Jcoaster, Genx24, really awesome meeting both you guys today! I still find it a little weird getting recognized out and about but thanks for striking up a convo. Always good to be able to put faces to screen names
I've been on a brief working-from-home stint while my kiddo is switching schools until they get the school bus situation sorted out, and one of the nice things about being able to do that is that I'm only a few exits away down the Belt. So I ducked out for a slightly extended "lunch break" today, got to Surf Ave around 11:45, found parking on the street literally right in front of the main Luna Park gates, and hoofed it down a few blocks to grab some Nathan's for lunch. Yeah, it's a guilty pleasure. Two corn dogs and a regular fry later, I'm watching some test cycles of Thunderbolt run, and then the first few riders start taking that drop. Almost every train is being sent out with one or two passengers, so I walk over, pick up a ticket, and hop in the non-existent line. Sure enough, I end up with a train all to myself, front row, dead center. I agree with the rest of the comments above that this ride gets a lot of undue hate. The only thing I'm not really a fan of are the shoulder "seatbelt strap" restraints, they're unnecessary and end up slapping my shoulders on all the airtime moments. But other than that? Fantastic ride with a ton of fun elements. I only wish it was on an unlimited wristband so I could ride it over and over again.
Hit the boardwalk after and passed by the Endeavor. It called to me. I've really enjoyed this model as a fun counterpart to the classic Enterprise, and took another quick solo ride, arms splayed to the sides. If you haven't tried this yet I definitely recommend doing so. After this I made my way to the Scream Zone to check out what was running over there. Oh noooo, Soarin Eagle was down for maintenance. Whatever shall I do? Steeplechase appeared to be up and running, so I hopped onto a mostly-full train with an opening in the second-to-last row that was ready to go. Restraints locked and checked. Aaaaand... fizzle. Restraints unlocked. Re-locked. Re-checked. Aaand... re-fizzle. At this point, half the train gets off and leaves impatiently. The folks in the last row move up to the front row. I hop back one row. They try a third time, now with only three people on the train... and again a fizzle. The ride ops call it in at this point and the three of us are offered refunds, and amazingly they're processed promptly right there at the ride's entrance. Nice one.
I cut my way through Deno's (where the old scrambler has since been replaced with some Triotech simulator themed around zombies) and hit the main section of Luna Park for a few more quick flat rides that toss me upside down; Air Race and Luna 360 both deliver in the disorienting hang time department. 360 and these other mini discovery rides are so underrated. But a quick glance at the time on my phone, rapidly approaching 1, shows that it's time to revisit the legend for my first ride of the season (and hopefully not the last -- definitely want to make a habit of getting over here more frequently this year). I cut through the side streets and run through the queue to get to the Cyclone train still idling in the station... and wake up the ticket-taker from a poorly timed daydream! Tapped him on the shoulder as he was gazing off into the distance. "OH! You scared me!" "Good, guess I'm doing my job then!"
It is still running in great shape this season, and the recent paint job has held up really well over the off-season. Just wish I could've taken last row instead of being pushed up towards the front. I seriously doubt me being in the last row would've caused it to valley. Oh well. Next time!
As I was heading towards the exits, the guy in front of me turns around and says... "Hey... Theme Park Review?!" I'm pretty sure I'm not getting mistaken for Robb >_> but sure enough it's Jcoaster and Genx24 who recognized me off of some of the pics I've posted on here over the years. We chat pleasantly for a few minutes on the sidewalk before I realize that my street parking is about to expire; then it's across the street to grab the car and drive east along the Belt once more. An all-too-brief diversion, but on such a beautiful day as today, one that was totally welcome and needed.