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TR: Australia etc (USS/Luna Park/Dreamworld/Sea World/WBMW/Luna Park/HKDL/...)

Discussion in 'Trip Reports' started by davidm, Mar 31, 2019.

  1. Matt N

    Matt N Member

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    Great reports @davidm; really enjoying them, especially as Australia is a place that not many enthusiasts seem to have been!

    Huge congratulations on #1000, also; DC Rivals looks like a stunning choice! Meanwhile, I'm still only on 63...

    Out of interest, how would you say DC Rivals compares to other hypers you've done, as I'd presume you've done quite a few?
     
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  2. davidm

    davidm Member

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    ^ Well as I've mentioned, I was on something like 12 before I got the bug properly so you are well ahead already (relatively speaking) ;)
    And I'm not sure "hyper" is a class that defines a coaster "experience" particularly well, as I said DC most reminded me of Goliath (not a hyper), I s'pose its most like the 2-across Intamins though rather than the 4-across Intamins or B&Ms.
     
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  3. Matt N

    Matt N Member

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    Ah right. Thanks @davidm!
     
  4. Hixee

    Hixee Flojector Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    Good work on #1000. Congratulations good sir! :)

    This report is great. Plenty of beer too, good man. :D
     
  5. davidm

    davidm Member

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    OK there was no avoiding it anymore, another milestone hit and on the Saturday it was the birthday I had managed to largely ignore for the
    previous 2 weeks. Ugh.

    I had a plan for the day though, but the weather wasn't looking too cooperative so that was a shame.

    Wasn't raining first up, so had a wander up from Darling Harbour thru the Rocks to the bridge area.

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    Gosh there are some fugly buildings being put up here in the prime real estate area.

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    Liked this random art in the middle of the street though

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    We'll come back to this in a bit...

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    Anyway this is where I was heading, damned if I'm not going to ride the only roller coaster left in Sydney on my Birthday...

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    Hopped on a train to get across the bay and by then it was raining but what can you do...

    Luna Park - Saturday 9th March.

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    They did 2 types of pass ; all day wristband thingy and a two rides only thingy. I only wanted to ride one ride but riding it twice seemed like
    a good plan.

    There used to be a big arrow looper here;

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    But the locals complained about the noise (no kidding, there are apartment blocks right over the park) so it was spited (and moved to the Gold
    Coast as Cyclone at Dreamworld - now that Hot Wheels thing that was under maintenance when I was at Dreamworld earlier - already had the cred
    so meh)

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    This is what I was here for though, Wild Mouse

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    It was OK actually ; for a pretty old wild mouse (wooden though, so special), not a patch on Blackpool's of course (RIP), but what is.

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    Chatted briefly with the ride ops, they reckoned the best time to ride it was in the rain, so that was a win.

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    Park itself was OK for its size. Nicer than the one in Melbourne I think (possibly my opinion is clouded by NOT being spited here though). They
    had a few standard flats and a rotor that they seemed proud of (not the original rotor they had though apparently, a more recent version).

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    So not a reason to visit Sydney at all, but if you were in Sydney, worth dropping into.

    Back on the train to get back to the other side and after a spot of lunch sat in Circular Quay headed up to the bridge for the afternoon's
    tourist activity.

    I'd done the bridge climb on my first visit here, back in 2000 but figured it was worth doing again today given the reasoning to be here.
    Seemed to remember it being a heck of a lot cheaper to do the first time I did it though ; this time it certainly wasn't cheap - never mind
    no worries, just get on with it.

    Bridge Climb base is in one of the arches under the road leading onto the bridge and it all a very efficient process getting you kitted out
    for the 'climb' (really just a leisurely walk - there's one ladder you have to climb but the rest of it is no more strenuous than walking up
    a hill )

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    Despite the efficiency it takes you a pretty long time to get kitted up ; there is a lot of faff involved but all pretty well done - you have
    to get kitted up in their jumpsuits, everything tied onto you and all harnessed up to a cable system to prevent you jumping off.

    For the leisurely walk up the bridge the weather was holding out, but looking a bit grim - by the time we got near the top though it was
    raining again and a bit unpleasant, we were ordered to put our raincoats on by the guide (who was great of course)

    Anyway the pics were a bit rubbish then, possibly due to the weather, more likely due to me being in them though I think

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    Being a goon I requested a pic with the cred in the background - that made the guide laugh!

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    And here, just for comedy value, pic from my 2000 visit - better weather then, same (if younger) muppet ruining the view though;

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    The weather was bit horrible on the way down the bridge, but by the time we de-kitted ourselves (another period of faff) it had cleared so
    pretty bad timing in that the worst weather of the day was while I was on the climb - nevermind though.

    After the climb back in 2000, the guide had taken a bunch of us to the pub nearby which had a great rooftop bar and view over the city. This
    time the guide did not offer to take us to the pub but I went anyway.

    Only the view was mostly spoiled by a stupid big boat in the way! Ha.

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    Look you can see the Opera House;

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    The stupid big boat in question

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    Had a couple of beers then, headed back to hotel and then out for a slap up posh dinner

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    Just as I left the restaurant and wandered down to Darling Harbour, Sydney kindly put on a big firework display to mark my birthday, that was
    nice of them.

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    Had a few beers in a brewbar on the harbour to commiserate celebrate the occasion.

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    So that was it, another milestone done, onto the next one I guess...
     
  6. Hutch

    Hutch Member

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    Lotta creds and a lotta beer. Doesn't get much better than that, does it?

    Congrats on the #1000, glad it was a good one too. :)
     
  7. Hixee

    Hixee Flojector Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    Hear hear, happy birthday dude. Looks like a pretty good day to me. All under your own terms - perfect. :)

    Bridge walk is one I want to do too. Cliche, maybe, but some thing out there you've just 'gotta do'.
     
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  8. Howie

    Howie Member

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    Great reporting as always, Dave. Especially liked the goony thumbs-up pictures on the bridge. Not cringey at all. ;)
    Congrats on the milestones - the 1000 creds and... y'know, the other one.
     
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  9. davidm

    davidm Member

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    ^ Yeah "special" pictures those aren't they.

    --

    Right a few more non-coaster days to rattle through. Not sure I've even got any tenuous coaster connections in any of this, sorry about that.

    Went to the beach for a looksee...

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    I don't "do" beaches though, so quickly found a pub instead ; the marvellously named "Bucket List" overlooking the beach.

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    Found a few more pubs back in the city too, was kinda looking for the same sort of places as I'd liked in Melbourne/Brisbane so had headed
    to a hipster-trendy suburb, there were a few but I think after my considerable research effort that Melbourne > Brisbane > Sydney >>>>> Gold
    Coast in the beer stakes.

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    The beer-app gets you on screen in the pub if you are (un)lucky.

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    Did a "do a lot of the tourist stuff" day, started out at the Powerhouse Museum which had some Star Wars exhibition going on (its a travelling
    thing, think it was at the O2 in London a couple of years ago). Was OK, but clearly predated the new films as was all heavy on the prequels
    as well as the original stuff. Was geeky enough to keep me happy for a while though.

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    Went to the SeaLife next. Had been here before back in 2002 and had thought it was one of the best aquariums I'd been to. Well Merlin have
    ruined it I think as I borderline hated it this time - not recommended then. :(

    Hated it so much I didn't even try to take any fish-pictures, just some phone crap instead.

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    They had a "ride" - a boat thing around a penguin exhibit. Was crap.

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    Went up a big tower. Decent views, even if the bridge/opera house area is bit obscured by buildings.

    This is a 360 degree shot - 30 odd pics stuck together.

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    Was my last night in Sydney though, so had a beer or two to see me off

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    Flight out wasn't until late on the next day so ticked off a few more things, theres a viewing platform on one of the bridge's towers and that
    was pretty good.

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    I became strangely obsessed by this (now empty) brutalist housing block right in the city centre (info here). Was social housing for people
    displaced when they gentrified the Rocks, only now they have evicted all the people from the place (presumably since it in such a prime
    location and there was $$$$ in it.) :(

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    Speaking of the Rocks, there were a couple of pubs I'd meant to pop into which I'd missed, so made sure I dropped in before I left

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    But also managed the contemporary art gallery (was OK) and the city museum too, its not all coasters and pubs you know!

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    Wandered around the botanical gardens, amusing flower display anyway

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    And thats right by the Opera House so took some pics there too.

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    One final pub in Sydney (OK it is all coasters and beer I guess) was a bit of a dive-bar with a Star Wars fetish - liked it, shame I had a
    plane to catch though or I'd have stayed there a while! (Bar is "SG" which stands for Spooning Goats which for some reason they made them
    change the name of as the city thought that was "suggestive" or something. Weird Aussies!)

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    Awesome toilet work!

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    Anyway off to the airport now, see ya Australia - you've been a blast! :)
     
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  10. Hixee

    Hixee Flojector Staff Member Administrator Moderator

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    Sounds pretty good to me - coasters, beer, sights and sun? Yes please.
     
  11. davidm

    davidm Member

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    Part Three : Also not Australia

    I smugly thought I had been very clever with the big flights involved on this trip by booking overnight flights for the big legs, only I came
    a bit unstuck with this one from Sydney to Hong Kong ; in that the flight itself was fine and was due in at around 5am. However the flight
    was about an hour early, Hong Kong immigration/customs was a breeze and so I was then at the airport having to wait around for the first
    train of the day to get me into the city - so that was the best part of 2 hours sitting around waiting for a train. Ha ha, very funny.

    Dumped my luggage at the hotel (of course I could not check in yet) and went for a walk. Still stupid early in the morning though so pretty
    quiet still. Spotted that the tram up to the peak was open and wasn't too far from the hotel so that became the plan.

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    Been up there before, but it rubbish weather so only barely got to see "the view" then, but this time it was a lot clearer (but the viewing
    platform thing up at the peak was not open for another few hours so the pics are all from the roads/paths around there)

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    There's a little trail (couple of Km I guess) around the mountain-top so walked around that to see if there were any good views, occupied a
    while anyway until a coffee place at the top had opened up and I could get some breakfast.

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    Headed back down, wandered around a big aviary in a park for a while which was nice. The city and come to life by then and I headed towards
    the bayside to see if there was anything going on there near the ferris wheel which I'd seen from a distance.

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    There wasn't though, but there was nearby a city-planning museum (which I must admit doesn't sound particularly thrilling) but I found quite
    interesting. A lot on information on how (and why) the city has grown and what the future plans might entail. Spent quite a while in there
    actually.

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    Look future plans for Disneyland;

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    Had a look at the wheel, didn't ride it though as its rather dwarfed by the buildings around it so view-wise wouldn't have thought it was
    up to much.

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    Had some lunch then checked into the hotel and grabbed some sleep - was a bit flagging by then.

    Headed out later, and found some beer you'll be surprised to hear.

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    Gooning will be resumed shortly then...
     
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  12. davidm

    davidm Member

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    Hong Kong Disneyland - Thursday 14th March.

    Obligatory Mickey Mouse themed metro pics;

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    Easy to get to from the city this place so was hanging around a bit waiting for them to open. The weather was not looking too promising for the
    day though, was very grey and overcast so figured Id rush around and get the creds first before taking my time over the rest of the park.

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    (Hyper) Space Mountain was first up. Of course I've done a few of these, but never with the Star Wars overlay (have done California's
    with the Ghost Galaxy overlay so was kinda expecting it to be a bit like that).

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    The outside of the ride and the queue line were all Star Wars-ed up and that was all quite cool, but the station itself, apart from one TV
    screen, was devoid of any Star Wars stuff so that was a bit of a dud.

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    But the ride itself I really liked - thought it got better and better as it went on with the Star Wars bits and the occasions when there
    were red/green laser chaser-lights going off I thought were really rather great. Really enjoyed this then.

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    Next up was the mine train Big Grizzly Mountain Runaway Mine Cars which I was quite looking forward too. I knew what its "tricks" were
    but I hadn't watched any videos of it recently so the order of the tricks and such was not fresh in my mind. Negligible queue too - presumably
    weather putting people off today meant I could ride it a few times easily.

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    Again, really liked this as well. The tricks were good and the animatronics all worked well (unlike its Animal Kingdom cousin).

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    Last cred is the silly Intamin RC. Ridden the one in Paris so I knew it was a bit rubbish, at least this one was walk-on though unlike
    Paris when I had a huge wait for the stupid thing.

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    Anyway, don't think much of these at all so +1 and done.

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    OK creds done I can relax now, it had not started raining yet but it didn't look long off.

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    The only other thing here I was desperately keen to do was the Mystic Manor dark ride, which everyone raves about. And I can see why, it was
    really very good. Think I preferred the (similar trackless system) Hunny Hunt in Tokyo, but this was very good as well - lots of stuff going
    on and some clever transitions between scenes - need to ride it a few times to get the full experience as the cars take slightly different
    routes through the ride. All very cool.

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    Hong Kong's 'Hunny Hunt' ride was not up to the same standard as Tokyo's tho'

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    There something about that Small World ride that borderline terrifies me - its like a bad trip or something, lazy stereotypes of various
    countries and that incessant tune. Just horrible. Ugh.

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    Ugh the terror!

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    I guess that the next "big" ride is the Iron Man Experience - this was presented very well, nicely themed area and tons of stuff in the queue
    line.

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    However the ride itself? Not so good. Felt like it was Star Tours with all the fun taken out of it. I mean I'll happily reride Star Tours
    multiple times, this I was only going to do the once I thought (I did actually come back to it later when the rain came down just because
    its indoors, but didn't think it got any better on a second viewing). OK fair enough I like Star Wars and I'm mostly ambivalent about the
    Marvel stuff, but still thought the ride-film was pretty poor. Hmmm.

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    The new (well newly themed) shooter ride next door was a few weeks away from opening, I stared at it for a while for any sign of technical
    rehearsals but they seemed only to be doing a bit of staff training so no exclusive early action for me.

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    It was pretty heavily raining by now, so the day slowed down a lot, did ride the Jungle Cruise in the rain and Space Mountain and Mystic
    Manor a few more times though.

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    I'm not a great fan (or in fact, at all a fan) of shows at parks. But at least they are often indoor, so useful places to hide out from rain
    in. Did Mickey's Book of Shadows (something like that anyway) - production values were high, lots of complicated sets but it was all just a
    procession of people singing the big movie tunes (I assume, not sure I've ever seen any of the films that the songs were from). Was probably
    very good if you like that sort of thing though?

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    I'd done the Lion King show in Florida in the past and was reasonably impressed by that then, so gave it another go here - yeah again very
    impressive - better than the Mickey one for me I think.

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    OK rain has gone so I can get a few more mine train rides and wander around the park a bit before I go.

    Nice work on the castle, not.

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    Despite the rain I've had a pretty good day - probably liked the park a bit more than I expected to if I'm honest. Not sure I'd rush back
    though - maybe see what happens with that second gate in a few years?

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    Still in tourist mode, went to the local Hard Rock for food. Food was OK but the place was a bit poor so had some more beer elsewhere instead.

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    Last day of goonery next then, holiday is almost over :(
     
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