In spite of the warm weather and humidity, we had a really nice day @ the park on Saturday. Stayed true to my avoidance of the joint all summer and hadn't been up since Memorial Day weekend so felt great to get back and ride some amazing rides and hang with awesome people. I didn't take too many pictures, and with the ones I did I had a little fun with the filters.
Headed out of the city early with my two buddies Slim and Poop stocked with a cooler full of beer and made a quick pitstop at Wawa for some morning munchies. We aimed to arrive at 10:30 opening when we realized on the way into the park that they didn't open until 11. With 40 minutes or so to kill we just got a good parking spot and tailgated because of course we did. Shout out to the old woman at the toll booth who informed us it was Fright Fest and had us dying when she admitted that she knew she was scary looking!
Slim had a bit of a hangover so he planned to simply process his 2018 pass, utilize his dining pass for some free food, and otherwise just take it easy. Getting through security was a breeze with no wait at all but the line at the main gate was slow as molasses, assuming due to people getting their new passes processed. Painful.
We also had planned to meet up with Coasterbill and Britt, but they had plans to hit the safari first (of course) while we headed to Justice League right away to avoid long waits later, since Poop and I had yet to try it. We had about a 10 minute wait and hopped on. The ride area looks fantastic as does the theming inside the queue/station. I was impressed. After the first screen the thing just sorta powered down for a couple seconds and I was rather disappointed that we'd got a bum ride on our first try. No worries, it quickly started back up with no other noticeable hiccups after that.
I have to say I was rather blown away by this ride. While its not exactly seamless with how it takes you into each little prop area between the much more immersive screens (never thought I'd say that about a dark ride lol) the two final scenes actually gave me a little vertigo. Really really awesome ride. The cherry on top was that I absolutely creamed everyone in our car.
Since we skipped my usual right-to-the-Bull approach to this park, I was a little worried we may have missed the early morning ERT you always seem to get upon hitting Toro @ opening, nevertheless we hopped on the Skyride to head over to the east side of the park.
Upon touching down we noticed Runaway Mine Train was running and had an empty station, and with it being up and down all summer for trackwork, I couldn't resist hopping on. If you know me I have a soft spot for mine trains and this is one of the best! It was running extremely well, and from here we'd find out just about everything in the park was. Choo-choo!
Finally heading over for some serious air, Slim sat out our first lap on The Bull to head over to Macho, nicely holding our sh*t so no need for a fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo. We ran into The Dude ElToroRyan greeting guests at the front of the ride. Sup Ryan! Amazingly, even though it was after noon already, the ride still had a station wait and we boarded the magic seat. Sweet lord how I missed this ride. Outstanding. Somehow the frame on Poop's sunglasses cracked while going over one of the camelbacks and he somehow caught the lens as it flew out. Hilarious. Upon returning to the station I noticed if we moved up two rows we could ride again, but Poop couldn't face any more of that intensity so I told him to head to Macho while I rode once more. While now in a wheel seat, the ride was a good bit rougher, but its still the smoothest wooden coaster I've ever ridden. The thing was absolutely flying.
I could have played musical chairs some more but didn't want to leave my pals waiting, and not having my phone on me had no idea what Bill and Brit were up to. I headed to Macho and found the crew and ordered myself up a nice big strawberry daiquiri. These are really good here, albeit a little pricey, but good enough for me to get two of them. Shout out to the friendly bartender who said she was from Jamaica. Always nice to chat with friendly employees that don't act like they hate their job. We split an order of loaded nachos that were also super good. I love me some Macho Nacho.
Bill and Brit eventually made their we way over as Slim, Poop and I were decided what to do next. We all decided it would be stupid not to hit Toro again since we were so close and the ride was still dead, so we got one more lap on it. Ryan was now up in the station loading trains so we got to say what's up again. Thanks for that absolutely stellar ride, dude!
From here we popped into Safari Discoveries to say hello to a few furry friends and shortcut our way into Golden Kingdom. Most of us didn't want to ride Kingda Ka, but everyone was up for a drop of doom. Amazingly we had a short wait but the line moved quickly despite them still not being able to run the two rides simultaneously (you didn't hear it from me: rumors around the park are pretty strong about the roofs of Zumanjaros gondolas being altered so the park can finally run the rides together. We shall see...
Checking the queue times on the the app we noticed Nitro had a five minute wait, so we slogged all the way over to another station wait, and had a fabulous zen ride. Completely hauling, smooth as butter with generous servings of airtime. Bill, Britt, and Slim in front of Poop, myself, and random dude that got on with us. As soon as we started up the lift we came to a stop, and while a few preteen girls in the back row behind us started freaking out about getting stuck I yelled out for the entire train to hear that it was likely "because some asshole had their phone out!!" Little did I realize it was the dude sitting next to us! lol!
The guy seemed to genuinely feel bad and was surprised it was an issue, though we explained how serious an issue it was and how the park has been cracking down, about the fluffy, fluffy bunny filled with medicine and goo situation, etc. When we got off, a security guard was waiting on the exit ramp with the guys phone. We didn't stick around to see what happened.
We continued around this area of the park getting phenomenal rides on everything - our front row ride on Batman was glorious (and the air conditioning is still on blast mode in the tunnel in the queue, even in the station), same over at Skull Mountain.
Skull Mountain was seriously one of the highlights of the day, giving us an absolutely amazing ride. I know we joke about how "great" this ride is, but it felt especially insane. Barely a wait, and we were well into the afternoon by now, sometime after 3pm. Strangely the park felt crowded on the midways, yet rides kept having little waits. We also tried to do Dark Knight (Poop had never ridden it) but when we walked up to it, it had shut down.
We wandered a bit before we stopped over at Liberty Pub to down a couple beers and hang in the shade. We talked about hitting Joker but by now it had a 30 minute wait, according to the queue times on the app. All of us getting hungry, around 4pm we walked over to Best of the West to find the place empty.
We all got some grub and beers and headed out to the back deck to sit and enjoy the serenity of the perpetual turtle orgy. I had the pulled pork sandwich with fries and Guinness. Everyone else got different stuff - chicken tenders, etc. All seemed to enjoy.
Checking the queue times we could tell the park was starting to get more crowded, with Justice League sporting a 70 minute wait, and Ka at an hour. Bizarro just around the corner was only at 20 minutes and we all agreed we could go for getting twisted, and the wait would be good to allow us to digest our grub.
This ride is criminally underrated and was absolutely ripping. All the effects - fire mist, lights, etc were all working. Shame they shut the photo booth down for this, I wonder if its ever coming back. One of my favorite inverting B&Ms. So so so good.
As mentioned, my buddy Slim was still feeling a little crappy so having hit everything we wanted, and the crowds increasing we grabbed some Dipping Dots, left Bill and Brit to deal with the incoming onslaught of Fright Fest guests, and got the f*ck out of dodge just before 6pm. I tend to avoid Fright Fest but was itching for some good rides, and just like in the past years - if you come EARLY in the day in September, you can enjoy getting a lot of riding in without a lot of waiting. We had a nice, chill, slow paced day with a ton of amazing rides, lots of laughs, good food, & good times with great friends. Much needed.
El Toro 3x
Some amazing sunset action on the way home I got some shots of.
Thanks for reading!