Born and raised in Philly, I've always been well aware of Sesame Places' existence, and have had some close calls with the park over the years but never actually made it inside. Being a children's park, even in recent years I felt little urge to check it out. To be fair, this would likely have been the year - new coaster or not - as we got BGW Platinum Passes for 2018, and I'd always planned to use my 5-year-old nephew as an excuse to visit anyway.
Enter Oscars' Wacky Taxi. A modest looking family coaster opening this year, built by Gravity Group. And finally a real reason to visit the park. Earlier in the summer my sister had mentioned she nabbed some super cheap tickets for her and my nephew, and the weekend after my Roller Coaster Day trip to Great Adventure, she hit me up again asking if I was free that Sunday, as they had no plans. She's taken my nephew there a few times, and he had been bugging her.
Sunday came around and the forecast was for a rainy morning, clearing up in the afternoon. With the stories I've heard about Sesame crowds, the clouds and sprinkles were welcome. With our BGW platinum passes we were able to use preferred parking and got a spot really close to the entrance.
It was gray with rain on and off, but once we pulled in and parked, as if on cue, the downpour began.
We hustled over to the entrance, and without a long wait, were into the park and made a bee-line right for the new hotness, since we spotted it running, but not before stopping to say hello to the Sesame topiaries.
I'm not sure if the low crowds had anything to do with it, or that it was early, but I couldn't help but notice that for a kids/family park its very clean and the landscaping, in typical Busch/Seaworld fashion, is very well done.
Surprised that the new woodie was still running in the steady precipitation, we made our way through the small queue and up into the station where we found a small wait. And right on cue, the ride went down.
Figuring most of the other rides were also down, and happy to be under the cover of a station, we decided to wait it out. The crew informed us it may be a little while, and they stopped letting people in the ride entrance, but we were welcome to wait.
After a few minutes more guests decided to bail, allowing us to advance to the front row queue, setting ourselves up to the be the next riders once the ride came back online.
My nephew was not thrilled at waiting but we gave him the park map to keep him occupied ("what do you want to ride/where do you want to go when the sun comes out?", etc).
I love the trains and the station, Gravity Group and Sesame really did a great job on this. This would be my first Gravity Group coaster - we almost got a ride on Mine Blower last year, but were too tuckered out from the other parks we visited in Florida.
After about 40 minutes, the rain had mostly stopped, and only the three of us and one other family remained. Suddenly we heard the crackle of the main ride ops walkie-talkie cut through the silence, much to my nephews delight. Of course they had to run a few test trains, which took another 5 minutes. But finally, we were on.
Heading up the lift, I had high hopes that with the rides low-to-the-ground assortment of small hills that we might get some good airtime. The warm humidity and freshly soaked tracks would surely assist. However, I was not prepared for what Oscars' Wacky Taxi had in store for us.
Since we were sitting in the front two rows (my sister and nephew in front, me behind them) the humble drop, while relatively steep, didn't provide much of anything but immediately afterward we hit the first three bunny-hops and were treated to a wonderful succession of strong floater air over each hill. From here we hit the first turnaround, blasting in and out of a short tunnel only to be launched out of our seats not once but twice, and tore down into the best part of the ride - the triple down, each of the three paltry hills delivering small pops of amazing ejector air. Into the second turnaround and into another forceful thrust skyward, followed by an s-turn into a pop into the brakerun.
When we hit the brakes my first thought was if my nephew was OK. He loves coasters and he's getting to the point where he's not just riding tiny kiddie coasters, but he's never done anything this aggressive. We pulled back around into the station and I was comforted by laughter coming from ahead of me - both from him and my sister.
I love the trains! When we climbed out I put my hand up for a high-five and asked him what he thought. With a huge grin he slapped my hand and exclaimed "That was awesome!!" Looks like we have a little airtime junkie on our hands. Personally, I was blown away but how much action this little wooden machine gave us - highly recommend a stop here if you're nearby for another park. Absolutely worth a visit. I said it in the Kentucky Kingdom thread and I'll say it here again - get excited!
If my nephew was not with us I would have happily hopped back in the queue and spent the day here, but he had a one track mind, and that was getting to the rest of the park. The sun was still hiding but the crowds were still minuscule, so we took advantage and hopped in the short line for the parks Vekoma roller skater Vapor Trail.
For the unfamiliar, this coaster is basically Turn: The Ride. It's like 40 feet tall and consists of a half a drop, three large helices, and a final banked turn into the brakes.
Noteworthy: my nephew hated this one, got off in tears. Once we finally calmed him down it was because the train "didn't have doors". Uhhhh... "neither did Wacky Taxi, dude". Tears dry up, we move on with our day. Kids are weird.
Both of the two coasters are in the front of the park, the remainder of its real estate is taken up by a water park section, that on this cloudy (but hot) day was mildly busy, and a section filled with about a dozen family/kid flats, bordered by a couple of food spots. With it past lunch by now we decided to grab a bite at Elmos Eatery which seemed busy but we must have arrived after everyone else as our wait to order was just a minute, and our food came out in about 5. Without many options, the little dude and I got some chicken fingers and fries, while my sister tried their pizza. Not too bad, but nothing to write home about.
Once we finished, we hit some of the kiddie flats starting off at Oscar's Rotten Rusty Rockets, which is more-or-less a kiddie whip with the vehicles suspended instead of a like a normal whip. My sister sat this one out, but my nephew and I had a lot of tun on this one.
With the short wait times we just wandered around the area hitting anything he wanted to. I didn't get a photo, but we rode Honker Dinger Derby, a mini-troika thing that looked fairly intense off ride. All three of us rode and agreed it was one of the best rides in the park after Wacky Taxi. While its quite small they run a very long cycle, and its a totally wild ride. Next door we hopped on the mild Captain Cookie's High C's Adventure...
And then their tiny drop ride themed to Elmo, Blast Off.
Continuing the Elmo theme, the little guy wanted to ride Elmo's Cloud Chaser, a smaller waveswinger, so we let him ride by himself. As we watched him ride, he seemed nervous as the ride began, but within 15 seconds he had his arms up and out like the king of the world. I love that he loves rides.
As the clouds started to clear the crowds were starting to pick up, and since we hit just about everything we slowly made our way back up front to head out, stopping by Wacky Taxi to possibly get another lap when we were greeted by a queue spilling out of the entrance, lots of screaming kids, and yeah we just headed towards the exit.
Very happy to have finally gotten to this park, and extremely hyped about this great new Gravity Group coaster. Come over and ride it!
bert425 wrote:glad he had such a fun trip, and I see you smiling in the pics too.. you loved it also.
Totally. I did. He's such a great kid, I love hanging out with him especially when there are rides around. I am totally that guy that's always "I hate kids. I'm never having kids. Why would anyone want kids? Kids are terrible." But my nephew? He's like the best kid ever. It's funny how that happens.
michaellynn4 wrote:BTW, you can really see how much weight you've lost in the photos! Looking good, keep it up!
Thanks! This was also in late August, I've lost more since!
Wacky Taxi is LEGIT. I know I said it before in the other thread but it's an amazing coaster for people who hate coasters (like my poor wife). I'm just hoping we can figure out how to graduate her from a pseudo-kiddie woodie like this to, say, something like InvadR or Mystic Timbers without her getting too freaked out.
As always, great reporting!
That coaster dad  and that coaster kiddo .Road trip buddies for life. Dad's faves: Fury 325. Phantom's Revenge. Twisted Timbers. Intimidator 305. El Toro. Kiddo's faves: Talon. Alpengeist. Raptor. TMNT Shellraiser. Fury 325.
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