Photo TR: Chuck Does It Scandi Style

TPR's 2009 Scandinavian Tour--UPDATE: Linnanmaki
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Postby cfc » Thu Aug 06, 2009 5:17 pm

The makers of McNasty Meals in no way endorse the previous picture. We are against dressing up cats in any sort of "cute" outfits. Or was that a dog? It's rather difficult to tell.

If we'd known about that picture, we would've withdrawn our sponsorship. Unfortunately, Chuck already used the money to buy a six pack.

On to Power Park.
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This little gas station and mini-mart didn't know what hit them when our bus stopped there for lunch. I think they made enough euros to take the week off after feeding us.
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But being a sanctioned "MegaDog" retailer brings great responisbilities.
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A sign! Give us a sign! When, oh Lord, will be get . . . oh. Never mind.
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Now that is one big go-kart track. Mario Andretti would've been proud to make out with Danica Patrick at such a track.
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Hmm--looks like someone sprang for the "Power Park" option package at the local Chevy dealer.
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Where's Lou? It's time to go. Oh, there she is.
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The key to Power Park has always been Powerland. The Greeks knew it. The Carthaginians knew it. Now you know it.
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This was originally the "Happy! Happy! Happy! Ride," but they ran out of room on the sign.
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"Where is the joy? Where is the joy?"
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"Oh, there it is."
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They actually overshot the brakes and had to ride again.
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Now this was a pleasant surprise.
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Now, Mr. Vekoma, y'all know that I'm not crazy 'bout yer boomerangs . . .
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. . . but ya done a pretty fair job with this 'un.
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Yep--I'd actually ride it agin.
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Hmm--smells like kiddie credit.
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At first, we just felt so cheap and sad.
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But, hey, we got over it.
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Somehow, I missed riding this thing. I think I was at the end of the Mine Train line when everybody else headed over here.
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"This is nearly as good as the Boomerang."
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"Grr! Grr! I'm a velociraptor!"

"No you're not! Cut that out!"
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Back in ancient times, zebras were bigger than T-Rexes and used them for food. More to come.
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Postby rollin_n_coastin » Thu Aug 06, 2009 5:45 pm

Chuck, that's great stuff! I remember now ever so clearly that no one can out "Arrrr!" you. I tried and lost horribly after our Piraten pirate sword fight lol
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Postby cfc » Thu Aug 06, 2009 5:55 pm

McNasty Meals come in many flavors. Your feline will flip for "Rat and Squirrel Tuscany," "Vole Giblets in a White Wine Sauce," or "Robin Guts Salsa Verde."

McNasty Meals--if Angus can kill it, you can eat it.

Here's some more Power Park.
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At last--a ride of one's own!
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This ride, however, is not very "Chuck friendly."
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For some reason, I don't find being strapped to an enormous spinning car seat on a stick to be all that appealing.
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But there are plenty of people who loved it.
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Right guys?
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These poor souls look resigned to their fate.
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By now, Patrick is, no doubt, cackling like the Wicked Witch of the West.
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Snacky snack snack time at the Cafe de Random References Cinematique.
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In there you'll find memorbilia related to the Master of Suspense, . . .
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. . . "Boyz in the Hood," . . .
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. . . and the Cisco Kid.
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Well, might as well go and shoot stuff.
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"I climb this rope all day. That's why they call me 'Climbs Rope All Day.'"
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"Y'all best keep your eyes open. I hear that Big Mike feller is in town."
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"Reach fer the sky, varmints!"
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What's the word?
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Doesn't Hanno look like Stan Laurel here? "Say, Ollie, why don't we tell the wives we have ERT on Thunderbird?"
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"Shh! Don't spill the beans, Stanley!"
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"Thunderbird video--take 2!"
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I really enjoyed this ride.
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Settin' park speed records . . .
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. . . and takin' names!
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Up close and personal with TPR and Thunderbird.
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Look how freakin' fast that sucker is goin'! And it's not even the "fat man's train."
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Who's "loitering"? I'm just taking a nap here. One more set of pics to come.
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Postby cfc » Thu Aug 06, 2009 6:12 pm

McNasty Meals--dinner the McNasty way!

It's like Angus always says: "If you don't kill it, how will you know how good it tastes?"

One last look at Power Park.
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Back to the hotel for dinner and a good night's sleep--the Gran Prix is tomorrow.
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It was a very nice place.
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If it's good enough for Asterix and his big buddy, it's good enough for you.
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Time to hit the track.
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"To the winner goes the coveted TPR Gran Prix trophy. Everyone else will have the satisfaction of knowing that they drive faster than Chuck."
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It's pretty hard to tell who's who in these helmets.
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Lou is pretty easy to spot.
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As is Robb.
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The race was unnerving . . .
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. . . yet fun.
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Here's the leader board. Tom ("Shockwave") was the big winner.
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Plenty of mayhem, lots of wipeouts, and even one destroyed kart--just what the fans came to see!
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So that's what happened to my wallet! Pooh picked my pocket!
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Larry and I decided to check out this bizarre little path.
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Hmm--appears to be a character "meet and greet."
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Power Park's verion of Lothlorien, where elves live inside rustic sex toys.
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I think this is Finnish for "pissed-off fish."
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Or it may just mean "octopus" or something.
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They even themed the walkway.
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These Star Flyers are all over the place.
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Time to roll out. Power Park was a lot of fun.
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BAYSIDE STATION!!!
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Postby Nrthwnd » Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:22 pm

The hotel. The food at the hotel! The Mini TPRix. Power Park. Booster!

That was a really great part of the tour. The timing was perfect for everything, including a great non-sunset we could see from our prix track view balcony window. Great part of the trip.

Sorry you didn't like Booster, Chuck. I loved it and rode it 5 times! I think it helped that this was a slightly smaller version than the biggie that's here, at Playland (Revelation). And that it was included in the park's admission (ours is an UpCharge) made it a must-ride for myself. And, I really enjoyed it, LOL!

Excellent play-by-play of this near-end of the tour, Chuck. Looking forward to more, right up to the.......... <g>........Finnish.
Talk is cheap :idea: Action is Pricele$$

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Postby cfc » Mon Aug 10, 2009 6:46 pm

Chapter 13: Again, at the Edge of Wetness--Sarkanniemi

It was raincoats and ponchos again for at least some of the day at the second-to-last park of TPR's Scandinavian tour: Sarkanniemi. Being as this is an aquatic park, sort of a mini-Sea World, it was pretty good weather for fish and ducks--but the day was hardly a washout.

This is another urban park, but with a difference. The city is ringed by some rather large lakes, and the view from the park's sky tower was excellent, despite the gloomy clouds. The park itself isn't particularly fancy. It has a very 1970s feel to it (the station and queue for Tornado, an Intamin invert, look positively industrial), but there's a good mix of attractions here, and the staff treated our group very well (ERT on a number of rides and access to an unenclosed section of the sky tower that's closed to the public).

The coaster mix is quite eccentric:

Tornado--This is the invert with the zero-g roll in a tunnel, and it's great. The ride itself isn't very fast, but it's very smooth, and I like the layout. Even in the pouring rain, I rode it five times. As I said, it doesn't move at record speed, but it never really lets up, either--a totally different feel than the B&M inverts.

Jet Star--We nearly missed this old Schwartzkopf due to rain, but a break in the deluge and some fast work by the ride's crew made sure that quite a few of us got to ride. The whole structure looks rather rickety, but that just adds to the fun. This was my first Jet Star.

Half-Pipe--Is it a flat? Is it a credit? Depends on who you ask, I guess, but it's fun. This was my first experience with one of these things, and it is a bit hair-raising when you reach the top of the spike.

Trombi--My first Zamperla Volare was, let's say, an "interesting" experience; after all, I've never ridden in a suspended rat cage or iron maiden before. If the Spanish Inquisition had had access to this technology, we'd all be Catholic now. Not as painful as I'd feared, but very awkward and uncomfortable.

Korkkiruuvi--Hey, who's up for a Vekoma Whirlwind? Anybody? Hello? (Actually, not horrible, but not really good, either.)

I skipped the kiddie coaster.

There's a good-sized collection of flats here, as well as a very strange ghost train that combines goofy cartooniness with flat-out gore (everyone needs to ride it at least once). All in all, I enjoyed Sarkanniemi, even if I did skip the dolphin show, which I heard was quite good.

Step right up and have a look for yourselves.
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This segment is brought to you by the makers of the Sugar Syringe. Shoot yourself up--with flavor!
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Step right up, folks! Welcome to Sarkanniemi!
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If you can't afford the whole pipe.
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"So, it's a little damp? Come on up! Look at how happy we are! Join us, and be happy, too!"
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Happy, happy, happy!
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Joy, joy, joy!
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"I'm Robb Alvey! Remember to be Robb Strong!"
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"Yes. We are Robb's thong, er, Robb Strong."
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Oh, dear god.
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"No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!"
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"Poke them with the soft cushions! Confess! Confess!"
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"Mommy is too smart to ride the Volare, right, Kristen?"
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You know, I think I saw this same sculpture on Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco back in the 1970s. Some old hippie dude was welding them on the spot and selling them for $50 a pop.
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The orange train is pretty cool.
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"Screw orange! It's all about the yellow train, baby!"
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Well, whatever. Both trains do some fun stuff.
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I wonder if the gray track feels left out or something?
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I mean, the yellow and orange trains are so bright and sunny and all . . .
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. . . while the poor track is just, well, gray and drab.
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But without the track, the trains would just be large paperweights. There is that.
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"Welcome aboard the 'I have no friends train.' We hope you enjoy your ride."

I like this ride a lot--more Intamin inverts, please.
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I don't know what's scarier--this singing tree . . .
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. . . or the fact that the Brits knew the song.
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"Make the evil people stop!"
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Yeah, what is this? Some sort of Celtic or Druid thing? More to come.
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Postby cfc » Mon Aug 10, 2009 7:19 pm

The makers of the Sugar Syringe remind you to use our product responsibly. Never, ever share a Sugar Syringe!

Back to Sarkanniemi--that park that Chuck can't pronounce.
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"They say there's a dark ride. But where is it? Where is that dark ride? We've looked everywhere, and it's just so frustrating!"
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Ah, here it is! Welcome aboard an adorable family ride that mixes cute cartoons . . .
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. . . with a touch of Dario Argento.
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Hmm--somebody's been reading their Bram Stoker.
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Nosferatu! Das wampyr!
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The ride op seems to be aroused by this painting.
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"I, too, am aroused by this painting. Well, off we go!"
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Really? How serious?
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Oh, that serious.
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Presenting "Buff Shirtless Guy in Bondage!" The hell?
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"Yeah, we don't get it, either. But we are feeling aroused. You might say, we all got a bon . . . " Stop right there!
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CSI: Transylvania.
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"Hello! I be an adorable leprechaun in a top hat, and this is me friend, a brain-eatin' zombie! Begorrah!"
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"We worms are very embarrassed for the people in the following pictures."
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"My . . . god! The . . . forces . . . must . . . reach . . . my . . . utility . . . belt . . ."
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"The airtime! Help us!"
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"Where is the Vekoma?"
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"Oh, there is the Vekoma."
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Yeah, it's about what you'd expect.
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OK, this is one of the weirdest rides around.
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It's more like a series of gentle swells, rather than a full-blown hurricane.
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"No, you guys go right ahead."
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"But it's going to be the bestest ride ever!"
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And maybe it was.
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Right, folks? One more set of pics to come.
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Postby cfc » Mon Aug 10, 2009 7:43 pm

Have you tried our newest product? Non-Sugar Syringe! Yes, it's just like the Sugar Syringe, only without the sugar!

One last look at Sarkanniemi.
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Yes, this is an obvious index picture.
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As is this one.
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But here are some TPR members. Enjoy.
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We went to the top of the sky tower, then had to walk down some stairs to the lower level (where the railing is).
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You will see absolutely no mischief in the following pictures. You will be tempted to scroll past them. Don't.
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Yes, even with all the clouds and rain . . .
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it's a . . .
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. . . beautiful . . . Aghh! Where the hell did he come from? . . .
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. . . view.
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And now, the park as seen by angels, soaring eagles, or pigeons looking for something to crap on. First, the Half-Pipe.
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Tornado's layout.
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A view of a loop.
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Yeah, I just really like this ride. Look at it again!
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"Beware the whir-r-r-rl-wind!"
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"Wretched creatures! How do you plead?"
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High over Dracula's castle of cartoon bondage.
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What? They're testing the Jet Star?
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The Jet Star! How do we find the Jet Star?
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Ka ching!
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Well, Sarkanniemi, that was, indeed, some "serious fun."
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But how do we get to the bus? Thanks for a great day--and the extra stuff at the end.
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Postby larrygator » Mon Aug 10, 2009 8:23 pm

I deem Peena Puu worthy of inclusion in the Park Index as its' own attraction.

Thank you for including the fabulous singing tree of Finland.
As usual, my analysis is free of charge!
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Postby cfc » Thu Aug 13, 2009 5:05 pm

Chapter 14: A Dry Last Day--Linnanmaki

Finally, the last park of possibly the greatest TPR Trip ever--Linnanmaki in Helsinki. "Last parks" are always a study in contrasts. Everyone feels a bit melancholy because they know they'll be saying good-bye to everybody else that evening or the next morning, yet everybody also throws themselves into the experience to get the most out of the last day.

And Linnanmaki was a good park to finish (no pun intended) on. This traditional, urban amusement park rests on a hill in the middle of Helsinki and, like Grona Lund, Liseberg, and Tivoli, makes excellent use of its limited space. You can get some excellent views of the city here.

Although the coaster selection isn't top grade, Linnanmaki has a lot to recommend it, including an unusual "haunted" mirror maze, an excellent ghost train, and quite a few flats (one of which is particularly crazy). As for the coasters:

Linnunrata--This Space Mountain knockoff was my favorite coaster there. There's nice "space" theming in the queue, and the ride itself is good, cheesy fun (if a bit short). No Space Mountain or Eurosat, but it'll do for a family ride.

Kirnu--Call this one "Insane, Jr." It's a mini-version of the Intamin Ball Coaster, and is still fairly intense despite being smaller (and even more phallic looking) than its big brother at Grona Lund.

Vuoristorata--This was the slowest of the trip's side-friction woodies, but still enjoyable--plus, it was the site of the "Egg Challenge."

Salama--A spinning mouse that doesn't really spin all that much unless you load the car just right. But the layout is still fun even when it doesn't spin.

Tulireki--Pointless. The idea behind this Mack E-Motion Coaster is that the train is supposed to react in some way during the ride (such as lean way over on the curves, I think), but it really didn't do much of anything except buck around a bit. Bad, not to mention uncomfortable.

There was a Premier Water Coaster, too, but since I was fighting a cold and didn't feel like having my shoes filled with water, I passed--turned out to be a good decision (I did do the rapids ride, though). There's also a bit of nightmare fuel involving clowns and elephant dung.

Shall we amble about and enjoy our last day? (Hmm--that sounded rather grim.)
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This chapter is brought to you by your local Space Corps Recruiting Office. The Corps is looking for a few good . . . or who are we kidding? We took Chuck! We'll take anybody!
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You have to run around this sign quickly to read where you are. If you run too quickly, you'll melt into butter and end up on someone's pancakes. You have been warned.
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And now that bluegrass classic, "Duelling Phalluses."
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Ride fast, ride hard.
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Actually, I think this ride sort of looks like e-coli or some other bacteria.
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From crazy fighting phalli to good, old-fashioned fun. (The final "a" is assumed.)
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We have a mission: The egg must not be harmed!
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"I've had me spinach! Now gives me that egg!"
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"THE EGG! THE EGG! WHAT OF THE EGG? SUCCEED, AND WE SHALL SING SONGS OF YOUR GLORY FOR GENERATIONS TO COME!"
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Oh so fragile! Oh so delicate! Poor little egg! Not to mention delicious. (I like mine scrambled or fried over easy, by the way.)
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And now, the "reveal."
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"I'd like to thank the man upstairs for making this all possible. Yes, there he is. Right up there."
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I think this is Finnish for "spins sometimes."
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"Come on! Spin, damn you!"
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"That's it. Now you're getting it."
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"You see? All it needed was a little coaxing."
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Over the course of many years, Mack has developed many fine rides. This is not one of them.
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"Now arriving on platform 2! The No Friends Limited. Soon departing for Nowheresville, Obscurityburg, and Parts Unknown. All b-o-o-o-o-oard!"
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This powered coaster is a more entertaining Mack creation.
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No happy children allowed.
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OK, I'm not seeing any smiling children, so I guess everything's cool.
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"OK, Kristin, if you finish that popcorn, you can play in the box." More to come.
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