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Re: biosciking's Non-So Cal Thread

PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:28 pm
by Musketeer
I've always thought Dollywood looked beautiful and your pictures prove that even more. It's absolutely the perfect setting! Great pictures! =)

Re: biosciking's Non-So Cal Thread

PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 11:47 am
by biosciking
Double0Kevin wrote:I noticed the photo of GCI's projects is wrong. It lists the Roars in the wrong order, it says SFDK 1998 and SFA 1999.

Funny, I hadn't even noticed that.

Double0Kevin wrote:I also find it interesting it lists the old names for Evel Kinevel and Terminator even those was obviously made after they changed the names.

I had noticed this though and wondered the same thing.

beatle11 wrote:As far as Blazing Fury goes, I think I remember reading they now have magnetic brakes where the splash pool was and the water apparently doesn't go well with the brakes so it's now a dry ride.

That's too bad, but I guess it totally makes sense.


While in the Pigeon Forge / Gatlinburg / Sevierville area, I decided to pay a visit to Ober Gatlinburg. This was the second time I've visited this park, having stopped by previously during my 2007 trip to Tennessee. Much has remained the same, though there were a few noticeable differences. A new maze attraction has opened, and the miniature golf has been moved outdoors (it was formerly inside Ober Gatlinburg's mall). These must have replaced the go-kart and swinging ship rides, which I seem to recall being previously located in the same spots. Probably a wise move from the park's standpoint, as I'm sure a walk-through maze and mini golf are much easier to maintain. Also, what used to be exclusively the Black Bear Habitat has expanded and added more native Smoky Mountain animals, becoming the Wildlife Encounter.

Overall Ober Gatlinburg is a very nice family fun center-style park. Being high up in the mountains, it should be a satisfying destination for both those who enjoy theme parks and those who enjoy national parks. I've only ever visited during the summer, but I'm sure it would also be worth a stop in the fall (to see the forest in its autumn colors) and in the winter (for the snow activities).

Re: biosciking's Non-So Cal Thread

PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:21 pm
by Philrad71
^ I also noticed that about the alpine slide during our visit.

While I thought it was really cool that an 80 year old woman was doing the Alpine Slide, it was also kind of a bummer that everyone behind her had to ride the brake at a snail's pace almost the entire way down the hill (including myself).

They have two lanes so one should be for beginners and one for those that like speed. The one I rode in South Dakota in 2011 had that set-up and it worked quite well.

Re: biosciking's Non-So Cal Thread

PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:28 am
by biosciking
Following Tennessee it was off to Virginia and Busch Gardens Williamsburg. Busch Gardens is one of two parks that I have visited more times than any other amusement park outside of my home parks in So Cal (and I guess Las Vegas). This 2012 trip marked my fourth visit to Busch Gardens, the previous ones taking place in 2010, 2009, and 2000. For this reason alone I have a very special attachment to the park. Of course, the reason I keep returning is because I enjoy it so much. This is a theme park that, like Dollywood, is made so perfect by its setting, scenery, atmosphere, and ambiance. I absolutely love being inside the park surrounded by all of it.

Let's not forget that there are roller coasters and thrill rides to be found at Busch Gardens as well. Since my last visit in 2010, two new rides have been added -- the highly anticipated Verbolten and the mediocrely anticipated Mach Tower. How were they? Read on!

Re: biosciking's Non-So Cal Thread

PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:24 am
by chickenbowl
Very cool! I absolutely loved BGW and Dollywood when I visited last year! Thanks for helping me re-live those parks for a few minutes. :b

Re: biosciking's Non-So Cal Thread

PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 11:46 pm
by azza29
Great TR! BGW looks like such a great park, I'm counting down the days until I get to visit (52!).

Re: biosciking's Non-So Cal Thread

PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 3:20 pm
by biosciking
While in Virginia, it certainly seemed appropriate to stop by Kings Dominion. This was my third visit to this park, having previously visited in 2010 and 2000. Much like I said with Carowinds, Kings Dominion is a very Cedar Fair park -- pretty huge and packed to the gills with coasters. The definite headliners are Intimidator and Volcano, both of which are excellent.

Kings Dominion does cater more to the thrill crowd, though there seems to be enough to keep everyone else occupied as well. I would rank it higher than Carowinds overall, but both are pretty comparable. This park also marked the end of the first half of my August 2012 trip. The Carolinas, Tennessee, and Virginia made for a great combo; I very much enjoyed it all!

Re: biosciking's Non-So Cal Thread

PostPosted: Thu Aug 01, 2013 9:03 am
by biosciking
I spent the second half of my August 2012 trip in Florida. I've been to Florida three times previously, always during the winter (Christmas and New Year's) holidays (1990/1991, 1998/1999, and 2002/2003). Visiting in the summer was therefore new to me. My plan was to spend part of the trip at Walt Disney World and part of the trip beyond Disney World, so I had to select which Disney parks to visit. I opted against the Magic Kingdom, as I figured I'd wait on it until after the new Fantasyland is completed. I also chose not to go to Epcot, since Test Track was undergoing its extensive refurbishment during the summer of 2012. That left Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Having been to Disney's Hollywood Studios (then Disney-MGM Studios) during each of my previous Florida trips, this marked my fourth visit to the park. DHS and BGW are therefore the two parks that I've visited more times than any others outside of my home parks in So Cal, four times each. There have been several new additions to DHS since my last trip -- Toy Story, the Motors Stunt Show, American Idol, One Man's Dream, Star Tours 3-D. I know some sort of Pirates of the Caribbean attraction has opened even since this visit, but that doesn't seem like anything major to have missed. I definitely enjoyed getting back to the Studios, trying out all of the new stuff and revisiting all of the classic attractions that I so fondly remember.

Re: biosciking's Non-So Cal Thread

PostPosted: Mon Oct 28, 2013 6:22 am
by biosciking
After the Hollywood Studios it was on to Disney's Animal Kingdom. This marked my third visit to this park, having previously visited during my 1998/1999 and 2002/2003 Florida trips. The park was very new in 1998 and just a few years old in 2002, so I was curious to return a decade later to see how it's developed. Much has remained the same (not a complaint, as I enjoyed the park in past years), but there has of course been one major addition since then -- Expedition Everest. The Finding Nemo Musical was also new.

Has Expedition Everest beat out Kilimanjaro Safaris and Dinosaur to become the park's best ride? Does Finding Nemo have the edge over Festival of the Lion King and It's Tough to Be a Bug as the park's best show? What is the most common animal you'll find at the Animal Kingdom? (Where did that last question even come from?) All of the answers will be revealed...

Re: biosciking's Non-So Cal Thread

PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:33 am
by biosciking
The final Walt Disney World stop on my August 2012 trip was Fantasia Gardens Miniature Golf. I had been to this mini golf course once previously (during my 1998/1999 visit to WDW), but I only played the Gardens Course, which is the one that's actually themed to the Fantasia movie. I'm honestly not even sure I was aware of the existence of the other course back then, but I certainly was going into this trip and was eager to give it a try.

The Fairways Course is the second 18-hole course at Fantasia Gardens, but it's not themed to Fantasia. It's designed as a small-scale version of an actual golf course, so it's much more challenging than your typical mini golf (my understanding is that it's been voted most challenging miniature golf in the world!). It definitely wasn't easy, but it sure was lots of fun, and it looked great. For that matter, both courses were exceptionally themed and well maintained, so I can without reservation give a high recommendation to Fantasia Gardens.