Photo TR: Condor's Audacious Travels *UPDATED* CGA

California's Great America pg. 4
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Photo TR: Condor's Audacious Travels *UPDATED* CGA

Postby Condor » Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:20 pm

Ostentatious East Coast-Midwest 2018

With all these “Mega” and “Epic” photo TRs, I thought it was time for a new adjective. I hit seven parks over nine days for my longest coaster trip of 2018. I had been to five of them before while two (MA and SFGAm) I would be seeing for the first time. Here was my itinerary for June 19-27:

Day 1: Kings Dominion
Day 2-3: Hersheypark
Day 4: Knoebels
Day 5: Waldameer
Day 6-7: Cedar Point
Day 8: Michigan’s Adventure
Day 9: Six Flags Great America

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Edit: For some reason these images are now displaying out of order. I may or may not get around to fixing them.

Day 1 – Kings Dominion (under cover at ACE Coaster Con)

I booked this trip starting sometime in March with no thought given to the possibility of encountering any enthusiast events along the way. Then about a week before I left, I saw in the KD thread that I would be there on the first of two days that the American Coaster Enthusiasts were holding their annual event at the park.

I’m not an ACE member, though I was for a couple of years as a teenager so I could attend Coaster Mania once. And yeah, people joke about ACErs from time to time on here, but in my experience we enthusiasts tend to be pretty similar wherever you go. I’ve met plenty of ACE members (and TPR) on my travels over the years and most of them were just fine. I even ran into several at KD that I’ve had good conversations with at other parks. But there are also ACErs like the guy with a Millennium Force ankle tattoo I met at Six Flags St. Louis, who on learning I was a TPR guy, said, “Not on your life…” then crossed his arms and proceeded to literally do a 180 and face away from me while still standing in the same spot.

Wanting to avoid any awkward conversations (“Well, yes, as a matter of fact I am an enthusiast! And I am here during Coaster Con! Just not with your people!”) I planned to show up sans any park-related attire and just buy Fastlane and enjoy the day however it went. But sure enough, right away I bumped into an ACEr named Bob (who’s a nice guy) I’ve met several times previously as soon as I entered the Twisted Timbers station before I even had one ride. The exact kind of conversation I had hoped to avoid ensued immediately. I rode with Bob for a while, then went off on my own as he had Coaster Con stuff to attend all day.

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Another funny ACE moment. Apparently the fad of the day was to spread your arms out like wings while riding the major coasters. I watched a few trainloads of people doing this on Twisted Timbers and it actually got pretty hilarious. TT’s station allows ample viewing of the layout so it was quite comical to watch a train come down the first drop and overbank with the entire back half going full spread-eagle with their arms “making the train more aerodynamic” and then see it again when the train came back around for the bunny hops. Everybody in the station laughed. And you know what? I almost did it myself.

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Temperatures ran just over 100F for much of the day so all of the coasters were cooking, including the most prolonged gray-outs I’ve ever had on I305. But then mid-afternoon came and a massive storm rolled in for the next 1-2 hours. I happened to be riding I305 when the rain hit, which was awesome because I'm the type that loves being blasted with water bullets in the face while going 90mph. But the awesomeness quickly ended once we hit the brakes.

Backstory first. I noticed earlier in the day that a train had stopped on the lift just out of the station. It eventually got up and running again, and I got back in line not long after. So after the water bullets, they sent the train ahead of us out empty to then pull us into the station. But wouldn’t you know, that empty train stopped on the lift just feet out of the station just as had happened earlier. This meant that the last seven cars of my train (I was in the back) got stuck out in the rain and lightning for the next 10+ minutes while we waited for engineers to race out to I305 in pickup trucks to move us into the station. I was already soaked just from riding, but being locked into the seat in a downpour is an entirely different thing. The guy riding in front of me had it worse as his leg apparently cramped up during the ride, and as anyone familiar with Intamin megacoaster trains knows, you can’t move the lower half of your body at all. So here we were, getting soaked through our clothes with lightning nearby and the guy in front (understandably) moaning and shouting at the ride ops and engineers. Anyway, they finally got us inside and my wet shoes and socks left me with blisters I had to bandage and pad with gauze every morning for the next 8 days.

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That episode aside, I had a great time at Kings Dominion. I think it’s the second best Cedar Fair property behind CP with one of the top 5 coaster collections in the country. I hadn’t been since 2014 and I don’t remember much about the atmosphere/landscaping/operations from that visit, but the park looked excellent this time. Whatever sprucing up they did to Candy Apple Grove to coincide with Twisted Timbers seems to work and guest service and dispatch times across the board were just fine.

Twisted Timbers
I honestly wasn’t sold after my first couple morning rides. After hearing so much about it, I didn’t think it was any different than Twisted Colossus, New Texas Giant, or any others that I would call “mid-tier” RMCs if there is such a thing. But that steadily changed throughout the day. It just kept running faster and faster. While not my favorite, TT is definitely a top-tier RMC and top 20 steel coaster for me. They’ve perfected the barrel roll first drop since its inception on Medusa. TT’s tosses you out of your seat the whole way down while Medusa’s is more of a visual element. The big overbank pulls some unexpected positive g’s, though maybe not quite as high as Wicked Cyclone’s, which once gave me a mini gray-out. The ejector airtime on this thing is unreal and there are two holy sh*t moments on the straight hill after the right-left double-up and then again on the outside-banked-turn. 9/10

Here’s how I’d rank my RMCs up to this point:
1. Medusa Steel Coaster
2. Wicked Cyclone
3. Outlaw Run
4. Twisted Timbers (with a moderate gap between 4-5)
5. Twisted Colossus
6. Iron Rattler
7. New Texas Giant
8. Joker

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Intimidator 305
Still my favorite ride at the park. I’m not in awe of it the way I once was but there are few, if any coasters as intense. So here’s a first rate example of a first world problem! Now that my chest and shoulder dimensions are larger than they were four years ago, I find that the Intamin soft-harnesses now grip me just tight enough that I can’t get any real airtime on the drop and camelback. I know… Poor me, right? Come on, show a little sympathy for a not-quite-a-gym-rat. For whatever reason I didn’t have this problem on the Hersheypark Intamin duo and Maverick’s harnesses were looser still. But whatever, I won’t hold I305’s mistakes against it. 9/10

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Volcano
Closed, obviously. There was a lot of chatter among the ACE crowd that it will be removed next season. I have no idea if there’s any substance to that, but hopefully not.

Dominator
I rode this twice and both rides could not have been more different. The first was back-left and it felt like the same tall, fast, relatively intense floorless I remembered that was no rougher or smoother than other B&Ms of similar vintage. The second was front-right, and for whatever reason it absolutely beat me half to death. I’m not exaggerating when I say this might have been the worst single ride I’ve had on any B&M. It jackhammered badly exiting the loop and at several other points. I was dumbfounded. I get smoother rides on SFMM’s Viper than this and it was totally out of character for a floorless that on my last two visits (once each at Geauga Lake and KD) I really liked. I’ll give it an average of my two rides this year and say 6/10.

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B&M floorless/sitdown rankings:
1. Kumba
2. Wildfire
3. Hulk
4. Kraken
5. Superman Krypton Coaster
6. Rougarou
7. Medusa (SFDK)
8. Dominator
9. Batman the Dark Knight
10. Bizarro/Scream
11. Hydra

(An aside as this TR continues. I like ranking coasters. I enjoy being analytical and diving into the details to figure out what makes one coaster better than another. I’ve always found it valuable when looking to understand a coaster I’m unlikely to ride in the near term when I can see how other enthusiasts compare it to those I have ridden, so I always try to do it myself when I have the opportunity. I know others stand by the “time spent ranking is time spent not riding” mantra and that’s totally fair. Not everyone will enjoy it and there’s no right or wrong way to be an enthusiast. I just happen to see it differently. You can’t always be riding coasters. So why not compare and analyze them? Just my approach.)

Flight of Fear
On the contrary, I actually liked this one a lot more than I remembered. Poltergeist at SFFT shows that KD doesn’t have to brake theirs on the MCBR like they do, but it speeds up soon enough thereafter. Still a really fun, enjoyable coaster that felt great indoors when the temp outside was so high. 8/10

Backlot Stunt Coaster
I like these a lot more than I probably should. The effects barely work anymore, but it’s an intense, thrilling experience for something that from off ride looks like it should be a family coaster. The quick launch into an upward triple helix always gets me. I only rode once this time, but wish I had ridden it more. 7/10

Racer 75
I’m in the camp that rolls my eyes at the name change, but who ultimately cares? The recent trackwork KD did has really paid off. The outbound leg on both sides was perfectly smooth and there was even some floater air riding on a rain-slicked track after the storm. Plus, that view of I305 towering over the far turnaround is hard to beat, especially if you happen to catch a train going by. The return leg was a bit of a different story and got just a little rough, though not enough to hamper my enjoyment of it. Hopefully they can get the whole thing running as well as the first half does. 7/10

Grizzly
I barely remember this one from four years ago. I know that it has one of those weird cult-followings that some off-beat coasters get while others considered it only marginally better than Hurler. I’m somewhere in between. I rode it once each in front and back. It’s definitely on the thrilling side compared to its West Coast cousin and I can see how it would have really impressed people in the 1980s. It could probably still be a nice wooden coaster if Cedar Fair found it worthwhile to go all-out and Ghostrider-it-up with a GCI refurbishment and Millennium Flyers, but it’s probably not worth the investment. As long as it runs as it does now, I’ll always give it a spin or two. 6/10

Anaconda
Riding old Arrow loopers is kind of like driving a classic muscle car the owner hasn't take care of, if you've done that kind of thing. If you're not used to it, you're in for a rough time. But if you drive that particular muscle car enough, you learn to work around the countless deficiencies and find ways to squeeze performance out of the areas that can still deliver it. Once you know your way around the clunky engine, suspension, and transmission, you eventually figure out a way to have a lot of fun with it. That's how it is with me and my local Arrow looper, Viper. I know just how to position myself to get a pretty good ride on it almost every time. I don't have near enough experience to do that on Anaconda. If this was my home park, I bet I'd have every curve and transition of this thing mastered. But I've only ridden it once years ago before this visit and Anaconda took full advantage of me. Not fun at all. 4/10.

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Last edited by Condor on Sat Sep 15, 2018 8:53 pm.

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Re: Ostentatious East Coast/Midwest 2018 - 7 parks KD, HP, C

Postby LiftThrill » Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:39 pm

Interesting to see your thoughts on Dominator, as I've had the exact experience with Superman: Krypton Coaster having absolutely no consistency in smoothness between rides.

As for Twisted Timbers running better as the day went on, all two ( :lol: ) of the I-box RMCs I've been on have the biggest difference of any coaster ever between early rides and late rides in terms of pacing. I don't know what it is about I-box track, but they run probably a good 5-10mph faster by the end of the day compared to rope drop. I didn't notice the same thing with Goliath @ SFGAm, Outlaw Run, or Wonder Woman: GLC, with the different track types, but the I-box coasters really do shine later in the day.
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Re: Ostentatious East Coast/Midwest 2018 - 7 parks KD, HP, C

Postby BeansproutMidget » Fri Jul 06, 2018 6:10 pm

Glad to see you had a good time at the park!

Sorry 'bout that I305 situation. I don't know which train you were on, but the grey train doesn't like to run in the rain (even if it drizzles sometimes). In normal weather, the red train is usually the one that would have problems; but if it's rain, it's always the grey train.

As for Volcano...it shouldn't be going anywhere any time soon. :)
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Re: Ostentatious East Coast/Midwest 2018 - 7 parks KD, HP, C

Postby Canobie Coaster » Sat Jul 07, 2018 1:29 pm

Great report!

Yeah Twisted Timbers really needs to heat up, but once it's running fast, it really is one of the best RMCs.
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Re: Ostentatious East Coast/Midwest 2018 - 7 parks KD, HP, C

Postby Condor » Sat Jul 07, 2018 2:43 pm

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Look at the rider in the back-right seat. It shows just how open and exposed you are on Skyrush, just one of its many outstanding qualities.

Days 2-3 – Hersheypark

In Part 1 I said that I thought Kings Dominion had a top 5 U.S. coaster collection. I don’t know exactly where I’d place KD's, but I can confidently say that I think Hersheypark has the second best lineup with Cedar Point’s still at #1. They have three elite Intamins, an underrated and intense B&M, two well cared for classics in SooperDooperLooper and Comet, and a pair of GCIs (fine, three), at least one of which is still pretty good.

I had been here once before during Skyrush’s opening season in 2012 when it instantly became my favorite coaster, but that day got cut short by an evening storm. Unwilling to risk that again and knowing how re-ridable the coasters here are, I decided on two full days, something that in the past I’ve only done at CP. The rain followed me up from KD the day before, so this proved a wise decision.

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On day 1 I rode everything except Laff Trakk, Wild Mouse, Trailblazer, and Sidewinder with no waits longer than 15 minutes, including an immensely satisfying 10 consecutive rides on Skyrush, all by 5pm before the rain hit. With another full day ahead, I took that as my cue to head to my hotel and then Uber over to Troegs, one of the best craft breweries I’ve ever been to and one that just happens to be minutes away from Hersheypark.

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I had heard about this place from other TRs, but I wasn’t prepared for how awesome it actually is. I enjoyed four of their beers and gladly would have closed the place down if I was willing to go back to the park hungover the next day like I once did at SFDK, but that wasn’t an experience worth repeating. Beer, food, atmosphere, and service at Troegs are first rate. I can’t recommend it enough. Here was my drink tally for the evening: Dreamweaver Wheat, Cultivator Helles Bock (my favorite), La Grave Golden Ale, and Crimson Pistil IPA. Not a below average beer in the lot.

Now at Hersheypark, the service and operations were adequate. Not industry leading or anything, but comparable in most ways to a typical Cedar Fair park and a cut above the usual Six Flags. Their in-house food offerings aren’t great, but they have so many third party vendors in the park it doesn’t matter. Just stick to Chick-Fil-A, Moe’s, Nathan’s, or Chickie’s & Pete’s and you’re set.

Fahrenheit
I was a little underwhelmed by this in 2012. Sure it was fun and has a great layout, but I remember thinking it rode more like a tame B&M than an Intamin. Not the case in 2018! Sure it’s no Maverick, but this coaster pulls some solid g’s throughout and has serious airtime on the drop, exiting the Norwegian Loop, and on the bunny hop. I loved Fahrenheit this time and rode it more than all but Skyrush. I’m still surprised we haven’t seen more Intamins in the mold of this one. 9/10

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Skyrush
Still solidly my #1 coaster. I like them as overpowering as possible and I still haven’t found one that eclipses Skyrush in this regard. Plenty of people are turned off by the sheer violence of the airtime and transitions, but that’s what I love about it. It had been so long since I last rode it that the extra “airtime pump” halfway down the first drop alarmed me in a way I haven’t been in years. And if you can manage to keep the lapbar up just a little, there’s no greater coaster ecstasy than soaring over that first ejector camelback.

Now I’ve heard all the complaints and they aren’t unwarranted. As another poster stated, enjoying Skyrush takes active participation. You cannot just sit back and enjoy the thing like Millennium Force or Expedition GeForce. You have to ride with a strategy, and boy do I have one for you! In the same vain as the “Mean Streak trick,” or the “Magnum trick,” I present to you the “Skyrush trick…”

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Now this trick is designed to help your thighs cope with the awkward lapbars and crushing airtime and it’s a little different from other tricks because it begins one year from the date you plan to visit. Here’s how it works:

With your gym membership handy, start a 2x weekly routine of the following: (1) Incline leg press - 4 sets of 10 reps starting at 180lbs, but preferably as high as 360lbs by year’s end. (2) Leg extensions (this will really help your quads, but also jack up your knees if you aren’t careful) – 4 sets de-escalating from 20 reps, to 18, 15, and 12 reps of at least 60lbs, but preferably as high as 110 lbs by year’s end. (3) Step-ups - 3 sets per leg of 10 reps, holding a pair of 20-35lb dumbbells on a surface at least 24 inches high. (4) Leg curls – 4 sets of 10 reps starting at 70lbs, but preferably as high as 140lbs (this one won’t actually help you with Skyrush, but you don’t want your legs to look disproportionate). That’s all there is to it! You have now Skyrush-proofed your thighs!

Okay, so that’s asking kind of a lot and maybe you don’t have the time. I get it. So here’s what you do instead: After the ride op checks your restraint and you’re headed up the lift hill, scoot forward about 2-3 inches in your seat so the lapbar comes down on your upper thighs instead of mid-thigh, then sit up straight just a little off the seatback and brace your hands on your knees in the turns (this will mitigate the vibration). Some of you might be thinking that doesn’t sound appealing either. I get that too. But as stated, getting the most out of Skyrush requires active participation. It’s like a game for me.

I even took it one step further. I’d ride on the wing seats and then plant my inside foot on the floor beneath the middle seats on all of the pullouts to stop the lapbar from coming down further. Yep, that’s my Skyrush. 10/10

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Storm Runner
Even with minimal waits, they ran two trains using both sides of the dual loading station. So far so good, but the park also had this infuriating policy of chaining off the back car of both trains. This was allegedly to keep them open for “guests with disabilities” according to a ride op. I understand trying to accommodate people, but then why was this only done on Storm Runner? And why on both sides of the station? I asked the ride op why they don’t reserve the middle car instead, and while she nicely offered to open the back seat for me (I politely declined, not wanting to disrupt operations for special treatment), she acted as if this thought had never occurred.

Now Storm Runner is still a great coaster, but for a back seat purist like me, I didn’t feel like I was getting the ride at its best. I previously had it as a top 25 steel coaster, but it wasn’t quite the same this time. Maybe the back car makes that much difference, or maybe not and my experience was being colored by my frustration over the apparent ADA policy. Is this typical on Storm Runner? Good ride, but unlike my last visit, this time I preferred Fahrenheit. 8/10

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Great Bear
This is the possibly most unique invert of them all and definitely the most underrated. The big problem is that it starts strong, but finishes weak. Contrast that with inverts like Raptor or Montu with big finales and you can see why Great Bear suffers in comparison. One more helix before the brakes, mirroring the first, and the layout would feel complete, but we’re left with a drawn-out s-curve back to the station. Before that though, Great Bear is excellent. It’s not the most intense invert, but it’s one of them and with the unique layout and spectacular visuals, it’s an experience all its own. 8/10

B&M inverted rankings
1. Raptor
2. Afterburn
3. Black Mamba
4. Alpengeist
5. Montu
6. Flight Deck
7. Great Bear
8. Banshee
9. Talon
10. Silver Bullet
11. Batman: The Ride
12. Patriot

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SooperDooperLooper
It’ll always be a smooth mine train with a loop, but it’s fun and interacts well with the neighboring rides. Like many Schwarzkopfs it also functions as an ideal stepping stone from the family rides up to the major coasters. Now if we could combine the excellent Gerstlauer trains on this with the layout of New Revolution we’d have a real winner. 6.5/10

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Wildcat
I had always thought of this the way most of us do. It has its moments but is too rough and feels slow paced compared to the more recent GCIs. My first ride on it had me questioning all that. It felt no rougher than the average wooden coaster and was more aggressive and thrilling than Lightning Racer. I almost really liked it for a moment there. But it seemed to get rougher each of the next two times I rode it. After the third I was back to square one with Wildcat. Bring on that big white RMC crane! 4/10

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Lightning Racer
My biggest takeaway is that it’s kind of tame, but I think that’s what Hershey and GCI were going for. It’s the ideal thrill coaster that isn’t too intense and is fun for everyone. The racing is a nice feature, but it never does a whole lot for me and I’ll still take the meaner GCIs like Thunderhead or Goldstriker. It also feels like it’s beginning to get a little rough. Nothing bad as I have a pretty high tolerance for that, but hopefully some retracking is planned within the next year. 7/10

GCI rankings
1. American Thunder
2. Joris en de Draak
3. Thunderhead
4. Goldstriker
5. Troy
6. Wodan
7. White Lightning
8. Kentucky Rumbler
9. Lightning Racer
10. Prowler
11. Wildcat

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Comet
I was blown away by how well they’ve got this thing running now. Six years ago it was a nice coaster with a great setting that was a little slow and any potential airtime was hampered by trim brakes. Now though, it plows along at a decent clip and does its best to imitate its more famous younger brother Phoenix at times. A set of skid brakes trim you a little on the second turnaround, but it’s free to do its thing after that. Comet is also running smoother than Lightning Racer this year, and I’d say it’s now Hersheypark’s best wooden coaster! I really enjoyed it and rode it a bunch. 7/10

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Re: Ostentatious East Coast/Midwest 2018 - 7 parks KD, HP, C

Postby thrillseeker4552 » Sat Jul 07, 2018 3:24 pm

Awesome report! I absolutely loved Hersheypark during my visit in 2016, and I NEED to get back on Skyrush sometime soon. I worship that coaster just like you. With Kennywood adding something in 2019... hmm.
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Re: Ostentatious East Coast/Midwest 2018 - 7 parks KD, HP, C

Postby Canobie Coaster » Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:27 am

Great report! My Skyrush trick is ultimate frisbee 3X per werk and numbness to pain. I really need to get back and ride it again this year. That is probably the only coaster where I can't keep my hands up. I come close, but then that Stengel dive happens.
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Top 5 Steel- Steel Vengeance, Expedition GeForce, Iron Rattler, Fury 325, Twisted Colossus
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Re: Ostentatious East Coast/Midwest 2018 - 7 parks KD, HP, C

Postby Condor » Tue Jul 10, 2018 5:42 pm

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Day 4 – Knoebels

A theme I keep returning to in this TR is comparing how particular coasters rode in 2018 to previous visits, and how many of them seemed substantially different from my memories of them. Other than Cedar Point, the repeat parks I hit on this trip are all ones I haven’t been to in 5-6 years. When you’ve ridden close to 200 more coasters and nearly doubled your total count in that time, it only makes sense that your standards and preferences will shift a bit.

That shift can be an awesome thing when a coaster like Fahrenheit catapults 30-40 places up in your rankings, but it can also kind of suck when one that you thought was untouchable suddenly drops. That happened to me with one of the all-time sacred cows of the enthusiast community, Knoebels’ Phoenix…

But I think I’ll leave that thread hanging for a moment while I talk about a bunch of other stuff that people will probably skip right over, like the International food court. You know a park has done something right with their F&B offerings when you stop thinking about rides altogether to instead ponder how to budget your time and money between various counter-service outlets that all serve like five different things you just have to try.

“Yes, I think I’ll sit down and eat my San Francisco turkey melt from one station, then I’ll stand in line at another station and eat my burrito from a third station while I wait for that second station to finish frying my alligator nuggets… OMG I forgot about the pizza! Oh, right, it’s only 11:30 in the morning, I still have time to digest all this first, then go to Cesari’s later around 3:00, then maybe once more around 7… no, make that 6 so I’ll still have room for ice cream or a funnel cake at 8… Yeah, that’s doable.”

And I’m rarely ever the kind to just pig-out at theme parks (unless it’s Epcot), but at Knoebels I can’t help myself.

My first Knoebels trip was the second half of day on which I also visited Dorney Park. I was so wrapped up in Phoenix and Twister that I didn’t spend as much time as I should have riding all their other great attractions. I think the only non-coasters I rode back then were the Flyers and Black Diamond. This time I hit those two as well as Paratrooper, StratosFear, Haunted Mansion, Power Surge, and the chair lift. And they were all great. Flyers are still my favorite and I couldn’t believe how crazy the program they run on Paratrooper is! Never seen one run quite like this.

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Phoenix
I was all about that Phoenix kool-aid in 2012. I vividly remember airtime on every hill after the first drop, the smell of the tunnel, my eyes watering during night rides, and strong laterals on the flat turns that took me by surprise. But this year it just wasn’t the same. So what happened? I don’t really know. Is Phoenix overhyped? Nah, too many respectable posters on here who visit way more often than I do still swear by it. Maybe it’s I who has changed and only the Skyrush's of the world can truly wow me. God I hope not. Or maybe I just happened to catch Phoenix on a less than optimal day. Even the best wooden coasters are still temperamental. Now I didn’t dislike it or anything, but the airtime felt muted and even at night on a slick track after some rain, the corners of my eyes stayed dry and I didn’t feel any real air until the “airtime buffet” return run. Phoenix is still a borderline top ten woodie based on this visit, but it definitely dropped a bit since I previously had it at #3. Hoping for a return to form next time! 8.5/10

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Twister
You might think a mildly disappointing experience (only by its lofty standards) on Phoenix would hang like cloud over my day at Knoebels. Maybe it would have… if I didn’t have the time of my life riding Twister! Now this is the kind of wild, intense wooden coaster experience I’m looking for! Legend at Holiday World is one of my favorite woodies for the way the lateral g’s it pulls threaten to shear your train clean off the rails and Twister is right up there with it. The park has clearly put a lot of effort into maintaining and improving this coaster. There’s a new steel support tower propping up the highest turn plus lots of bright new wood spliced in all over the track and now it runs like a dream (or as close to a dream as a turn-focused ride running heavy PTC trains can be). The track makes what almost feels like a flat s-curve at the bottom of the first drop and I swear that somehow it’s the smoothest part of the ride. There are a couple of jolts elsewhere in the layout but they’re all during a quick transition or moment of airtime. And speaking of airtime, the big second drop gave stronger air than I got at any point on Phoenix. As for the laterals, the trademark helix isn’t even the strongest element on the ride. After the helix winds around to the left, there’s a sudden directional change and a crushing uber-lateral right turn. Straight track with surprising burst of air follows, and then you dive to the right once more through a concrete tunnel that absolutely howls during night rides and is packed with even harder lats. Depending on the seat, you might even get one more good pop of air before hitting the brakes. By the end of the day I had ridden Phoenix 8 times and Twister 13. It also vaulted into my top ten woodies. 9/10

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That bleached blond with dark roots look is so 2015 Ghostrider....

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Flying Turns
This thing was fully built, but not operating back in 2012. That was during a stretch of several years when Flying Turns had the distinction of being perhaps the greatest new-build SBNO coaster in the entire world! No need to rehash Knoebels’ efforts to finally get the ride open here, I’m just glad I finally got to ride it. It’s obviously meant to be a high-end family coaster and is far smaller than the outwardly similar, yet very different Intamin or Mack bobsled coasters. Since its capacity is so low, it had by far the longest line in the park and I only rode it once, but it’s really fun. I wish it was a tad longer, but I suppose even operating a ride like this at all in this day is a triumph. 6/10

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Impulse
I don’t know what the popular consensus on this coaster is, but I didn’t like it. It doesn’t track very well and in general feels like a poor man’s Eurofighter. I guess it accomplishes what Knoebels needed it to do by having inversions and looking impressive in the front of the park, but it will never be something for enthusiasts to get excited about. It fills a niche and little else. 5/10

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Last edited by Condor on Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:49 pm.

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Re: Ostentatious East Coast/Midwest 2018 - 7 parks KD, HP, C

Postby jedimaster1227 » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:15 pm

Really loving your report so far... It reminds me how much I miss Hersheypark and Knoebels!
Change the scheme, Alter the mood! Electrify the boys and girls if you would be so kind!

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Re: Ostentatious East Coast/Midwest 2018 - 7 parks KD, HP, C

Postby Condor » Tue Jul 10, 2018 7:53 pm

Thanks! Hope you get back more quickly than I did! They're easily two of my favorite parks.

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