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At last - The June USA trip! (day10- Hersheypark)


Strata Poster
So - Finally decided to start on this report!

This was a one week trip through the ECC, I added a second week in New York to visit SFGA and hopefully get the spiteful el toro cred.

DAY 1 - Flight out and Great Escape.
Arrived at Heathrow at 5am - and was among the first to check in, I'd booked in premium economy and prepaid for one of the solo seats. On check in I was told "You've been upgraded to business class!" The lounge and club world seats were a great way to start the holiday!

We landed at about noon, and about 2 hours later everyone (including a few on a different flight) had cleared customs and we were of to Great Escape. - Had about 2.5 hours there, which was enough time to get all the creds, and rerides (although I did have a bit of cred anxiety)!

First up was their boomerang:

Slightly burdenous loading meant a cred anxiety level of about 6/10
I've never had too many problems with boomerangs - and this was no exception

I then fancied a snack, so queued for some pizza - the group in front were arguing about using a coupon - the 'xiety level was creeping up to 8/10. and the pizza was a bit naff

It was then time for canyon blaster - arrow mine train of meh!

followed by Steamin' turd/demon

Which had a slightly loch-ness monsterish look

It was VILE! But at least the queues were short, so the cred anxiety had settled down to about 5/10!

So - three coasters remaining and about an hour left

I decided not to bother with the zamperla kiddy cred
and the intamin bobsled had gone "intamin" (first, and I believe only spite of the trip)

so that left Comet - a decent old school woodie

It was walk on - so I had time for a good half dozen rides before making my way to the coach, taking a couple more pics on the way


Hyper Poster
Re: At last - The June USA trip! (day 1)

What day/date in June did you go to Great Escape? Just wondering as I'm planning to visit in June 2017 most likely so would be interested to know when it's quiet... :)


Strata Poster
Re: At last - The June USA trip! (day 2 - storyland and funt

^^It was the 6th


So day 2 was a 2 park day (in the trip planning there was also mention of doing one of the alpine coasters near to story land and palace playland near funtown, neither of these happened - guess it would have been too hectic planning wise!) - they underestimated the journey time to storyland by about an hour and a half - (this was the day I discovered google maps was pretty accurate) - so only had about 2 hours there - fortunately it was enough to do the 2 coasters, the 2 cheesy rides I wanted to do and get a few rerides on roar o saurus, which I'd head really good reviews of.


Behind the rather simple looking entrance

Was hiding a really beautiful little family park!

Hang on - Am I in Alton Towers a few years ago?

First ride was "polar coaster"

Interesting layout, quite ok for a kiddy ride, and had a cloggy dumbo ride next to it

The 2 other rides I did were "Los Bravos Mining Co" - a mine based walkthrough, and Slipshod safari, both managed to be cheesy, crap and fab at the same time - unfortunately no pics due to lack of time!

And then on to the main attraction, roar o saurus - The Gravity group woody (it's far too good to be described as a kiddy coaster!)

Great ride - so much airtime, well worthy of a spot in my top 10!

Remember the alpine coaster I mentioned? Not only did we drive right past it on the way to storyland, but we also drove past on the way out, and then realised they'd missed a turning, and drove past it AGAIN! GRRRRRRRRRRRRR!


an ok park - nice dragon though

had waterslides (which we didn't have time for)

a few classic flats

2 creds -
Wild "meh"se

and exalibur

Obligatory lift hill shot

It was ok in a few seats, and a bit brutal in others!

oh look - you can see our coach!


Hyper Poster
Re: At last - The June USA trip! (day 2 - storyland and funt

caffeine_demon said:
^^It was the 6th
Wow, it's that dead on a Saturday? Our plan would be to go on a weekday so nothing to worry about, obviously! :lol:

I may also try and get to Story Land so good to see a write-up of that too. Wondering if I'm going to see Canobie Lake Park next as that's also on the radar for our USA trip in 2017... :wink:


Strata Poster
Re: At last - The June USA trip! (day 3 now up!)

Day 3 was another 2 park day, continuing the theme of "just enough time for the rides and a few photos"!

Park 1 - Canobie lake.

Another nice looking park!

First of all I did the ghost train:

Which Was a decent dark ride - I wish six flags would get some nice dark rides in!!

I then hit the creds!

Canobie corkscrew was a bit painful

Dragon was meh


was in a "bear"y nice looking area of the park

and was one of the more enjoyable euro fighters!

That left time for a few rides on yankee canonball

Which wasn't particularly easy to photograph, and I'm sure I took some pics of the station

A fun enough little old woodie..

Afterwards, headed back to the coach and moved on to Quassy - which was a park we should have visited on the US live a few years ago, but had closed early due to rain. This time made up for that - they had the park open late for kids birthdays, and allowed us to join in, and included a barbecue and free beers!

Obviously the main attraction was Wooden Warrior:

which I had plenty of time to take pics of

I even got some arty motion blur shots

The ride is great - lovely pacing, nice airtime, good layout - not quite as good as roar o saurus, but I can't say that bothers me too much - a ride like this could improve pretty much any park!

The rest of the park was 1 other coaster - little dipper

A rickety oldie!
a selection of flats:

A train around the park

and a big-ass lake

I was expecting it to be a bit rubbishy except wooden warrior, but it was a lovely looking place again - and great owners! too!


Strata Poster
Re: At last - The June USA trip! (day 3 up)

These ECC trips that you go on Dan, is the time in the parks "organised" or do they just dump you at the gates and leave you to your own devices in the park (ERT stuff aside)?

(just curious thats all)

Martyn B

CF Legend
Re: At last - The June USA trip! (day 3 up)

I've never understood the point of running around parks to get creds, then leave.

What's so wrong with enjoying everything the park has to offer, and even some rerides? (Not saying that's exactly what you've done, just in general, that seems to be what people like to do)

Pink Cadillac

Giga Poster
Re: At last - The June USA trip! (day 3 up)

Some parks don't have anything to offer apart from the creds. I've done parks with an in-and-out-before-I-get-hungry mindset.


Strata Poster
Re: At last - The June USA trip! (day 3 up)

Depends on the park, as well as how much you can cram in.

Some places like Brean you want to get in get the creds and go somewhere which isn't... Brean.

Other places like Phantasialand, Knoebels, Alton etc you need to explore more.

But if your planning to get more than one park done in a day, like holiday park and tripsdrill sometimes you sacrifice the exploration in order to fit both in.

Keep em coming Dan


Giga Poster
Re: At last - The June USA trip! (day 3 up)

Why would one cred run Tripsdrill <//3 That's just... no...


Strata Poster
Re: At last - The June USA trip! (day 3 up)

These ECC trips that you go on Dan, is the time in the parks "organised" or do they just dump you at the gates and leave you to your own devices in the park (ERT stuff aside)?

Other than ert, and sometimes lunch, it's on your own- although we usually form small groups

I've never understood the point of running around parks to get creds, then leave.

Nor me - to be honest, but I knew that some of the days on this one were likely to be a little rushed!

We did have enough time for the creds + a bit more at all of the parks though (except compounce which was swarming with schoolkids)

Keep em coming Dan

will do!


Strata Poster
Re: At last - The June USA trip! (day 3 up)

ThomVD said:
Why would one cred run Tripsdrill <//3 That's just... no...
Twas an example due to proximity, that's all. Untwisted those knickers.

Martyn B

CF Legend
Re: At last - The June USA trip! (day 3 up)

I know it always comes down to each individual park, I'd just always rather plan for a hole day at each place (unless it's Brean), then if I find I'm done early, that's a bonus. I'd rather do that than rush, and potentially miss a hidden treasure (or a cred!)


Strata Poster
Re: At last - The June USA trip! (day 3 up)

Day 4 - Six flags New England

One of the parks I'd visited on the US live, so priorities today were a few rides on each of Wicked cyclone and Bizarro, and rerides on a few of the things I enjoyed last time.

1st up, wicked cyclone - I hadn't really been following the construction topic, but seeing the POV a few weeks before the trip really piqued my interest!

Such a photogenic coaster!

even makes the boomerang look good!

Plonked my bag in the lockers (can't understand why these cause so many complaints - $1 for 2 hours is better value than most other parks..) Had 3 or 4 goes- it was walk on, before heading round the rest of the park, thinking I'd leave it till later for some more goes.

Verdict - Brilliant! Good strong airtime, smooth, great inversions (the stall turn is particularly good) and whilst a little short, it's utterly relentless. Was a bit concerned that the leg restraints would ruin it, but didn't really notice them (although a couple of members found them burdenous).

After that we went to goliath - which I rather enjoyed last time, although I'd heard that the new cars/restraints had wrecked it.

Unfortunately, the rumours are 100% true - it's ghastly now - down in the depths of slcs for pain!

Then on to pandemonium

Wasn't that impressed last time round, but this time we got a better spin, so I rather enjoyed it.

I think we did thunderbolt before lunch -

quite good fun, just as last time! A few people were saying it was better than wicked cyclone, and that the old cyclone only needed retracking...

Went for the healthy option for lunch - a toasted minced beef wrap thing, which was ok - but the service was rather slow - obviously had a trainee on

After lunch it was bizarro time!

twisty goodness

Had a couple of goes on that before grabbing a reride on the dark knight

Which I think is a decent floorless coaster

and then another few rides on bizarro - after the last trip, this had been my number one - It's slipped down a couple of places, but still has really strong airtime over it's lengthy course!

A couple of things I noticed:
1 - One of the trains had broken audio
2 - The train with audio was giving a notably better ride.

whilst heading back to WC for rerides, it started to rain a bit!

Sucky vertical video

The rain cleared at about 4:30, and with the park closing at 6 - I thought I'd get plenty of WC rerides in - so headed on over - only to find a closed entrance, with no staff around - waited around with a few of the group for about 20 minutes before figuring they probably weren't reopening, so headed to houdini's madhouse - which was ok, but they had a strange "no bags on the floor" rule - despite the fact every other madhouse is ok with bags on the floor.

Pretty good day - but not opening any of the rides after the rain gets them minus points!


Strata Poster
Re: At last - The June USA trip! (day 5-Compounce/adventurel

finally back onto this after my hospital visit!

DAY 3 - Lake Compounce and Adventureland

Rule 1 of Lake Compounce TR club is that you must have this photo!

This was my second visit to Compounce (and the second time I took this shot!) - Last time, on the US Live, Boulder dash wasn't running well - so I was looking forward to see if it lived up to expectations this time.

Kicked off with a couple of goes on it - 1st at the back was underwhelming again, 2nd near the front was a little better, with some nice pops of air - but I still couldn't see why it's so popular. Also - after the second go I noticed the place was getting rather crowded with schoolkids. The queue for wildcat was about 45 minutes, and again I didn't think it was as bad as other people say it is.

I then got the tram thing to the cable car

only to be greeted by this sign

Huh? - It was stinkin' hot, barely a puff of wind and not a cloud in the sky!!

so - I walked back and admired the lake view

and walked around the new dinosaur area:

probably the only area in the park not swarming with schoolkids!

queued another 40 mins for a third go on boulderdash - i was behind a group of schoolkids who were spitting - lovely!

Still meh!

So - Picnic lunch (average burgers and lots of fizzy drink), and back to the coach to head to adventureland, farmingdale

PS - lots of school buses


They stayed open about an hour after closing for us - what nice people! AND what a nice little amusement park to boot

The main attraction, was the newly opened turbulence - mack spinner

A lovely coaster - just the right amount of spinnyness - Great fun all round Had about 6 or 7 goes and looked around the rest of the park - and found my second favourite theme park eiffel tower

and some little park staples

and a log flume, and little zierer coaster, which I didn't take a pic of..

and a fab ghost train - the first great ghost train of a few over the next few days!

The cars were themed to rickshaws lead by headless apparitions

outside was a bloke puking in a barrel


and some nudity


Strata Poster
Re: At last - The June USA trip! (day 5-Compounce/adventurel

Day 6 - Rye Playland

A day of nostalgia and mild ghettoness!

And no queues..
First up was the tiddly little mouse:

and then the Volare

Which was one of the worst volares ever!

Then dragon coaster

which was ok - but nothing outstanding (like a lot of the old woodies)

Before the 2 ghost trains:
Zombie castle:

and flying witch:

Which were both pretty neat, but had odd loading rules - "1's and 2s in the BACK ONLY, only 3rd and 4th can use the front.."

And the old mill (which I didn't take a pic of)- a dark water ride, which was a mixture of long stretches of nothing, and a few cute bits, and the daft "no single riders" rule!

lunch happened and then I decided that after almost a week in the heat, I needed a soaking to cool down, so went on playland plunge:

followed by a quick spin dry

I think this was my first yoyo - somehow a bit more interesting than the waveswingers

Mopped up the last coaster

Didn't even try and get on kiddie coaster

did derby racer

so now have the full set of three!

Took some pics from the big wheel (all shown earlier!)

And finished with the dubious cred

All in all - it wasn't as dive-like as I'd expected!


Strata Poster
Re: At last - The June USA trip! (day6- Rye Playland)

Day 7 - Knoebels.

Another revisit, and one I was looking forward to as last time round we didn't get time for many of the flats, due to visiting dorney on the same day, this time we had the whole day so I thought "plenty of time!"

Slightly scuppered when the itinerary came out and we had to leave at 3 or 4... (think that's due to coach driver hours)..

Arrived at park for ERS on Phoenix and impulse - Phoenix had gone temporarily tech so we started on twister for a couple of goes - Still have a soft spot for it! Then moved over to possibly the only coaster that has me giggling - those final four airtime hills are just GREAT! I found it really doesn't matter which car you ride in, just sit in the front seat of that car for the best ride (ie rows 1,4,7 and 10).

Then onto impulse - Zierers version of a eurofighter. First up - the color scheme just doesn't fit in with the park! A little RMC would have been a better fit IMO. I thought the ride was ok- but the shinbars were a bit painful without defensive riding.

They then took us to flying turns for the first ride of the day on that. The ride's pretty good fun, but the loading is rather burdenous with everyone being weighed and allocated to the correct row, and waiting for what felt like 3 hours for the ride to warm up properly, so it didn't stall (but was probably closer to 10 minutes).

After black diamond (fun little indoor coaster), kozmos kurves (one of the better kiddie coasters) and the great haunted house it was time for lunch. After which I did the cable car, got spited by one of the trains, and my first flying scooters (meh), another spin on twister and phoenix. and lastly a go on the drop tower (not as good as detonator).

I then realised I had 30 minutes till leaving time - so hurriedly Bought a t shirt (not much choice... ;) )and a wooden piggy.

Also realised I hadn't taken any photos!

Next time I want to stay for 2 or 3 days - Don't think they'd mind if I set up camp under the phoenix lift hill for a night or 2!


Strata Poster
Re: At last - The June USA trip! (day 7 - knoebels)

Day 8 - Coney island

Another sort of revisited park - Last time round they were closed because of the weather (moderate drizzle as I remember!)

This time they made up for it - We had a brief backstage tour of cyclone (rarer than hen's teeth apparently), included lunch, and rides on thunderbolt and cyclone (as well as first ride of the day on cyclone)

And the weather was stunning again!

I hadn't had the "pleasure" of riding cyclone before the GCI retrack, but it was pretty good - nice smooth fun ride - and those seats are hilarious to get into!

We then went onto the 2 kiddy coasters - circus coaster was a predictably bad zamperla, with really tight kneeroom, Sea serpent was a not so bad e&f miler ride. Then on to steeplechase - which was the same as motogee in finland - so not bad, but not brilliant.

Then it was a milestone

The more observant may notice the clever editing there!

I have a thing about making milestones unremarkable or crap - the volare was pretty unremarkable - and not as bad as Rye's, and before lunch we had time for thunderbolt

Call me weird - But it wasn't as bad as I was expecting..

after lunch I took pics from the wibbly wobbly wheel.

Or was it a prison cell?

The beach was pretty busy

I didn't bother with tickler (I hate those reverchon/zamperla spinners)

Cyclone had gone down so we didn't get a second ride in (it went back up just after I'd picked my luggage from the coach)

Before leaving, I had time for the 2 dark rides, Ghost hole and spook a rama.

Ghost hole was rather poor, but spook a rama is one of the best ghost trains I've ever been on - The sideways facing cars allow for better interaction and scares.

So - I then picked up my bags, and went to the hotel to start the second week on my own. On the way the lady on the subway sitting next to me told me she was a journalist, and was pretty surprised when she found out I was a roller coaster fan! My first task was to get to a launderette - unfortunately whilst new york never sleeps, the launderettes do - so I had to use a service wash, and reuse some sweaty socks!!


Strata Poster
Re: At last - The June USA trip! (day 7 - knoebels)

Day 9 - Madness.....

so - Having said:

I've never understood the point of running around parks to get creds, then leave.

Nor me - to be honest, but I knew that some of the days on this one were likely to be a little rushed!

Today's plan was:

Greyhound from New York to Atlantic city (didn't fancy anything at steel pier)
Bus on to Ocean city (Playland's Castaway Cove and Gillian's wonderland)
Bus on to wildwood (Morey's piers)
Bus back to atlantic city
train to Philadelphia, for a few hours rest before heading to Hershey the next day..

It all worked out pretty damn well - coaches and buses on time (except one about 15 mins late), although I didn't get a chance to do the water parks at Moreys (boo)

So - call 1 - Playland's castaway cove.
Some might say I went a year early, but It was nice to get on the flitzer.

First impressions were good - They allowed me to use a token offer that had expired (I'd emailed them beforehand), and the staff seemed really friendly.

First ride was python - A better than average pinfari looper (not saying too much though)
Then the flitzer - which was decent fun, and pirates gold rush which wasn't too shabby for a kiddy cred. Also did the train and took some pics from the ferris wheel.

Before heading to Gillians, I did surf shack and the air race.

Was impressed with the promenade - Lively but not too tacky! Bought some nice coffee beans on the way!

Stop 2 - Gillians wasn't quite as nice as playland's - rides cost more, spited out of the monorail and ferris wheel by daft "no singles" rules...

Just rode runaway train out of the two coasters, and did the ghost train - which I can't remember much about....

Then bus onto Wildwood for Moreys piers.
Attacked each of the 3 piers in turn, so adventure pier was first - great white was decent enough- had one go and headed onwards, thinking I'd reride later.

Headed on to mariners pier - where the first ride was sea serpent - a common old boomerang.
The other coaster here was "rollies coaster" - a bog standard non looping pinfari.
Also took a walk through the ghost ship - which was quite good - very long and had a few eerie moments.
Was hoping I'd be able to find another rider to go on pirates of the wildwood - but that was closed! Oh - and the giant wheel had one of those sucky "no singles" rules

Then surfside pier - with it's 3 coasters
1st - doo whopper - A bog standard tiddly mouse
2nd - another flitzer - this one featured 3 seatbelts per car, for that "loonie asylum" feeling!
3rd - Fly! - the great nor' easter. An slc. YEUCH!

They have lockers outside - and you have to put EVERYTHING (*) in there - money, wallets, phones - At the queue entrance they have an airport style metal detector wand!
(*) everything except glasses and for some reason baseball caps - which you can store in the cubbys on the station - cubbys which looked big enough for the bags you have to leave in the lockers.

Anyway - on the ride, I was relieved to see it had the new softer restraints. The relief was short lived - ROUGHEST COASTER EVAH!!

oh - and Dante's dungeon was closed.. BOO HISS!

Was feeling knackered (unsurprisingly) - so I had dinner and went back to the bus..