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Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Thu Dec 27, 2018 11:55 am

mark549 wrote:If you go back to Santa Cruz boardwalk, there are some nice groves nearby. I recommend Big Basin, profiles at http://www.redwoodhikes.com It's almost as nice as the North Coast redwoods. It's further from SF than Muir Woods, but closer to Railblazer.

There are also old growth remnants in Massachusetts. I've seen a grove on Mt. Greylock on a steep slope where it was hard to cut the trees. They grow slower in the cold than coast redwoods.

We considered going to Henry Cowell park to avoid the crowds of Muir, but the parking reservations kept the crowds manageable. Big Basin was closer to CGA, but it appeared to be quite the journey off of the main road.

I never realized those trees were growing by Mt. Greylock. I kind of forget that there's a part of Massachusetts that exists west of Springfield. :lol:

coasterbill wrote:Great report!

That's a shame about Holiday in the Park at Discovery Kingdom. Most of the events do a great job with the lights so I don't know what's going on out there.

And yeah, San Francisco is great.

Thanks! Me neither. SFGAdv, SFNE, and SFMM all have had impressive HITP light displays so it was really shocking to see Discovery Kingdom so dark. The worst offenders were the two main areas with the coasters and it was easy to forget we were visiting for the holidays.

hoppedup wrote:Great report!

Taking a couple of days off from coasters and doing touristy stuff definitely made our last trip better. Can't wait for our California tour in 2020.

Thanks! Usually I'll pick coasters over touristy stuff, but San Francisco is too cool of a city to pass up.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Mon Dec 31, 2018 6:15 am

San Francisco is such a beautiful, fun city. One of my favorite parts of the US, for sure. Between the red wood forests, Big Sur, Golden Gate, NAPA, Alcatraz, Japantown (incredible ramen place there called Marufuku Ramen, heavenly!)… You can easily feel up a week or two, non-stop. Amazing breweries as well, one of our favorite locations if you are into that. We loved it so much our first visit two years ago we went back again this Spring. But now we are good for a few years before we return lol

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Mon Dec 31, 2018 7:00 am

Being out there for an entire summer during an internship allowed me to hit all the main destinations (minus the redwoods but that has since been corrected). This trip turned into a greatest hits of San Francisco due to time, but as you said, we could have easily spent more time.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Wed Jan 23, 2019 6:26 pm

Legoland California

Legoland California was a park that was secretly on my radar for a while. While I may be a *bit* outside their targeted demographic as a 26 year old male without any kids, they had something very appealing to me. Did I want the three credits? Well duh, of course I did. But that wasn't my primary goal. I was intrigued by Knights’ Tournament, their Kuka arm flat ride. From the videos I saw online, it looked like a dark horse contender for one of the most intense flats out there.

Fortunately Legoland is so much more than one crazy flat and three credits. As the original, Legoland California is the best of the Florida and Japanese parks. It has the sheer size of the Florida park with the level of detail of the Japanese park.

After a frustratingly strict rain policy at their Florida park, I made darn sure to visit on a sunny day. Fortunately that wasn't an issue in SoCal. The park had a posted partial open at 9:30 and a full opening time at 10. I rolled into the parking lot at 9 and as I approached the gate, they were already letting people in.

It wasn't awkward one bit coming here without a child.

Hotel guests had early access to Explorer Island and Heartlake City, aka two of the areas with the highest concentration of children's rides. This causes quite the dilemma for the super credit whores out there. Unless you splurge on a skip-the-line pass or one of the Legoland hotels, you'll have a dreadful wait for Coastersaurus that makes your life choices. I'm certainly not above riding a kiddie credit, especially one with a jumbo dinosaur in the center, but I had to draw the line with a posted wait of 60 minutes.

Coastersaurus Drop.JPG
I probably broke the cardinal rule of coaster enthusiasts visiting Legoland by missing a credit, but I wasn't going to wait an hour for this.

So instead I went the other way. I'm sure you can name several parks that make you exit through a gift shop, but Legoland makes you enter through the gift shop. That's right, to reach a majority of rides, parents have to take their Lego obsessed kids through the Big Shop. It's the perfect recipe for sales. This appeared to be a temporary thing as they were redoing the pathways around the building.

Pathway Construction.jpg
Funneling people through the gift shop? Brilliant!

Just make sure it's a popular one unlike the one for Grizzly at Kings Dominion.

I figured they'd stage us until 9:30, but after clearing the construction walls, they told us Ninjago World would be open early. I sure was glad to have arrived early! I loved everything about the ride in Florida except the wait. I was able to score four straight rides with no more than a 5 minute wait.

I never thought I'd find a ride more physically exhausting than Toy Story, but Ninjago did it. Teenagers can train all they want with a box of tissues and the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, but even their arms will be weak and trembling like a bowl of jelly.

I cannot stress how important it is to watch and read the instructions. Ninjago requires a very nuanced technique of hand motions. My first ride was a feeler, but by the second ride, I was killing (?) all sorts of Lego characters with fire. In fact, I was the day's best pyro. Ninjago is an absolute blast and the interactivity may make it the park's best ride. 8 out of 10

Ninjago Entrance.JPG
Earth, water, thunder, or fire?

Ninjago Scoreboard.jpg
Why is everyone else picking earth? Burning legos alive is the way to go.

Dang I'm a Lego murderer.

It was now 10, so the rest of the park opened. I hoped Ninjago would draw most of the guests at opening, but I a flood of unsupervised kids sprinted to the Technic Coaster. I continued walking at a steady pace. A single adult should never run at a kid's park. It's a bad look.

The Technic Coaster is one of the large wild mice, which is both a blessing and a curse. On the bright side, the big drop is arguably the best moment on any wild mouse I've ridden. On the down side, the rest of the ride is a heavily trimmed ride devoid of any thrills. 4 out of

Technic Coaster Drop.JPG
You'd never know this ride were Technic Coaster based on the signage.

Lost Kingdom Adventure was a ride I had experienced in Florida and Japan, but this one had some differences. For one, this one had cars with two rows. But the biggest difference was the shooting. The other two versions have oversized laser pointers. This one had tiny little pointers, so it was definitely harder.

The other thing that made it challenging was how the hits were registered. There were several targets I know I hit right on the money, but I didn't get any points. However, the second I drifted away from the target or shot somewhere nearby, I'd get points. Maybe the pointer wasn't perfectly in line? Nonetheless, I did really enjoy the set design and overall ride. 7 out of 10

Lost Kingdom Adventure.JPG
This is a Legoland staple and that's fine by me.

I had put it off long enough; it was time to see if Knights’ Tournament justified my pricey visit to Brick City. There was little doubt which program I was going to select, Program 5. Programs 1-2 match the movement of Forbidden Journey. While you never go upside down, you do end up on your back. Meanwhile Program 5 had 18 inversions. 18! That's absurd for any park, let alone Legoland.

Sounds intense, right? Half of the ride was. Half the inversions came from these surprise backflips. It felt like an S&S launch backwards into an inversion. It was glorious. But the other half were just these slow 360 degree rotations chained together. I wouldn't say it's worth going to Legoland exclusively for, but it's a can't miss for any thrill-seeker who finally caves for the three credits. 8 out of 10

Knights' Tournament 1.JPG
How this ride exists at a park like Legoland is a mystery to me.

Speaking of credits, I moseyed on over to the Dragon. I'm glad I caught it early since they were only running one train on it. Normally that's no problem on a junior coaster, but it is when you add a dark ride at the beginning.

That dark ride is really cute and easily the ride's strength. The coaster part isn't intense, but it did have a 720 degree helix and a trench dive at least. Anyone who isn't a kid just needs to watch out for the dragon's bite (aka the headrests).

On most rides, the headrests are flush with the seat backs. However, on the Dragon, they are these hard bubbles that extend a solid 2 inches from the top of the seat back. They're the perfect height for kids and the perfect height to drive into the center of an adult's back. 6 out of 10

Dragon Turn.JPG
Look at all the adults with their hands raised. Clearly they're having a good time.

I loved the submarine ride at the Japanese park, so I was glad to see it at the California location as well. The one addition (unless I was oblivious in Japan) was a touchscreen where you play hide-and-seek looking for treasure throughout the ride. It was a neat touch, but I was more focused on the diversity of fish and detailed Lego figures. 8 out of 10

I just double checked and for some odd reason Deep Sea Adventure isn't listed on the "Rides and Attractions" page on the website. So that's why I didn't know it existed. :lmao:

Deep Sea Adventure Exterior.JPG
That's so odd this isn't on the website's rides page.

Deep Sea Adventure Manta.jpg
Because it's definitely a ride and a darn good one too.

No visit to Legoland is complete without a tour of Miniland. There are multiple ways to experience Miniland. The first is a massive walkthrough. I still can't believe all these figures are made of Legos. I'm pretty sure the builders had an orgy getting to build something so extravagant from a children's toy. :lol:

Golden Gate Bridge.JPG
It was great to relive my recent San Francisco trip all over again.

Stratosphere Tower.jpg
Does anyone find it funny that the Stratosphere Tower has multiple rides...

New York, New York.JPG
while the Big Apple Coaster is nowhere to be found?

The second way is the Coast Cruise boat ride. I was originally going to skip it, figuring it would have a substantial wait, but it was a walk-on!

Also, what is it with California and closing their monorails? The former Sky Cruiser was doing its best Peoplemover impression just rotting in plain site. Old reviews mentioned it was the most popular ride in the park, so I was stunned to see it closed and not even acknowledged on the website. Anyone know why it closed?

Coast Cruise.JPG
In the foreground is Coast Cruise. In the background is the SBNO Sky Cruiser. Anyone know what happened to it if it were so popular?

By the time I finished my loop, it was evident the crowds had arrived. Anyone who has been to a Legoland park knows capacity isn't their strong suit. It's pretty shocking considering they market themselves as a resort, but it's just something I know I have to deal with at Legoland.

Ultimately I had an enjoyable time. Without a doubt, it's the strongest of the three Legolands I have visited. If you only want coaster credits, I cannot recommend Legoland, especially considering what else is nearby. If you have kids, it's a no brainer though. And if you like dark rides and are intrigued by Knights’ Tournament like me, then it just comes down to how much time you have in SoCal if you ask me.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Wed Jan 23, 2019 7:59 pm

Great TR! And that's so sad to read about their neat monorail not operating. :sad:
I rode the one in Denmark (Thanks TPR Tours!) and it was so cool just to ride above some of the park.

Especially when it was sunny, too! :)
(Like it was, in the 2014 re-visit to Legoland Denmark.)
A rainy day in Legoland Denmark. But Yellow Monorail keeps running!
Taken from the Observe Tower. TPR 2009 Scandi Tour.
H_04LegoLandMiniLandViewC.jpg (168.7 KiB) Viewed 7517 times

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Thu Jan 24, 2019 6:18 pm


I really liked the pedal monorail at Europa Park and the ones in Japan, so I was looking forward to riding another. It was a shame to see it closed since it looked like it had a very nice location up on the hill.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Mon Jan 28, 2019 5:28 am

SeaWorld San Diego

Like any good enthusiast, I make sure to check the rehab schedule (if available) for year-round parks. Two weeks ago, I did just that for SeaWorld San Diego. We all knew Journey to Atlantis was closed with all the scaffolding on the building. But I could live without it. The only other ride listed closed was Riptide Rescue. Again, no problem. The real star is Manta. I got some great rides on it in 2014 and was looking forward to reriding it.

Manta Entrance.JPG
Manta was the primary reason for my visit.

Manta Closed.JPG
But the whale out front told me it was closed.

I figured it must have been unplanned since we visited on a holiday weekend, but the website was updated to say it was down for annual rehab.

Down two coasters, SeaWorld had one lone survivor blasting riders towards the sky and that was Electric Eel. The new kid on the block won't be new for long with Tidal Twister and Mako on the way, but it's an excellent addition for the park.

The line was constant at about 15-20 minutes all day, so we got quite a few rides in on it. Yes it has comfort collars and it slows down loading, but I didn't notice them on-ride. I was too busy enjoying the rush flying through the station, the crazy ejector air ascending and descending, and the sustained hangtime of that zero-G roll. 8 out of 10

Electric Eel Non-Inverting Loop.JPG
They missed an opportunity to play the Electric Slide in line.

I didn't see anyone working at Journey, but it's clear they're doing some major work on it. I passed the site for Tidal Twister and they just had a wall up advertising their new for 2019 coaster. I just pray it's smoother than Harley Quinn because she was one violent woman.

Journey to Atlantis Rehab.JPG
That's a lot of scaffolding.

Tidal Twister Construction.JPG
It didn't appear that Tidal Twister had gone vertical yet, but I imagine it'll be installed quickly.

Submarine Quest SBNO.JPG
And last but not least, here's the SBNO Submarine Quest...

In 2014, we were not impressed by their One Ocean show. The Shamu family is awesome, but I remember that show using way too many screens instead of showcasing the whales. I figured the Orca Encounter would be more of the same considering the Blackfish backlash, but they had the whales doing more than ever this time. Go figure. :Lol:

Shamu Jump 1.jpg
I thought SeaWorld was supposed to scale back the killer whale activity. Orca Encounter had them doing more than ever.

My buddy was complaining how cold he was, but still insisted on sitting in the splash zone. I tried to finish my soft pretzel before the inevitable tsunami, but then this happened.

Shamu Splash 1.jpg
This is the point when I reconsidered my life decisions.

Shamu Splash 2.jpg
What have I done?

Shamu Splash 3.jpg
I should probably put my camera away...

Soaked to the bone, we said “screw it” and went on Shipwreck Rapids. Granted I was planning on riding it anyway since I had a strong suspicion the waterfalls would be off. I was right there, but it made no difference. For one, I was already soaked. But second, I was nailed by both the big rapids.

Shipwreck Rapids really is one of the best river rapids rides out there. It's impeccably landscaped, has some nice theming, and the perfect mix of rapids and waterfalls/sprayers (in the summer that is). 9 out of 10

Shipwreck Rapids Lift.JPG
Any ride with an Archimedes' screw gets the seal of approval from me.

Dolphin Days was up next and I'm pleased to say it was stronger than Orlando's (and definitely better than the dolphin show at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom but that's sort of a given). The show spent more time showcasing the insane athletic ability of the dolphin.

Dolphins are probably my third favorite animal after the majestic dachshund and corgi. Needless to say I loved the show even though my friend again wanted the front.

Dolphin Days Jump.JPG
As a Patriots fan, I don't usually see athletic dolphins.

Dolphin Days Lift.JPG
What can't dolphins do?

Speaking of dachshunds, they had a surprising addition to their shows. Pets Rule was in rehearsal mode. When I saw the hot dog stand on the stage, I knew there'd be adorable weenie dogs as part of the show.

And I was right! They built to the crescendo by having a dog agility course plus some other familiar skits from Orlando's Pets Ahoy or Busch's Pet Shenanigans show. Then the stars came out.

Pets Rule Dachshunds.JPG
When I saw the hot dog stand, I prepared myself for the big moment,

We also experienced basically any of the animal exhibits we could find. While San Diego has better shows than Orlando, I think Orlando has the edge on animal exhibits.

Penguin Encounter (Fat).JPG
Jesus, did that penguin eat another?

Shark Encounter.JPG
It was sort of weird having the pool opening so close to the top of the tunnel, but it was cool nonetheless.

Sea Lions.JPG
Regrettably I missed the sea lion show due to time, but this partially made up for it.

Turtle Reef.JPG
Hi Crush.

Beluga Whale (Close).JPG
Oh yeah, we rode Wild Arctic too. Fun ride (albeit old) with a great exhibit after.

SeaWorld San Diego is experiencing a boon of coasters and it'll only help make the park more appealing in SoCal visits (and I really want to reride Manta after being thwarted. They already have an incredible collection of animals, so the rides are just icing on the cake.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:06 am

Nice report, tho shame about Manta.

I've never been to SWSD, but assume manta is a clone of the one in Orlando?

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Mon Jan 28, 2019 9:55 am

Thanks Bert!

The Mantas are actually significantly different. About the only similarities between them are the aquariums in the queue, nice rockwork around the attraction, and the theme.

Orlando's is arguably the country's best flying coaster and San Diego's is a launched sit down coaster with way more airtime than you'd expect from a 30 foot tall ride.

Re: Photo TR: Canobie Coaster's World Adventures

Mon Jan 28, 2019 10:15 am

wow. . I had no idea they were that different.

someday, will get to see SWSD . maybe I can convince hubby to do a quick trip out there in May timeframe.
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