got two great rides on Batman which was running just as intense as yesterday and Saturday evening.

I also grabbed another ride on Skull Mountain. This ride was really rough unfortunately, meaning it has dropped a bit in my estimation. Again I'll do an average of my two rides and give it a 6/10.

We then walked over to the front of the park to ride Superman and Green Lantern. Superman ran pretty much the same as yesterday, although one train operation really slowed things up. Green Lantern was also rougher than yesterday which was a shame, but this didn't have to much negative effect on my overall thoughts of it.

Finally, I ended the day in spectacular fashion with a final lap on El Toro. Will really miss this coaster.

I wanted to ride Zumanjaro again, but it was having technical difficulties pretty much all day, so I didn't get the chance.

Overall Thoughts on the Park

I'll start with the positives first. The coaster selection is extensive and mostly high quality, making it a 'must visit' for all coaster enthusiasts. For me, only SFMM tops it coaster-wise. The park itself was better then I expected with some areas that were actually quite nice. Then again, I've never thought SFMM was poor in terms of the park itself, so it is possible I just like Six Flags parks more than most. As for the negatives, the park could do with a few more thrilling flats (though Zumanjaro is a step in the right direction). I would've ridden the top spin, but it was closed my whole visit. Operations were good in that most rides would have at least two trains running, but the staff were so slow to load the trains on some rides [*]Superman[*]. Also the park is pretty difficult to navigate. We've never left a park after two days, still feeling we didn't fully know are way round. Overall, though I still had a fab time and the quality coasters made it one of my top 10 theme parks.

Thanks for reading part 2 of my SFGAdv report. My Dorney Park report will be next, where we were invaded by the Pennsylvanian army of 'school kids'.
 

Howie

Active Member
I love all this - all this coaster talk!
It's fascinating to read other peoples views on parks and rides, especially when you've recently been to the same park yourself.
For the most part, I was nodding in agreement all the way down... but then you slapped a big ol' 4/10 on Kingda Ka and I was like; 'Whaaaaat? Did you go on the same Kingda Ka that I did? The big green one? Tall? Goes quite fast?' Awesome machine, man. My one ride on it was the highlight of the whole trip!

And then there's Nitro. I wasn't paying any attention to which train I was on, but judging by the ride experience I had on it, I'm guessing it was train C each time. :-(
Makes me wanna go all the way back there to try trains A & B cos I feel like I'm missing something now.

Bring on the Dorney report chap! We never made it there on this trip, but it's on the watchlist for a future expedition.
 

Chris Coasters

Well-Known Member
Great Report. I am shocked about Kingda Ka though. I know people say Dragster is better but I haven't seen a lot of people talk that bad about it. My friends and I are heading back down to Great Adventure after doing it a couple weeks ago. Ka was down though do to Zumanjaro construction. I am really interested in how we will like it. Like I said great report glad you really liked Boulder Dash and El Toro.
 

CookieCoasters

Active Member
Howie said:
And then there's Nitro. I wasn't paying any attention to which train I was on, but judging by the ride experience I had on it, I'm guessing it was train C each time.
Makes me wanna go all the way back there to try trains A & B cos I feel like I'm missing something now.
Trains A & B still rattled a bit at the bottoms of the first few drops, but it was easily tolerable and didn't really spoil the ride for me. However, if the rattle really impaired on the ride for you, you probably were riding train C. In that train it was just vile.

CoastingChris50 said:
Great Report. I am shocked about Kingda Ka though. I know people say Dragster is better but I haven't seen a lot of people talk that bad about it. My friends and I are heading back down to Great Adventure after doing it a couple weeks ago. Ka was down though do to Zumanjaro construction. I am really interested in how we will like it. Like I said great report glad you really liked Boulder Dash and El Toro.
I wouldn't let my opinion put too much of a downer on your anticipation for the coaster, as you may very well love it as many people like Howie do. I just found it unpleasant and not re-rideable which interestingly is the complete opposite of Stealth and Xcelerator, of which I could probably ride for hours and still have fun.

Thanks for your positive comments guys. I'm glad you enjoyed reading my reports.
 

CookieCoasters

Active Member
Dorney Park

After a wonderful two days at Six Flags, we traveled about an hour and a half from our hotel to Dorney Park. I'll admit, not the most anticipated park of the trip, but it did hold quite a few firsts for me + a B&M Invert :--D , so I was still really excited.

Once again, our stupid Sat Nav took us to the service entrance :roll: , but thankfully we had plenty of time to spare and still got to the park a good 20 mins from opening. It was a Tuesday and there weren't very many people waiting outside the entrance, so I wasn't anticipating too many queues for rides, which thankfully there weren't.

Upon entering the park, many veered towards the water park, which meant that the park was basically dead for the first hour and we actually saw more staff walking round the park than guests. I'd already planned to go straight to the Wild Mouse, as I hate waiting in long, slow moving queues for these rides.

Obviously this was not necessary given that me and my dad were the first riders of the day. Honestly, I can barely remember riding it, so it must have just merged in with my general memory of riding TOO many of these coasters. I don't hate wild mouse coasters and sometimes I have actually found a better-than-average one, but riding them now has become very monotonous. 5/10

I was then on a mission to get to Demon Drop, which I think again we were the first people to ride. This was my first 'first' of the day being that I've never ridden a 1st gen intamin drop tower. It all felt very old, rattly and maybe just a tad unnerving. The drop was great and I actually really liked travelling along the track on my back. The bump as it takes back down into the station is nasty though. Overall, it was an awesome experience and I really hope Dorney manages to hold onto it for a while.

After a second ride on Demon Drop, I just decided to ride whatever I came across as the crowds were so light, there was no need to strategise. So next I picked up Thunderhawk, an old woodie dating back to the 30s or something (don't hold me to that :) ).

I sat in the front car, in the middle seat, in case the ride was really rough as I've never really heard anybody speak of it. The layout was very much a surprise in the way I had no idea what it was going to be having never watched a POV of the coaster. However, it didn't consist of anything too 'out-there' which really was a shock. Did have two pops of airtime cresting two of the hills though, so I guess it wasn't completely mundane. 6/10

We then ventured over to Steel Force, my first Morgan hyper coaster. Again, you don't hear much about this coaster or any other Morgan's really. The track and trains look suspiciously similar to the The Big One and its trains, which I find a tad on the rough side, so I was skeptical at first.

Boy, I was shocked when we entered the valley of the first drop. It was flawlessly smooth the whole way round. Not even a slight rattle. Never had I imagined that it would smoother than most B&M and Intamin Hypers. The surprises didn't end there. This coaster really has some force to complement its steel track, in the form of both positive g's on one of the best helices ever and some beautiful negative g's on the many camelbacks leading back to the station.

Steel Force really was an unexpected surprise. The whole ride was graceful and the airtime had a lovely floating sensation. No, it's probably not quite as good as the B&M or Intamin Hypers, but it deserves a lot more praise then it gets. My expectations for other Morgan hypers have definitely risen now. 9/10

We rode Steel Force again, before heading over to yet another first for me. Possessed was my first Intamin Impulse coaster, which I was looking forward to because they always look like a lot of fun. First time around, I had managed to fall into a bit of a daydream, so the launch nearly gave a heart attack. It was really interesting and good fun, exactly as I had anticipated. The holding break added an extra element of thrill to the ride as well. 8/10

For those of you interested, the train on Stinger was held partly up the lift and partly in the station and there was some people working on it, but it didn't look like it would be up and running anytime soon. Wasn't particularly disappointed as I knew it would be closed, although it is the only model of vekoma boomerang I'm yet to ride, so I guess it might have been interesting.

Went back round for a front row ride on Possessed which I'd say was probably the best seat, as you travel the furthest up the twisting spike.

It was a very hot day, so the log flume, Thunder Mountain Creek was in order. It was short, but had a little 'fast' section where you go under a little waterfall, which I was expecting to turn off, like the ones on Valhalla and Ripsaw Falls, but no, it gave us a pretty good soaking, as did the splash at the bottom of the weirdly shallow drop.

I thought the way I'd gone about riding the coasters was good, as I'd left my two most anticipated coasters to last. We marched up the steep hill, to Hydra, a B&M Floorless coaster that I've always thought looked very interesting.

This coaster definitely taught me a lesson that an interesting and unique layout doesn't equal a great ride. I would definitely call it the Silver Bullet of Floorless coasters. Although, the elements were tight and compact, they all felt very slow, dull and generally forceless. The layout attempted to give some airtime, but alas, the ride barely had the pacing to make it over any of the hills. It was smooth, decent when compared to most coasters, but a rather poor B&M. On a plus side, I liked the Jojo roll; definitely the best part of the ride. 7/10

I did Hydra again, more towards the front to see if it was any better, but it wasn't so I decided it was time to move on to my final coaster and definitely the one I was most looking forward to.

Talon is a coaster that has always appealed to me for two reasons. One is that it is a B&M Invert, which is undoubtedly one of my favourite coaster types. Two, I was and still am in love with its colour scheme. It's just such a beauty to look at :--D

Okay now I've stopped daydreaming about it, I'll move on to the coaster itself. The drop is a fairly standard B&M Invert drop as is the vertical loop, but both have a nice whip to them in the back of the train. The zero g roll was the perfect mixture of grace and intensity. The immelmen seemed better than most, but these elements don't really do anything for me apart from sometimes kill a rides pacing (OzIris). The first part of the ride was really good, but I guess not that different from other Inverts.

It was in the second part, where Talon really shinned as an invert. Firstly, after the immelmen you enter a quite intense helix before travelling along and suddenly being pulled down into the grasp of the Talon, where you experience some pretty good airtime. The finale is the most intense as you are whipped over a corcscrew and around a tight helix, before travelling up to the brake run. All in all, Talon blew my expectations out of the water, it was sooo fab! The whole layout is actually a really good mix of inversions and other awesome stuff, rather than just inversion, after inversion etc. Not quite as intense as Nemesis, Montu, Batman, Black Mamba and Katun, but certainly manages to hold it's own. I can't believe it is only my 4th favourite invert (behind Mamba, Montu and Neme) because i almost feel it deserves even more credit, but I assure you, it is an amazing coaster. 10/10

Throughout the day I rode Talon 8 times, managing to just about dodge the school crowds which came about 2 hours after opening and proceeded annoying lengthen the queues. I also went back to Steel Force for another two rides. Didn't bother riding Hydra, Thunderhawk or Wild Mouse again. Wanted to ride Possessed again, but it had broken down and didn't seem to reopen for the remainder of our visit.

Non-coasterwise I rode Demon Drop again as well as the log flume as well as the following rides:

Dominator: Rode both the shot and drop sides. Thought it was slightly better than your average S&S tower as there seemed to be larger doses of airtime.

Thunder Canyon: OMG!! It was like taking a shower. Basically, the whole way round they just pummel you with powerful water falls that leave your whole body completely sodden. There is no way you could ever leave this rapids with a dry spot. Loved it!! <<<<<3 :--D . So unbelievably hilarious.

Meteor: I really liked it. More comfortable restraints than the more common looping star ship ride, so it was a lot more enjoyable.

Hang Time: Ran on a **** cycle like most top spins these days :evil: .

I didn't ride White Water Landing as I hate being winded when you're pushed forward into those MASSIVE lap bars upon impact with the water.

Overall thoughts: This park doesn't seem to get much praise. I actually thought it was quite a nice little park with a much better and well-rounded ride selection than I think many give it credit for. There was quite a lot of concrete in some areas, but I actually don't mind that as long as the area is open. The area around Thunderhawk had quite a lot of trees, and was decent enough for shade. The only thing I really hated was the gravelly stuff that Hydra is built on. Ugh!!! that really bugged me as that did look VERY plain and bland. The food was average, as was the theming and the landscaping, but I actually thought the park had a nice feel to it and as I really liked a lot of the rides I would definitely visit Dorney Park again.

Ride Count:

Wild Mouse: 1
Demon Drop: 3
Thunderhawk: 1
Steel Force: 4
Possessed: 2
Thunder Creek Mountain: 2
Hydra: 2
Talon: 8
Dominator: 2
Thunder Canyon: 1
Meteor: 1
Hangtime: 1

Total: 28 rides

Thank you for reading my Dorney Park Report. My report of BGW will be coming soon, where the coaster queue times were absolutely shocking.
 

CookieCoasters

Active Member
Busch Gardens Williamsburg

I have to say, Busch was probably the overall park I was most looking forward to on the trip, purely because it is more of 'theme park' than any of the others, which in real life was true. It also advertises itself as the world's most beautiful park, which although I now believe is not strictly true, it was certainly a draw. Obviously though, the main reason for coming to BGW for me was that it has THREE awesome looking B&M coasters and if this trip has taught me anything, it would definitely be that I am a massive B&M fanboy as well as intamin one.

Anyway, we arrived at our hotel in Williamsburg in the mid-afternoon and a bit like we did with SFGAdv, we decided to go into the park to get our flexi ticket things sorted and have a couple of rides, before going back for dinner.

We parked in the Ireland area of the parking lot, which had great views of Apollo's Chariot and fueled my excitement. To me there's nothing quite as exciting as going to a new park, especially one that you have high expectations for.

Once inside the park, we had a go at navigating ourselves to the French area of the park (i.e. where Griffon is), which was fairly simple although very hilly. One thing that surprised me about this park, is how different it feels to the one in Tampa. It feels more closed in and smaller, but oddly much more exercising due to all the hills and the steps. My Dad didn't really like this as the walkways were all very crowded due to them being quite narrow which reminded him of the Disneyland park in California.

We eventually got around to the New France area and decided to have a look at the queue for Griffon. It was displaying 35 mins, which I didn't think was too bad, so me and my Dad hopped in it. One thing that stood out about Busch compared to most of the other parks this trip was there operations. I mean obviously it helps having a load of people-eating B&M coasters, but there was far less faffing around and general chatting from the ride ops than a lot of the other parks.

This meant that the queue felt much quicker than 35 mins (it was probably only about 25-30). We waited for the front as the 10 seater rows meant the front row queue wasn't much longer than for the others.

I will do a bit more of a detailed review of Griffon further down, but my first impressions were very good. The drops are great, it was very fun and smooth as a baby's bum.

We then wandered over to Alpengeist where the queue was only like a 5 minute wait in the station which shocked me considering it was a Saturday with beautiful weather :? . Anyway my first impressions were umm.... I guess a bit underwhelming. Apart from the cobra roll it lacked any real snap or force.

We then headed back to the hotel to have dinner and to get rested for our proper visit tomorrow.

The next morning, we planned to go to Apollo's Chariot first and we found out from our park map, that it opened at 10:15 with the rest of the Italy area of the park. We ended up getting into the park just after 10 and waited by Escape from Pompeii to get in.

As the ropes dropped we rushed to Apollo's Chariot. For our first ride, we took a back row seat. The ride has an excellent first drop in the back because the pre-drop provides a bit of momentum to really be whipped down it. After that, it had two nice floaty airtime hills before entering a long turnaround feature. I found this very yawn-ey :). It was very dull and boring and at the time of my first ride, I thought it was going to be a bit of pace killer.

Thankfully the ride picked up again after the MCBR, with a great moment of ejector air which was followed by a nice airtime hill. The rides finale section consisted of a floaty, twisty overbank and a pop awkward airtime before a great dip down into the valley. Apollo is a very good coaster and I'd say it gets the most out of its layout, but I think it is the layout itself that is at flaw here. It felt quite tame because it didn't have many big, exhilarating hills like Nitro, Silver Star and Shambhala do, plus I can't ignore the very bland turnaround which stops the ride from being consistently good. Overall, its pretty smooth, has some absolutely great airtime, a brilliant first drop, but lacks force and grace in some parts. 9/10

I rode nearer the front on my second ride and to be honest, it was a bit ****, so it's definitely a back row ride for me. Throughout the day it got better and the first drop got even more brilliant, but sadly the turnaround/helix never got any better :( .

After three rides on Apollo's Chariot, we headed through the Italy area, along the bridge over the lake which was definitely the most beautiful part of the park, as you got great views of Verbolten, Alpengesit, Loch Ness and Griffon by or over the lake. We crossed the bridge into the Oktoberfest area to ride Verbolten.

In my typical fashion, I grabbed the back row for my first ride on it. I knew about the vertical 13-esque drop in the enclosed building, but actually had no idea of the rest of the enclosed layout so that made it a bit more exciting. The launches were more 'family-friendly' than expected, but that was okay since that's not really what the rides about. The best moment of the ride by far was at the end of the first launch, as you get some really good airtime as you go down into the black forest, that is actually sustained for quite a while.

The indoor coaster section was exciting and fast. I also really liked the colourful trees that you race though. The drop section was next. It's a hell of a lot better than 13's because it felt like it had a bit more omph to it. Sadly from now on the ride started to go downhill. Firstly, at the back your head gets smashed back into the seat at the start of the launch because the little pre-drop initially brings you forward. The drop over the lake was good, but followed was a lot of nasty rattling which irritated my head a bit. Overall, its unique and mostly fun, but really doesn't end on a high for me. 7/10

After I had another go on Verbolten, I decided to ride Mach Tower. I laughed because my dad asked me whether it was made by Mack :lol: . I heard a lot of negative reviews about it so I was expecting it to be very tame, but actually it was nearly as good as the intamin drop towers. I also really liked how it turns as you're going up, giving you really good views of the whole park on your journey up.

One thing I haven't mentioned yet was how short all the queues were. This really surprised given it was a Sunday at what I thought was going to be a very popular park. I'd be interested to know if this was normal for the park to have really short queues for all their rides, or if I just hit it at a lucky time.

Anyways it was now time to give the two major coasters I rode last night a couple more rides to get a better idea of how I liked them. First we hit up Alpengeist again.

OMG, my second ride was seriously dull!!! This time there wasn't even any snap in the cobra roll and it seemed a lot more jerky. I think they're a couple of SLC's I've ridden that were smoother. No jokes. Also, the trims pretty much fully stopped the train, making for a slow second half. I was shocked, so I simply had to have another ride to truly assess what just happened. After this ride it came clear to me that there is a **** side and a good side. The good side really whips you round the cobra roll and final corscrew and also feels a bit smoother. I also found that on some rides, the trims were actually only used to a mild degree, whereas they were much stronger on other rides which had quite a significant affect on how forceful the second half was.

I personally think that even on the good side, Alpengeist isn't in the same league as really great inverts like Black Mamba, Montu, Nemesis, Talon etc. The first drop although the biggest is actually pretty dull and the two elements that follow are too. The cobra roll is quite rough if you don't brace yourself, but being whipped around the end of it is easily the highlight of the ride. The zero-g roll and corcscrew were decent, but nothing special. Better when the MCBR does not stop the train too much. After that, it kinda just meanders back to the station. Don't get me wrong, Alpengeist is still a pretty good coaster, just not one of the better inverts in my opinion. 8/10

By the way, the good side is the side closest to you when you enter the train (i.e. the left side). Also, I only rode the back row (always the best seat on inverts I find), so I guess it may be smoother up front.

On the way to Griffon, we rode the Le Scoot Log Flume. I don't know why, but I really liked this flume. Although it looked very well maintained, I could tell it was old because it had the classic 'no splashdown' drop as well as the fact the log kinda just runs straight into the drops rather than having a very small belt lift leading into the drop. Simply lot's of fun.

We then proceeded to Griffon. I was actually expecting it to have built up a decent sized queue, but no. It was only about 5 mins for rows 2 & 3 and maybe an extra train wait for front row. This time we rode the back row, at the very wing of the train which was my way of assessing the rides smoothness because I remember Sheikra was a bit rough in this seat.

I was pleasantly surprised to find, that it was just as butterly smooth as it was in the front middle, the night before. The first drop in the back row is just blissful. The airtime is even stronger and the sensation of floating far out of your seat all the way down is amazing. Both the dive loops are very graceful and particularly the second one gives you good floater air near the wing of the train. The second vertical drop is practically as amazing the first, although obviously shorter. The airtime hill into the splashdown is also a nice touch.

For me, Griffon is very much like an improvement of the layout of Sheikra. I've always thought Sheikra doesn't really do much after the second vertical drop, so I think adding the extra dive loop and airtime hill to Griffon solved that problem. Another reason why Griffon tops Sheikra is it's consistent smoothness, as Sheikra could sometimes be a bit rough. Overall I definitely think Griffon is my favourite coaster in the park, which I found surprising as I was sure it was going to be Apollo or Alpe. It's only real negative that stops it from being a top 10 coaster for me, is it's lack of intensity. 9/10

After a few rides on Griffon, I wanted to grab the parks final coaster (the final one I was going to bother with), Loch Ness Monster. I can't really go into much detail about this old Arrow coaster. It certainly wasn't dreadful, but also wasn't great. Mediocre describes this ride perfectly, but this was fine, considering it wasn't a big deal whether I liked it or not. It had a few jolts, but was mostly smooth-ish. I liked the helix in the dark and the first drop was surprisingly big. Overall, it was.... okay I guess. Viper at SFMM is still probably my favourite Arrow Looper. 6/10

After that, I think we went on the park's two remaining water rides:

Roman Rapids: Better than most European ones, but nothing too amazing. I think we got lucky with waterfalls at the end as they looked completely drenching. Not a patch on Dorney's.

Escape from Pompeii: Upsy, roundsy and then downsy flume rides generally piss me off because I think they're a lazy excuse for a water ride (come on water rides NEED at least two drops :roll: ), but the fact the roundsy bit was inside a very nicely themed facade, it intrigued me. Theming was actually really good inside, if not a bit of an overuse of fire, but kinda Valhalla-esque. The drop was actually quite steep and the splashdown was fairly wet, but could have been wetter :--D . Definitely far superior to any of its crap type.

After we went back to the hotel, for my dad to watch the World Cup Finale (who won again, I've forgotten :wink: ) and to have lunch, just me and my dad went back to the park for some evening rides.

I rode Verbolten before dark because I didn't think the darkness would enhance it too much and I rode Mach Tower, planning to ride again later.

I rode Griffon in the semi-dark, as well as Le Scoot because log flumes in the dark are great :--D . Alpengeist experienced a bit of a breakdown, but I stuck it out regardless and after about 30 mins it opened. It was slightly better in the dark, but still not an amazing invert.

Time was ticking on now, so I decided to leave Mach Tower, to have a pitch black night ride on Apollo's Chariot. This coaster really shined at night. Being out on its own, there is pretty much no light, so you barely see any of track AND OMG THAT DROP!!! <<<<<<3 :shock: . It totally caught me off guard. Still my least favourite of the B&M Hypers I've ridden, but in this case that's a bit like being the poorest member of the royal family.

We also went in for a few hours the next day for a few extra rides and the lines were equally as short, despite the park feeling quite crowded. I don't think any of my opinions changed the second day.

I didn't ride any of the dark rides as they're not really my thing, but was slightly tempted by Curse DarKastle. I was worried the queue line might be scary though. I can't do horror mazes or anything like that. The queue line for Phantasia's Mystery Castle still scares me :( .

Overall Thoughts:

I'll start my 'overall thoughts' with a comparison between BGW and BGT on some of their main rides and features.

Montu>>>Alpengeist
Sheikra<<Griffon
Kumba<<<Apollo (I know there pretty different, but they're both the 'unique' major coaster at their park)
Cheetaht>>Verbolten
Scorpion=Loch Ness (Don't really have a preference)
Gwazi + Serpent >>> No equivalents
Stanley<Le Scoot
Congo>>Roman
Tidal Wave<<Pompeii
Fury>>Mach Tower (I know it's gonna be better :p )

BGT Theming<BGW Theming
BGT Landscaping>BGW Landscaping (BGW: best landscaped my ass!)

Overall for me

BGT>BGW

I think BGW is a really nice park that has a small but good selection of coasters, some nice water rides and a decent drop tower. The landscaping is good as is the theming, but neither are exceptional even if they're the best I encountered on this trip. I think the park could do with some more intense flat rides, although the dark rides probably appeal to many, so that may slightly fill that void. I actually find it weird that the park doesn't have a woodie. In Europe this would be normal, but every other park I've been to on this holiday has had at least one woodie if not multiple. Maybe Gwazi will get relocated here :mrgreen: I do prefer BGT just a bit more for the simple reason that I just seem to connect with the park more. Overall, a very good park that I would gladly return to even if it is a tad overrated.

Thank you for reading my Busch Gardens Williamsburg Report. My report of Kings Dominion will be coming soon, where I experience my first TOGO, my new favourite coaster and get the most creds I've ever had in one day.
 

Hutch

Well-Known Member
CookieCoasters said:
I actually find it weird that the park doesn't have a woodie. In Europe this would be normal
Well the park is themed to Europe... :wink: Though I can't say I disagree with you.

Yes, Alpengeist's cobra loop is the best part of the ride, but am I the only one here that can keep their hands up going through the element and not have a problem with it? :lol:

Reading your thoughts on Apollo reminded me why I really like that coaster so much. Interested in hearing your thoughts on KD and I305.
 

CookieCoasters

Active Member
CookieCoasters said:
am I the only one here that can keep their hands up going through the element and not have a problem with it?
You must be :wink: . I once forgot to brace myself and it smashed my ear right into the restraint with a seemingly passionate force. It may be less violent up front up though and when braced it's fine.


I'm gonna start making the reports shorter because I'm getting lazy :p

Kings Dominion

If I'm honest, I was expecting Kings Dominion to be one of the worst parks on the trip. From what I'd heard I thought it was going to be full of concrete and bland areas, a bit tatty and a lot of **** coasters. In the end, it probably ended up being the most surprisingly good park on the trip. I don't know if it was just because it was their 40th anniversary and they'd touched up on a lot of smaller things, but it seemed very well maintained and looked pretty nice. At night, all the lights on all the coasters and general places around the park really helped to enhance the atmosphere. Overall, it is actually a pretty decent park and had a very classic American fun fair (a nice one) feel to it in some places.

Coasters

There was a lot of coasters at KD and while many are +1's they weren't quite as bad a bunch as I was expecting. I'll review in order of which I rode them.

Volcano

I thought the two launches and being 'exploded' out of the volcano were excellent and really got the ride off to a powerful start. Sadly, it got a bit monotonous after that. I think one in-line is fine, but after one it started to get a bit repetitive and sadly the ride ended before it got to do anything more interesting. It's very re-ridable, but I just feel it has a lot of potential and could have been so much more. By the way, is this the only full circuit inverted launch coaster? I can't think of any others. 8/10

Avalanche

I usually despise Mack Bobsleds as all the ones in Europe are vile, so I was looking forward to getting this one out of the way. Shockingly, it was actually alright. It had much less rattle than it's Europeans counterparts and although it was short and slow, it was good enough. 5/10

Flight of Fear

Thought it was gonna be better to be honest. As I love dark coasters, I thought one where the layout actually had the potential to thrill outside was gonna be brilliant. In all fairness, racing round the first few inversions was great as was the unpredictability of the launch, but due to actually being able to see a lot, it kinda made the rest of the ride a bit dull. It was a bit rough, but not dreadful. 8/10

Intimidator 305

Don't know where to start with this coaster :) . By far the highlight of the day and probably my time as an enthusiast. The first drop was very exhilarating with prolonged airtime all the way down when sitting at the back. I closed my eyes for the 'blackout' turn because I don't like experiencing my sight impairing. The airtime hill following also had great prolonged airtime. I wasn't expecting anywhere near as much airtime from this coaster as no-one really comments on it. The twisties were phenomenal and almost definitely my favourite feature on any coaster. They're intense and they whip you round with such force :--D . The trim is a little burdenous, but the coaster easily becomes my favourite coaster despite it. It's an all-round insane experience with the biggest wow factor of any coaster I've ridden. It's probably the most solid favourite I've ever had and I don't invision anything yet built being able to over take it, although I may be wrong. 10/10

Backlot Stunt Coaster

I rode the one at Canada's Wonderland about 7 years ago when I think it was my first launch coaster. I remember it being fun, but wasn't expecting much from it here. It's very odd coaster and the transitions feel quite awkward and jerky sometimes, but it does have some thrill to it. For a family coaster, it's okay. 6/10

Shockwave

First TOGO coaster, so I was mildly curious. I actually thought the trains were a lot better than on the other stand-ups I've ridden in terms of comfort, until I realised a metal rail on the side that I kept banging my arm on during the ride. It wasn't too vile up until the final couple of hills which throw you forward quite vigorously which left me with a bad taste in my mouth for the ride. 4/10

Rebel Yell

Nothing much to report here of the positive or negative kind. It is was a fairly average wooden coaster, with a lot of airtime-less hills, but generally a very smooth ride. It was relatively fun :| . Thought the right side ran a bit faster. 6/10

Ricochet

One of the mack mouse models with a 'big' drop, but I still don't really have a preference between either. The laterals around the turns were a bit stronger than most, but it was still a very average ride. 5/10

Hurler

By the way most people talk of it, I thought this was going to rip me apart, but in all honesty it really wasn't that bad. The turns at the bottom of the first drop and some other place, were the roughest, but were actually the most interesting parts of quite a bland layout. If you dislike roughness on woodies than you may hate this ride, but it didn't bother me. 6/10

Grizzly

Best wooden coaster in the park, which may not be saying much but it was actually pretty decent. It started off with a bit dull with an up, down and long turnaround, but afterwards a but more character came out when the pace picked up and let out some good laterals and some moderate airtime. Again it was a bit rough, but for me the perfect amount of roughness to enhance the experience a bit. Definitely better wood out there, but t'was not bad. 7/10

Dominator

A pretty good B&M floorless coaster. It did have a significant rattle here and there (mainly in the corkscrews), which made me mark down a bit compared to some other similar B&M's, but it had a more forceful layout than I expected and I really liked the overbank following the vertical loop and the partial helix at the end of the ride. Also the drop had an unexpected bit of airtime as there was like this weird kink in the track before the drop started twisting which was a nice feature. 9/10

Anaconda

Probably my least favourite arrow coaster. It had quite a lot of jerks, jolts and generally rough bits, making it quite unpleasant. I liked the drop into the underwater tunnel, but that was about it. Bearable, but not fun. 4/10

Other Rides

Drop Tower A very nice Intamin gyro drop, but sadly came with some very shoddy operations.

Shenadoah Lumber Company My 50th log flume!!! :--D :--D . Sadly, it was an average one, but still fun.

White Water Canyon A pretty good rapids ride as pretty much all seem to be in America. It had an unexpected area of water bombs near the rides end, which gave us a drenching.

The Crypt I actually found this topspin a bit painful as it kept nipping at my shorts and skin throughout the flipping sections, but I think this can only be down to the way I was sitting because I don't have same problem with Talocan, which is the same type of topspin.


The queues were pretty good, so I managed to get all the coasters done easily the first day, plus a load of re-rides. Waited about an hour at the air gates for I305 to open following a breakdown, where a family next to me decided to leave, about 20 seconds before the ops started loading the trains. Lol!! :lol:

My night ride on I305 was easily the best ride I've had on a coaster. Just unbelievably amazing and I can't wait to ride it again.


Thanks for reading my Kings Dominion trip report. My Hershey park one will be coming soon, where I try Hershey chocolate for the first time. Yuck!! :x
 

CookieCoasters

Active Member
Sorry for the wait, but no one has replied since my last post so I lost motivation to bother while I was in Europe.

I'm gonna do the last three parks in one post, because I'm keen to get on with my Europe report (which has pictures <3 :--D ), before I have to start thinking about going back to school. BOO!!!! to starting Sixth Form :evil:

FYI: I couldn't be arsed to proof read all of this, so I apologise in advance for any major spelling or grammatical errors.

Hershey Park

Hershey is an interesting park, but in another way kind of bland. I expected there to be more theming as it is actually a 'theme' park, but there isn't really any. It lacked character and to me it the only thing that made the park stand out in any way was the coaster selection. For all I knew I could've been at any amusement park, not one that's meant to be themed to Hershey. Despite all this, the place does have a really nice family vibe to it which made the park one of the most enjoyable of the holiday. The layout of the park is easy to navigate as well because of a lot of clear signage, which many parks don't seem to have got a handle on yet. All in all its very simplistic, which in one way I like because it felt relaxed, but there was nothing more pretty look at than the coasters (not a bad thing obviously :) )

The park has got a far above average coaster selection, which was definitely the main draw for me. Skyrush gets a lot of appreciation for delivering extreme airtime and intensity, most of which I think is deserved, but I didn't find it massively mind-blowing. It definitely two fantastic airtime moments and some very forceful twisty features, but I never felt like it was really trying to rip me out of the train at any point, like many others speak of. Some roughness was always there, but a few of my rides were quite jarring which was a bit unpleasant and that first drop was interesting, but not amazing. I also found it strange how it tries to strip your shirt off :lol:

The Comet and Sooperdooperlooper were very average, but good for families. Comet was very bouncy, not in a rough way, but it kind of felt like you were on a mini trampoline. Fahrenheit is barely ever mentioned, but seriously needs way more love. It's a great mess of steel looping awesomeness <3. Three really nice pops of airtime, a great first drop and an intense norweigen loop and finale. The cobra roll and corcscrews were boring which I guess was the rides downfall. Better than any gerstlauer eurofighter and SMOOTH!!! A nice unexpected surprise.

Storm Runner was up next. This was probably my favourite coaster in the park. It had a forceful launch which seemed to get more forceful throughout the day. Lot's of very strong and often prolonged airtime and hangtime. The flying snake dive was brilliant especially when sitting at the back and being whipped through it. Easily one of my favourite features on a coaster and I'm surprised it's never been done since. It's got all the good parts of Stealth, but with a unique and extended layout. A really great coaster.

I did Sidewinder next as it was right there. A decent boomerang with the new(ish) vekoma vest restraints which are uncomfortable, but reduce headbanging, so they're an improvement I guess. Wild Mouse had a bit more of the 'wild' than your average one, but sadly just as much of the 'mouse'. Wildcat was actually a decent wooden coaster. I didn't really think it was rough and to be honest, I would have liked it a bit rougher :p . Then again I'm one of the few people who enjoy and will re-ride Gwazi. The layout was quite dull though, so definitely not a great woodie. I then ventured on to get my 350th cred which was the lightning side of Lightning Racer. I had heard good things about this ride, so I was looking forward to it, however it left me feeling a bit underwhelmed. It's not really much better than Wildcat. It's got slightly better pacing at most points and is definitely smoother, but there isn't really much airtime or intensity and it sort of peters out at the end. I may be being a bit harsh because it was fun, but I do think that many of the other GCI's I've ridden are better. I think the Thunder side was slightly better.

Ohh, I forgot Trailblazer which I did after Sidewinder. Meh, it was boring, quite poor arrow mine train. I prefered the one at SFGAdv. Finally it was on to my last coaster, Great Bear . I love B&M Inverts as I've probably said millions of times during these reports, but I was skeptical about Great Bear as some think it is one of the poorer ones, but others like it. Well... It's fab, its fun, its too short :( . Seriously though, what's there is brilliant. The vertical was one the best, the immelmen was really intense which shocked me as I tend to find these elements a bit dull. The zero-g roll was a really snappy inversion. I loved the helix in the air as well. Again, like the immelmen, I never would have thought it would be so forceful. People say it has a really anti-climatic ending, but it is literally like a turn. Alpengeist was worse in that respect. Like the batman clones though, it just felt like it was over too quickly, but I think that was pretty much my only criticism. I actually slightly prefer it to Skyrush :p .

We actually managed to get all the coasters done by about 3pm in the afternoon of the first day, which meant there was plenty of time for re-rides. The Hershey park app is probably the best I've used because it actually shows you the queue times which are generally pretty accurate. I'd been studying it for a couple of days to try and work out what was the best times to hit each ride, which turned out to be very useful as as the coasters had periods of time when their queue was shorter. The only non-coasters I rode were Coal Cracker which was an arrow jumping log flume and The Claw, a chance revolution (basically an afterburner) which ran a decent cycle. All in all, I thought Hershey Park really lacked on the quality and quantity of its non-coaster rides, which stops it from being a complete park in my eyes.

Knoebels

I was really thankful for this park because it was a nice break from the very corporate parks of the US, to something very different. It felt a bit like an Americanised version of the Sommerland parks in Denmark with the great family atmosphere and all the places for picnics and stuff. There's a lot of flat rides at Knoebels and I was dissapointed I didn't get to experience a lot of them because many of them looked quite unique. As always though there were some negatives. To put it bluntly, a lot of the rides look tatty and not well maintained. I know many of you Knoebels fans will say that it is part of the park's charm to have lot's of old rides, but that's excuse to avoid cleaning them up a bit. Regardless of this though, I had a really good time at the park and it has got a fair few good rides. The crowds were relatively mild. Twister and Phoenix were running one train, which I hate, but in all fairness Knoebels had some seriously great operations

We got to the park just after opening and made our way to Flying Turns, which had already worked up about a 40 minute queue. I thought a wooden bobsleigh would be absolutely gross, but it was actually really smooth and fun. The cars 'fly' round the turns, going quite high up the banking. Not worth the long queue for a re-ride, but one of my favourite bobsleighs (I hate most of them though <//3).

Black Diamond was the other low capacity I wanted to get done early, but thankfully there was no line. It's barely a cred, but I suppose it has two drops. I thought it was rubbish, but as I've said before dark rides rarely interest me. I'm glad I got those out of the way because now I could focus on Phoenix for a little bit. The First few times I rode in the back car and I really loved the freedom of basically just flying up and down on the hills. Right then, I thought it was great, but not as much airtime as I expected. Thankfully that changed when I started riding in the front. OMG!!! It was completely insane. Airtime everywhere and the rides only gets better as it goes along. Those final four hills lifted me up like 6 inches out of my seat (I'm very thin) and produced the biggest grin on my face I think I've ever had. Such an incredible ending. Definitely the most fun and hilarious coaster I've ever ridden. It's not the highest, it's the fastest, it's not the most extreme, but it delivers PURE FUN, coupled with an abundance of airtime :--D . Fantastic.

Flume was a very good log flume, with two good-sized quite steep drops, a mild splashing and it was in quite a nice area. Probably my favourite flume of the trip apart from maybe the one at SFGAdv. On the way to Twister, we stopped off at Stratosphere. Holy ****. It has probably the most intense drop of any drop tower I've ridden. I also love how it doesn't really stop for any period of time at the top. Great fun and very re-rideable. Twister is one of those rides that I knew very little about before riding it because I assume it gets overshadowed by Phoenix, meaning it rarely gets a mention. I definitely liked it, but it doesn't really have any woodie features. It has some laterals, but not much and sadly very little air although obviously Phoenix makes up for this. It wasn't really rough, but quite shuffly and shaky (as a warning to those who don't like that), but it looked like that the first drop had been re-tracked, so maybe it was on that bit before. It was very loud though. From my review it comes across as very average, but it felt a bit more than that to me.

After it had started to rain for a bit, I decided to ride the Frisbee with a strange name as it was just there. It was really poor though and I wish I'd chosen a different flat to ride at that time. Sadly, I only got to try out one of the other flats at Knoebels because my Mum started to feel ill and we left a bit early. So my final ride was The Flyers . Never ridden one of these before and I'd heard the one at Knoebels was the best so I made an effort to ride. Really great fun. It felt much more out of control than it looked. Really glad I rode it.

I was slightly dissapointed I didn't get to try some of the other flats like the Whip (forgot), Power Surge (nowhere to be found) and a load of other weird looking ones near the entrance, but at least it gives me something to look forward to next time.

Six Flags New England

We've been here before back in 2011 like Lake Compounce. Obviously I was drawn in by Bizarro and it was the same reason this time. I'm not really a massive fan of the park it's self because it feels very soulless and bland. It's also one of the most smelly park's I've been to :x The ride selection is okay and covers most bases decently but there is definitely room for improvement in the coaster, water ride and flat ride department. Coaster-wise they just need another high quality one (Hopefully the new Cyclone), they NEED a log flume as no park's line up is complete without one but I doubt Six Flags gives a crap :wink: . Flat ride selection is okay and I'm glad Scream runs out combo mode, but another couple modern, intense wouldn't go a miss. I suppose it's fine as a park if I'm not being to picky, but it was probably the worst of the trip.

Right then, i'll get the ball rolling with... you guessed it BIZARRO #Thrill it Up :wink: . Now I don't remember thinking Bizarro was 'all that' last time, but I was prepared for the possibility that it may be better this time. Like with Skyrush, regardless of the negatives I'm gonna talk about, it is still a very good coaster, but there is some buts! The airtime generally feels quite weak when comparing it to EGF, Goliath (WH), Skyrush, El Toro etc, which is disappointing given it's reputation, which caused me to expect more from it this time around. There were only two hills that give stronger (ejector) airtime and that was on the third airtime hill before diving through the rings and the final bunny hop. The first drop felt a bit shallow as well, kind of like the one on SFMM's Goliath. Anyway there were a fair few positives. I really liked the 'non-airtime' features of the ride, especially the over banked turn after the first hill and I also liked the twisted hills (even though the airtime wasn't massively strong), although I felt the potential for the second half of the ride was very high and all in all it was a little sluggish. Like Skyrush, a very good coaster and a very long ride time which was nice, but European intamin megas rule over both <3.

I had three creds to nab following my previous visit so I started off with Catwoman's Whip. Most interesting thing about this ride was that it tickled my bum on the lifthill :p . I was very angry with myself for criticising Bizarro, so I decided to head over to Mind Eraser for some punishment. Ummm... It wasn't that bad really. Neither the best, nor the worst SLC I've ridden. I went to ride Batman: The Dark Knight afterwards, which I didn't think much of last time. I actually thought it was a pretty decent coaster this time. Nice and tight, relatively forceful and a fab zero-g roll. It's a little on the short side but that's like a law for any coaster with Batman in the name.

Scream, the S&S Tower was also ridden a couple of times during the visit and I really liked that it was on combo mode the whole time because Turbo drops and space shots are only particularly good when put together. Goliath was the last new coaster I rode at the park (chickened out on Deja Vu years ago) and I was excited given that Stunt Fall is my favourite Vekoma (and actually very good). Goliath was terrible though :evil: . These new trains from Premier completely ruin what should be a great coaster. It's very rough and rattly, unlike it's brother in Madrid which may have been there before, but I always thought that this was quite a popular ride with enthusiasts. The main thing I hated was how the ends of the seats really scratched the back of knees when going through the ride. It didn't leave any major scratches, but it was very unpleasant. Worst coaster of the trip? I think so!

One of favourite rides at the park last time, which continued to be the case this time was the rapids, Blizzard River. It's pretty fast, has some nice misty effects, actually has some theming and was generally just a very good rapids ride. It didn't stand out as much as the one Dorney, but was probably the second best rapids ride of the trip. I rode Pandemonium next which was good fun, but I'm very skeptical about the face-to-face seating. It's great if your in a group, but otherwise it can be a little awkward and I'm always worried the person in front of me might throw up. It spins more than a Maurer, but the layout isn't as interesting and is a bit mousey.

Last coaster I rode was Thunderbolt, as I wanted a bit of woodie fun and Cyclone had closed just a few days ago, SPITE :( . I got the cred last time, but I actually really liked it. Thundebrolt was okay, just like last time. I think it actually had potential to be decent, but just wasn't.

Although, not a great park, I left SFNE satisfied and was happy to update my views on Bizarro, but was very sad this amazing dream trip was over. It was pretty much perfect though and I loved every moment of it (well nearly :) ).

Thank you for reading my final three park reports. Well done if you read the whole post in one and didn't bugger off and come back to it later :wink: .

As I said at the start, a PTR of my small trip to Europe should be coming soon, like really soon (possibly tomorrow :) ).
 

CookieCoasters

Active Member
I did take some pictures on the trip. I regret not taking more to remind of what an amazing trip it was, but I was so focussed riding and the heat meant I often forgot or didn't feel like it. Anyway here are some of them.



Waiting outside the entrance for Lake Compounce, when my excitement was at a sky high for the first park of the trip.



Saw Mill Log Flume at SFGAdv



A view I'm sure all of you (even those who haven't been) are very familar with :)




BGW





Griffon <3



Alpengeist diving down



I love this view :--D



There were lot's of iconic views at BGW



Pompeii gliding along the water



At KD, waiting for Volcano to open. It was a pretty dull morning.



The intamin beauty dominating over the crappy arrow looper, as it should be



At least I got a few pics of my favourite coaster









Some from KD's Eifel Tower





Yummy!!!!




Sadly, didn't take any pictures at Knoebels, Dorney or SFNE.

Once again, thank you for reading my reports :--D .
 

ThomVD

Active Member
CookieCoasters said:
I did take some pictures on the trip. I regret not taking more to remind of what an amazing trip it was, but I was so focussed riding and the heat meant I often forgot or didn't feel like it. Anyway here are some of them.
I have the exact same problem!

Anyway, awesome report :) .

Six Flags Great Adventure looks like one of the best parks in terms of coaster selection. Nitro and El Toro look great. Shame Kingda Ka disappointed, I love launches and would really love to try one of the two strata coasters. I guess I better go to Cedar Point if I'll ever get the chance.

BGW looks really nice, but most beautiful park in the world? Doesn't look like it to me, but maybe I just have to be there in person. Does it look nicer than Phantasialand? To me, BGW always seems like the Europa Park of the US, and to be honest BGT looks more appealing to me as well.
 

Chris Coasters

Well-Known Member
Great trip report. Overall seems like you had a amazing time. In only few days I will be in Virginia and I cannot wait for I305! I only have one day at KD so I really need to get every coaster in one day. Busch has some really unique theming and rides so I am really excited for that! . Do you have any advice on KD and Busch? I305 topping Expedition Geforce though that sounds like a this vs. that topic !
 

CookieCoasters

Active Member
Thanks for the comments guys :)

ThomVD said:
Six Flags Great Adventure looks like one of the best parks in terms of coaster selection. Nitro and El Toro look great. Shame Kingda Ka disappointed, I love launches and would really love to try one of the two strata coasters. I guess I better go to Cedar Point if I'll ever get the chance.
Yeah, SFGAdv has a very good selection of coasters El Toro alone would be enough :--D . I did think Ka was vile and by reports TTD does seem to be better, but as said SFGAdv still has plenty of other good coasters.

ThomVD said:
BGW looks really nice, but most beautiful park in the world? Doesn't look like it to me, but maybe I just have to be there in person. Does it look nicer than Phantasialand? To me, BGW always seems like the Europa Park of the US, and to be honest BGT looks more appealing to me as well.
Nah, I don't think BGW is the most beautiful park in the world. It's a very nice park, but not drop-dead gorgeous. In terms of beauty it's hard to compare it to Phantasialand because they have very different styles of theming, but I don't think BGW is as nice as Europa Park, so if you prefer Phantasialand to Europa Park (like we do), then no, is probably the answer to that question.

CoastingChris50 said:
Do you have any advice on KD and Busch?
My two days at Busch were very quiet, so I didn't have any crowd problems, but I'll try the best I can. The park staggers opening times, which are shown on the back of their park map. I've got the park map right here :) , so I can tell what I assume will be fairly standard instances.

England (entrance area): 9:15 am
Scotland (Loch Ness): 9:30 am
Ireland (Europe in the air): 10 am
France/New France (Griffon, Alpie and Flume): 10 am
Festa Italy/Italy (Apollo, Pompeii, Rapids): 10:15 am
Germany/Oktoberfest (Verbolten, MTower, CurseDK): 10:30 am

It may not be exactly the same for your visit, but these were the times for a Sunday and Monday in July. All the coasters are pretty high capacity which coupled with good operations means queues should move fast and hopefully never get to big. Verbolten usually had about a 10 minute queue when I was there (which was the longest out of all the coasters), so maybe try and get there for 10:30 if it's busy. Leave Apollo's Chariot a little while as it needs an hour or two to get to it's full potential. Back row for Apollo and Alpie was best, but with Griffon I tended to alternate between both.

Kings Dominion didn't have too many long queues, but I did go on a Wednesday and Thursday. I think you said in your trip planning topic that you were getting Fast lane Plus, so do the ones that aren't on that first obviously. The only coasters that I found attracted bigger lines were: Volcano, I305, FoF, Backlot, Shockwave (loading takes forever) and Ricochet. I rode Avalanche very early, so that may get busier, but it's on fast lane I think. The woodies were all very quiet. If you're staying for dark make sure you get one on I305 (It will blow your mind :p ) and Drop Tower (if you like them).

I hope you have a great time, as both are very good parks. If you've got any more questions just ask away :)

CoastingChris50 said:
I305 topping Expedition Geforce though that sounds like a this vs. that topic !
Both are outstanding coasters and I think EGF is more of an all-round people pleaser, whereas I305 is slightly more subjective due to the intensity. I just love it though because it's completely mental!!

EDIT: Just realised this was my 1000th post <3 :--D
 

Chris Coasters

Well-Known Member
Thanks so much! Yeah I am stoked and I can't wait for I305. Ya we are staying until late so I am really looking forward to that. Yeah fast lane should help a good amount.
 
Top