The Skittles 2018 USA Trip Thread!

Day 5 - Carowinds!
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Re: The Skittles 2018 USA Trip Thread!

Postby ytterbiumanalyst » Mon Jul 16, 2018 8:58 pm

Looks like a pretty good start. Will keep an eye on this report for sure.
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Re: The Skittles 2018 USA Trip Thread!

Postby Skittles » Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:26 pm

thrillseeker4552 wrote:I pretty much share your same opinions about this park and all of its coasters. I also thought Roar and Wild One were quite good (the latter being better), but Superman was also not bad at all. It just doesn't compare to other Intamin Megas/Hypers out there that do much more than helices.

Bummer you didn't get on Batwing. It's not an *amazing* ride by any means, but I actually rather like it and Firehawk. They are pretty fun and intense coasters.

Interesting! I have ridden a Vekoma Flying Dutchman, but that was Stealth way back before it was moved to Carowinds. At least I get to reunite with an old friend in a couple days!

Canobie Coaster wrote:Great reports!

Phantom's Revenge really is amazing. Having air that strong and lap bars that far off your lap truly is a special combination.

It also seems like you really like classic woodies. Kennywood really shines there and Wild One is a sneaky good wooden coaster.

Thank you! I think that since I'm traveling more, I'm learning more about myself as a coaster enthusiast, and classic woodies might be one of my favorite types of coasters now.

ytterbiumanalyst wrote:Looks like a pretty good start. Will keep an eye on this report for sure.

Thanks! You won't be disappointed! ;)

Today was the third day of the trip, and at what was arguably the first truly great park. Kings Dominion.

I like to talk about the park as a whole, but I have to get this out of the way...

Twisted Timbers :airtimer: :airtime: and Intimidator 305!!! :airtime: :airtimer: :airtime:

The first coaster I rode that day was Twisted Timbers, and as we slid into the brake run, I proclaimed it better than any RMC and arguably my new favorite coaster! I was absolutely blown away! Then my next coaster was i305? I've never been so blown away by a coaster!! Holy sh :b t those two coasters are possibly my new Top 2 favorites! Kings Dominion SERIOUSLY has to have one of the best one-two punches in the world!

Anyways, how about the rest of the park? I think it's a great place to spend a day! Beyond it's great coaster collection, it has a nice collection of rides for the whole family, I was surprised by how pretty the scenery looked and how it blended in with the whole park, and I haven't been used to fast operations on this trip, (cough Kennywood cough Six Flags America) but Kings Dominion's ride ops did very well while I was here. The longest I waited might've only been 10 minutes and that was for Twisted Timbers.

The place is run great and I'd say among the best Cedar Fair parks.

Let's talk about the coaster collection beyond the top 2. Volcano was unfortunately closed, making for one large steel coaster missed at every park I've visited so far. First Sky Rocket at Kennywood, then Batwing, and Volcano today. While that was a loss, Dominator was my third favorite coaster in the park. It's a long, powerful B&M that always kept the pace. It roars like an old school B&M too, and I'd call it my second favorite B&M coaster just behind Flight Deck at CGA. Racer 75 would be my 4th favorite, keeping a streak of classic wooden coasters running nicely, full of airtime and a smooth, out-and-back layout. My fifth favorite was Flight of Fear, and while a good ride, I wasn't a fan of the coaster being indoors. It made me dizzy enough outside yesterday at Six Flags America, I felt almost nauseous here. I might think twice before riding the one at Kings Island in a few days. After that, it's all pretty standard fare. Apple Zapple was a Wild Mouse, but I can easily have fun on any of them. Backlot Stunt Coaster was a well-themed family coaster, but it's getting pretty rough. Avalanche was an ok family coaster, but a good one for all audiences. I was disappointed by Grizzly; I was hoping for a massive improvement over the sorry CGA version, and while it's actually got some airtime and is in a better location, I'd argue it was running just as rough. However, speaking of CGA's Grizzly, that seemed pretty light compared to Anaconda. I said yesterday that my #1 least favorite coaster was Grizzly at CGA, but it's now #2. Anaconda was truly terrible. Even in the sections that it shouldn't have done so, I was getting kicked around a lot, and I'm a bit of a taller guy, so it got my knees pretty bad too. It was awful, and I don't understand how Demon, another Arrow Looper, can run just fine at another Cedar Fair park but this one doesn't. Demon is a lot smaller, however...

Enough talking. I know everyone's been looking forward to seeing my photos!

Please note that some of the pictures are filtered, because the original picture didn't look as great with the weather today. Also, some photos have a lot of clouds, some don't, because it was pretty cloudy in the morning.

KDplaza.JPG
One of my most anticipated parks on the trip! Let's see what kind of day we'll have!

TTsign.JPG
YAY! New RMC time!! How will it stack up against the California RMCs?

TTlocation.JPG
Holy sh*t!! It might have a lap bar that actually touches your body, but there's airtime EVERYWHERE and it feels exactly like Phantom's Revenge! Just WOW! What an insane design with some of the strongest airtime over every little bump!

TTdrop.JPG
And what a first drop! The front has a slow rollover which is awesome, but the whip of the back seriously gets you yelling! It's a great way to start off a nearly perfectly paced ride.

i305view.JPG
What happens after you ride what might be your new #1? Go to the next ride that becomes your new #1! Oh... my... gosh... this was my first giga, and my heart was pumping from the first moment I saw it's colossal lift hill over the trees, but I didn't think this could possibly blow me away more than Twisted Timbers did. But it did! Words cannot describe all the mindf*cks that i305 throws at you, other than they made i305 my all-time favorite coaster!!!

Dominator.JPG
One of the best B&M Floorless coasters. Very forceful, smooth, and full of fun through every inversion!

TTplaza.JPG
Even though i305 was my new favorite coaster, (and still is) after I got all the credits I possibly could have, Twisted Timbers is the coaster I ran right back to for re-rides. By the end of the day, I had a total of 6 laps on this monster because the line was always so bearable thanks to Kings Dominion's fast operations!

Volcano.JPG
Although I was walking on air most of the day, this was a definite disappointment. Hopefully it can get back up and running soon.

DropZone.JPG
I can't complete this trip report without mentioning this wonder of an Intamin Drop Tower. I'm pretty used to the 2nd Gen drop tower back home at CGA, but this one has a way better sensation of speed. Intamin might be my new favorite manufacturer for how well they do everything!

i305 sign.JPG
Remember how I said I got 6 rides on Twisted Timbers? Despite running right back to Twisted Timbers for more before i305, I got the most rides on my favorite coaster, totalling out at 8. I just couldn't to more; during the evening, I tried to marathon it, but after just 3 laps back to back, my throat was already sore from how intense this coaster is. Probably the best sore throat one can possibly get!

i305transition.JPG
I can't get over how incredibly awesome i305 is. The first drop, the Gs, the direction changes, the speed, the smoothness... everything. Everyone needs to get out to Kings Dominion to get their fill on i305 and TwiT. (damn support got in the way, haha)

TTnight.JPG
Between i305 and TwiT, I had one of the greatest nights of my life. Goodbye Kings Dominion; I look forward to returning ASAP!

Do you share my crazy Kings Dominion praise? Leave your comment below and look forward to Busch Gardens Williamsburg tomorrow!
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Re: The Skittles 2018 USA Trip Thread!

Postby boldikus » Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:34 pm

Really great report with some excellent photos. Your thoughts about each park is similar to mine.

Skittles wrote:Intamin might be my new favorite manufacturer for how well they do everything!

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Re: The Skittles 2018 USA Trip Thread!

Postby Canobie Coaster » Tue Jul 17, 2018 6:52 pm

Good update! Yeah the 1-2 punch at Kings Dominion is incredibly good.

Sorry to hear Grizzly didn't give you a good ride. I thought it was running well in April.
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Re: The Skittles 2018 USA Trip Thread!

Postby Skittles » Sat Jul 21, 2018 8:15 am

boldikus wrote:Really great report with some excellent photos. Your thoughts about each park is similar to mine.

Skittles wrote:Intamin might be my new favorite manufacturer for how well they do everything!

Welcome to the dark side.

:nina: and thanks!

Canobie Coaster wrote:Good update! Yeah the 1-2 punch at Kings Dominion is incredibly good.

Sorry to hear Grizzly didn't give you a good ride. I thought it was running well in April.

Thank you! It really is! I might've just caught Grizzly on a bad day. It is a traditional woodie, after all.

I'm sorry about this being a couple days late, but I made a bad choice on my hotel in Charlotte; I stayed in a Country Inn near the Charlotte Airport, and it was hard for me to fall asleep both nights there, and so I was pretty tired and not in the mood to write up reports.

Anyways, Busch Gardens Williamsburg!!

Even though I only stayed for half a day in order to get down to Charlotte, I really had a great time here. It really is an incredibly beautiful and "put together" park. The lunch food was amazing (I had a burger at because I was getting hungry and didn't want to decide on some special meal), and the operations were fast, and that just added to visiting on a Wednesday. SeaWorld knows what they're doing.

On to the coasters, I'm not gonna lie. I was kinda disappointed with their collection. I started out with Griffon (my first B&M Dive Coaster) and I thought it was pretty good at best. The drop wasn't as intense as some made it out to be, but still was a ton of fun. It was also possibly the smoothest coaster I've ever ridden, just with kind of a repetitive layout. This is an unpopular opinion, but InvadR was my favorite coaster at the park. It had real nice theming, and it was smooth and full of airtime, especially for having a smaller layout. I was seriously surprised with how much I enjoyed it. Alpengeist was disappointing; not a fan. It could have been an amazing Invert if it wasn't for an awfully consistent rattle which almost gave me a headache, when you combine that with inversion whip. Verbolten was a good family coaster with amazing theming, not much else to say. Apollo was my first B&M Hyper, and yeah, not gonna lie. It felt lacking, especially compared to the Intamin monsters of the past couple days and Phantom's Revenge. The airtime wasn't anything to shout at, and the layout seemed to be more designed with caution. It wasn't disappointing per se, but I'm in the club that doesn't prefer B&M Hypers to most other coaster types. Tempesto was fun; I really didn't think the comfort collars were that bad. I thought it ran just fine like Superman. Then finally I rode Loch Ness Monster, which is a nice classic Arrow Looper and way better than the horrible Arrow trash from Kings Dominion the day before. Busch Gardens doesn't have any bad coasters, but nothing that blows away the competition either.

Onward to the photos! I'm not going to lie; I forgot to take some photos from inside the park because of how immersed I was.

BGWentrance.JPG
The most beautiful park in the world! Does it live up to the awards?

Griffonsign.JPG
First coaster of the day! First B&M Dive!

Griffondrop.JPG
What a fun ride! Nothing amazing, but extremely smooth and good hangtime.

InvadR.JPG
Unfortunately, I realize this is the only photo I took of InvadR. But I was very surprised by how great of a ride it was! Lots of airtime and a great pace like all GCIs!

Griffonphoto.JPG
Oh yeah, and Griffon has to have one of my all time favorite color schemes. It's BEAUTIFUL!!

LNMloops.JPG
By far the smoothest Arrow I've ridden. Very fun too!

BGWbeauty.JPG
Now that we've gone through all the big coasters, let's take a look at the world's most beautiful park.

AlpengeistCR.JPG
Again, unfortunately the only photo I took of a coaster, but Alpengeist was a disappointment. So, so rattly. Gave me a huge headache. Not quite my least favorite Invert because it actually has a really good layout, but wasn't something that I'd ride a second time. Don't get me wrong; I liked it, a LOT despite the roughness because it is a very intense ride, but I wish it was smoother.

Verbolten.JPG
One of my favorite photos I've ever taken of a really good ride. I seriously enjoyed Verbolten for it's great theming and final drop!

BGWbeauty2.JPG
I don't think I've ever felt more relaxed at a theme park.

MachTower.JPG
Here's one last photo of the Mach Tower before finishing the update.

Tempesto.JPG
A lot of people complain about the comfort collars... I really didn't notice any difference in ride quality between this and Superman back home at SFDK.

ACandTempesto.JPG
I didn't really like how any of my photos from inside the park turned out, so here's the only decent photo I got of Apollo. It was my first B&M Hyper, and while it was a very good ride, I can see why some people aren't huge fans of them. The airtime was slightly disappointing, and the layout didn't really do anything for me. But it was extremely comfortable and I loved the sensation of speed in the ravine drops!


Up next - Carowinds! Where I hit my 100th coaster! (My signature isn't my current count because I want to keep up with the updates. The count currently in my signature was my count after BGW)

EDIT - Some of the photos are out of order. Sorry about that.
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Time to ride a true classic!
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Re: The Skittles 2018 USA Trip Thread!

Postby prozach626 » Sat Jul 21, 2018 10:54 am

Glad your trip to KW was fun. We were there that day for our first and only visit and we fcked out hard. We spent the morning extremely leisurely. We rode a few rides and went to the car early for our healthy cooler lunch. Being exhaust from our trip so far, we passed out in the car for about an hour. By the time we got back into the pack and rode a couple more of the coasters the storm started to roll in. We wanted to beat the storm, since I checked the weather and it was going to clear up around six or so. We left the park and came back around six and the weather was turning out to be beautiful. We walked back toward the park to find out that it closed four hours early for weather, despite the beautiful evening... They were giving out rain checks, which didn't do us any good.

We really sucked. With tickets and VIP passes we paid around $250 and ended up riding seven rides at about $35 each... We planned on having a few beers and really hitting the rides at night, like we usually do. I didn't predict such an early weather closure, so I take a lot of the blame. Still seemed a bit early to shut down, though. Maybe they were having power issues.

Either way, nice Kennywood TR and good call on getting your riding in early and leaving ahead of the weather...

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Re: The Skittles 2018 USA Trip Thread!

Postby Skittles » Sat Aug 25, 2018 1:12 pm

prozach626 wrote:Glad your trip to KW was fun. We were there that day for our first and only visit and we fcked out hard. We spent the morning extremely leisurely. We rode a few rides and went to the car early for our healthy cooler lunch. Being exhaust from our trip so far, we passed out in the car for about an hour. By the time we got back into the pack and rode a couple more of the coasters the storm started to roll in. We wanted to beat the storm, since I checked the weather and it was going to clear up around six or so. We left the park and came back around six and the weather was turning out to be beautiful. We walked back toward the park to find out that it closed four hours early for weather, despite the beautiful evening... They were giving out rain checks, which didn't do us any good.

We really sucked. With tickets and VIP passes we paid around $250 and ended up riding seven rides at about $35 each... We planned on having a few beers and really hitting the rides at night, like we usually do. I didn't predict such an early weather closure, so I take a lot of the blame. Still seemed a bit early to shut down, though. Maybe they were having power issues.

Either way, nice Kennywood TR and good call on getting your riding in early and leaving ahead of the weather...

Thanks!

Oh jeez, I'm really backed up on this.

Carowinds!!

I thought this was a really pleasant and laid-back theme park. It has a lot of charm, something I wasn't expecting, and everyone is very nice. All the coasters and rides are well run, with fast ride operations, so it was no problem to get every credit in a day.

Fury 325 was my second giga coaster, and while I didn't quite like it as much as Intimidator 305, I still found it to be an awesome coaster and my favorite at the park. From the first drop to the final brake run, it goes strong. It has one of the greatest coaster paces ever, the turns provide some real nice laterals and are really fun (not quite i305 laterals obviously, but still) that treble clef dive is a surprisingly good drop even though the first drop is incredible as well, and the second half while trimmed, still has some pretty good floater air. After Carowinds, it was my #9 on my Top 10, but I need to update that with all the new coasters since Carowinds.

Afterburn was definitely my second favorite at the park. While I prefer Fury because it's more fun, I think that Afterburn is the more intense coaster. Wow, these inversions have some snap to them! It's smaller, yes, but because of how forceful and fast all the inversions are taken, I really don't care. It's also got one of my favorite coaster finishes ever. That final corkscrew into a Flight Deck-esque powerful helix? AMAZING!

Intimidator was my second B&M Hyper, (not counting Fury) and to be honest, I thought Apollo's Chariot kind of disappointing, but Intimidator wasn't even as good as that. Not sure if the trims were on extra hard or not, but I didn't get a whole lot of airtime over any of the hills, and after the ride was over, I kind of said, "that was fun, but do I have to ride that again?" I'm sure when the trims are off it's a lot better, but my rides were fun, nothing more.

Beyond that, most of the collection was made up of standard credits. Ricochet was a wild mouse, but I always enjoy those coasters so I got a kick out of it. Woodstock Express was a surprisingly fun family woodie, but it still is a family woodie. I thought it was more fun than the one at Kings Dominion, however! Carolina Goldrusher was a very fun Arrow Mine Train indeed, and after my Carowinds visit I called it my favorite Arrow Mine Train, but that doesn't say much since at the time, the only other Arrow Mine Train I had ridden was Gold Rusher at SFMM :p Flying Cobras was smoother than the other Boomerangs I've ridden because of the new restraints, as one could guess, but it still has the original brake mechanisms so the braking still felt the same as the others with the original OTSRs, unfortunately. I wish it had the magnetic brakes from Sidewinder at Hershey. Carolina Cyclone proved that the smaller Arrow Loopers are smoother than the bigger ones at Cedar Fair parks, for me at least. This and Demon were okay, but Anaconda is much larger and much, much worse. (in my opinion) Hurler was kind of the same deal as Grizzly at Kings Dominion; it was an ok woodie, but it didn't have much to offer at all. Both seemed pretty lackluster. And yes, I did get the other two kiddie credits, Kiddy Hawk and Wilderness Run.

Getting on to the bad rides, I haven't talked about Nighthawk or Vortex yet. Nighthawk wasn't new to me, as I had ridden Stealth way back at CGA, and it's fallen far. What was once a pretty fun ride a decade and a half ago in California is now rattly and uncomfortable and gave me a terrible headache, making me wonder what torture Batwing could have been a few days back. With Vortex I can now say that I've ridden the three oldest B&Ms in existence. (as of now, I've also ridden Batman at SFGAm, so I can say I've ridden the three oldest B&Ms in existence) Vortex showed it's age just as much as Apocalypse. While it didn't look as good, it ran as bad, so I unfortunately can say that I really don't like stand-up coasters at all. Riddler's was still being re-painted the time I went to SFMM, so I have yet to ride a good stand-up coaster.

Anyways, I'm not going to make this a photo report anymore. I just want these reports to get out.
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