Taylor's Coaster (and Food) Adventures

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Re: Taylor's Japan Adventures 2018

Postby Taylor Finn » Sun Jun 23, 2019 7:15 pm

Day 18 Extra Photos (mostly of It's a Small World)

So I can maintain my sanity, I am going to post the remaining photos that I discovered were in fact from this second day in Disneyland. I think I may have even mentioned riding some of these things but just didn't post the pictures. Then I will hopefully sooooooon post the last two days of Disney pictures I got (way more of them than in this first report).

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Weird how I uploaded photos in my last report of me leaving Disneyland at the end of the night, yet there are pictures that appeared after on Google Photos that were clearly taken earlier. But yeah. Some more stuff.

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I have a bunch of pictures here of the new It's a Small World overlay. They added a bunch of characters from all sorts of Disney movies into the ride. I think it was done tastefully and why not?

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Frozen.

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Peter Pan.

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Brave.

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Tangled.

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Pinocchio.

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Lilo.

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Moana.

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Nemo.

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Little Mermaid.

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There you have it! This ride was consistently popular. Lines hovered around 50-60 minutes it seemed.

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Yeah, I wasn't a happy camper having to wait this long for Buzz. I have such mixed feelings about this ride. I love love Toy Story. But I also feel strongly that the shooting component of the game kind of sucks. And they oughta improve it.

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Even the fire extinguishers are stored in cute ways!

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Main street was BEAUTIFUL at night. They had this little show that lit up the whole street for the 35th anniversary. Yeah, that's all the photos I got for you. Hopefully will tag this post with the remaining pictures here soon.

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Re: Taylor's Japan Adventures 2018

Postby Taylor Finn » Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:41 am

Days 19/20: DisneySea and Disneyland Day 3/4

Alrighty. We're back for one last update. Before I finish up, just want to say thank you to everyone who has followed along. This time last year, I was a few days out from visiting these parks. I am so, so grateful to Robb and Elissa for planning a perfect trip. Truly incredible to just have everything totally figured out for me when it came to transportation, lodging, and these parks. Could never have done this myself. And likely would never have become interested in Japan as much without all the great reports from them/others over the years.

It is crazy to think of the opportunities I have had because of this little community. The forum has been a beautiful thing for me and am super proud to have been a part of it for ~10 years (likely more as a reader). Cannot wait to see what is in store down the line.

TOTAL RIDE TALLY FOR 4.5 DAYS AT DISNEY

DisneySea:

Nemo - 1
Indiana Jones - 6
Raging Spirits - 6
Tower of Terror - 3
Aquatopia - 4
20k Leagues - 2
Carousel - 1
Gondolas - 1
Flounder's Flying Fish Coaster - 1
Toy Story Midway Mania - 1
Sinbad - 2
Electric Railway - 2
Transit Steamer Line - 1

Shows:

Tritan's Band - 1
Fantasmic - 2
Magic Lamp Theater - 1
Mickey Big Band Beat - 1
Out of Shadowland - 1

Tokyo Disneyland

Peter Pan - 1
Snow White - 1
Monsters Inc. Hide and Go Seek - 2
Pinocchio - 1
Big Thunder Mountain - 2
Jungle Cruise - 1
Western Railroad - 1
Swiss Family Treehouse - 1
Canoes - 1
Roger Rabbit - 1
Star Tours - 2
Space Mountain - 6
Splash Mountain - 6
Haunted Mansion - 4
Pirates - 4
Buzz Lightyear's Astro Blasters - 2
Tom Sawyer's Island - 1
Pooh's Hunny Hunt - 3
It's a Small World - 2

Shows:

One Man's Dream - 1
Electrical Parade - 2

So yeah, I did a lot. Some folks will see this and wonder why it was necessary to do some of these rides so many times. I dunno, I just really enjoy them. Plenty of folks on the trip were more than content with just two days at the park. And honestly, if you aren't a Disney crazy person, it probably is enough time. It is tough, because these extra two days could've been spent exploring Tokyo more and having loads of super unique experiences. So, tradeoffs must be made, I guess!

Okay, now back to business. The way Tokyo Disney tickets work is:

Days 1 and 2: Pick one park to go to.
Days 3 and 4: Hop as you please.

It is an understated bonus that the price includes hopping parks. Because of how close the parks are to one another (two quick monorail stops), it is so easy and worthwhile. Then I got to do some of my favorites (Pirates, Haunted Mansion, Tower of Terror, Indiana Jones, etc.) on three separate days, instead of two. Also, ticket prices are still very affordable, compared to the States. Which is confusing because attendance is... high.

Either way, I am going to recite here my day so you can get an idea of just how much you can accomplish in one day.

Rope-dropped DisneySea, went and grabbed a Tower of Terror FP, then rode standby. Then walked back to the Arabian Coast and began a bit of a food adventure. Rode Sinbads. Had a Raging Spirits FP and went into line for the FP before opting for Single Rider instead (shorter). Then rode indie single rider with no line. Rode twice. Got Gyoza and Grapefruit Blood Orange Beer Cocktail (yes it deserves to be capitalized). Rode 20k Leagues Under the Sea stanby. Did two shows, explored the SS Columbia and left Tokyo DisneySea at 2:50 for Disneyland. On monorail at 2:54, in Disneyland gates by 3:08. Grabbed a Space Mountain FP, rode Jungle Cruise, rode train. Had a dinner, rode Splash Mountain single rider, did canoes, Cinderella's Castle walkthrough, Haunted Mansion, had a snack, watched electric parade, rode Pirates, Space Mountain FP, Star Tours, Space Mountain stanby, and Monsters Inc.

Yeah, it was a crazy busy day. But I wouldn't have it any other way.

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Welcome to the best illusion (for Taylor, that is) that Disney has ever pulled off. It is simple, but SO effective. The first time I saw it, I was dumbfounded.

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Cool little props everywhere in Hotel Hightower.

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Started out the day with some yummy eats in the Arabian Coast.

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Spotted the Genie, though! Lots more characters doing random interactions, I would say, than I was used to seeing in Florida.

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Maple Cream Puffs with some nuts and chocolate sauce. Delicious. And notice the prices!

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Some tandoori chicken!

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This place had some yummy options for lunch/dinner. I didn't partake, though!

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After some snacking, I went off to ride Indiana Jones. This is the end of the single rider line. Walk down this narrow stairway and at the bottom of the second set of steps you are literally at the loading platform. I never waited more than 5 minutes. Truly incredible.

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Next up on the snack quest. GYOZA. Plenty of horrifying pictures of Robb eating it, I knew I must have it. The first day I was at the park, I didn't make it to the stand before they close (before park close).

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Blood orange and grapefruit beer cocktail. I remember REALLY liking this.

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Mysterious Island was just stunning in person. Grand and something to look at everywhere. Unfortunately, no Journey to the Center of the Earth this trip.

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More beauty.

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This whole area by the harbor was a blast to explore. So much cool stuff to see and interact with!

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There are no words that can be used that accurately describe what this park is actually like to explore. You can read countless reports and still be amazed when you experience it.

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The Chamber of Planets with a super cool model of the solar system that you could tinker with.

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Some alchemy.

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Went and saw the show at the Magic Lamp Theater. Don't remember being overly wowed by it. But, alas.

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Little its of Disney magic, everywhere.

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I'd love to have the money to stay in the Hotel MiraCoast.

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Could rotate this properly. But you get the point.

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I had really wanted to give these a go, just because of how cute they were. Looked for em in Tomorrowland because that is where I had read you get them. I struck out, but managed to find them on the bridge between American Waterfront and Cape Cod. One chocolate, one vanilla, one strawberry. They could never be as tasty as they are adorable. But they were quality!

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Where you get on the gondola.

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I am a bit confused by this picture. Because it precedes me entering Tokyo Disneyland after leaving DisneySea midday. Is this to get in to Disneyland? Seems odd.

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Loved this guy!

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Welcome!

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This was a nice railroad! No stops in the park because of some weird rules in Japan where if it stopped, it would be considered a form of transportation and they would have to charge. Haven't fact checked that. But that's what I had heard (explains the cost to ride the monorail throughout the resort).

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Some nice shots along the route. I think these parks would feel a lot less alive if the river, riverboat, and Tom Sawyer's Island didn't exist.

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The Canoes! We'll get to you later. These are a ton of fun and are just a super unique offering. These poor cast members do 80% of the work.

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I appreciate this scene from Big Thunder a lot.

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Love the little surprise in the train tunnel.

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There's the sign. Yeah, the Stitch overlay seems like a net positive. I wouldn't mind Disney Florida taking this approach.

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Oh man, this Waffle Sandwich was delicious. So many snack worthy things in these parks. This is how I prefer to eat. Fill up on a bunch of smaller things.

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Choo. Choo.

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Got a bit wet thanks to some IRRESPONSIBLE rowers. Cough, cough. They were small children. Alas, it felt wonderful because all four days in these parks were brutally hot. It may have drizzled once.

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Canoe views.

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Wow, I am so good. This is likely my favorite Disney ride. It is so tough to decide that. But it just has it all.

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The Cinderalla Walkthrough is definitely worth doing if just for the neat views of Fantasyland. If you haven't already, read up on the Mystery Tour that used to take place in the basement of the castle. Some interesting videos on its bizarre existence.

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Recommend these pizza spring rolls over in Toontown. I legitimately walked back there a second time to have it.

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They have a guy that comes around to collect garbage before the parades start. This is a smart idea.

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Now for a whole bunch of Electrical Parade shots. Every float, in fact. I loved this show and actually saw it a second time so I could fully appreciate it. Being tall I could kind of sneak in last minute and stand in the back of a group and still see quite well.

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One of my favs.

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The best of the best. This Genie float goes absolutely crazy. Watch one of Robb's videos of the parade.

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I know these pictures sort of sucked. But that's alright. Better to see than not to see.

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My kind of sponsorship!

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As the day winded down, we frantically realized that Monsters Inc. had opened up again (had been closed so we opted for Star Tours instead to end the night). We manged to hustle off Star Tours (had actually considered walking straight through the ride to the exit. I believe we actually did ride Star Tours and then ended up being one of the last few to get on the ride, as you can see here.


Goodbye Tokyo Disney

Sight. This is where the trip comes to an end. One more day at these great parks and I was determined to make the most of it! Did a few new things, revisted some favorites.

From my phone record:

Rope dropped Tokyo Disneyland, grabbed Space Mountain FP, did standby for Pooh. Walked right on and got to ride the third 'mode.' Started as third car in convoy and finished first. Standby Small World, got honey popcorn, and used Space Mountain FP. Off by 10:05. Got Big Thunder FP, then rode Splash Mountain via single rider... twice. Shopped around a bit and obtained a delicious waffle. Rode Pirates and Big Thunder with FP. Arrived at One Man's Dream show at 12:50 for a 1:30 show and got in. Was able to leave seat before show started to get a drink and still come back in. Ate lunch at Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall. Rode Haunted Mansion, then Splash Mountain single rider again. Then Space FP, before leaving for Tokyo DisneySea.

Explored Mermaid Lagoon, rode Caravan Carousel. Ate dinner at Yucutan Base Camp, rode Indiana Jones single rider, did Electric Railway, and Big City Vehicles. Tried to Aquatopia on 'Get Wet' mode, but did not get wet. As soon as I got off, they were transitioning back to normal mode for night. Watched Fantasmic again. Rode Raging Spirits twice single rider no line. Rode Aquatopia twice more, and finished with the Gondolas.

PHEW. This was an insane day.

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Oh, how I love this ride.

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Oh someone made a funny!

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Oh, I will.

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Getting ready for that afternoon parade.

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Caught a bit of it. Mickey getting carried around like the royalty he is.

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This waffle was so good. Vanilla custard and strawberry sauce. Yum. Like $4, or so. Why can't Disney Florida be like this. I snacked so hard because it didn't feel criminally expensive to do so.

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One Man's Dream was a nice show! Retold various Disney movies in a different way. Lots of cool costumes.

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Swordfish with potatoes and broccoli. The food here is good. But this portion was TINY. I never really felt like portions were an issue here or in Japan. But this place is a bit of a rip off, IMHO.


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But the vibe is great! Come on in, if just to get a glass of water to check it out!

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These tombstones always make me chuckle.

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More crowds lining up. So orderly. So prepared.

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The only selfie I took the entire trip. There were LOADS of people just hanging out here taking pictures for what seemed like forever.

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Expansion brewing.

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Everyone was wearing these watermelon dressed. Think it was supposed to be like Minnie's favorite fruit or something. I dunnnnno.

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Unaffordable?

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Some more views of DisneySea from Disneyland. If you didn't know already, the fireworks (cancelled due to high winds all five nights I was there), shoot off between the two parks and so both parks get the same show.

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They had like 18 cars running on this puppy. Every 15 seconds a dispatch.

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Goodbye, friend.

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WOW.

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The cast member insisted I wave this flag around.

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The little Venice area was super well-themed.

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A few more shots.

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This is the $5 game where you either win a big stuffed animal if you win or a pin if you lose. Line had to be 30+ minutes, but I guess it is worth it!

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You are a beaut.

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Big City Vehicles. They hauled. Maybe 3 mph.

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Goodbye!

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You are a beaut.


Thanks again for reading all these reports! I hope I have inspired a few of you to visit Japan. It is such a unique country. Wonderful people, wonderful parks, wonderful culture everywhere, wonderful food, and yeah. It's just the best. Planning my return visit every day until I'm back.
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Fairwell.

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Re: Taylor's Japan Adventures 2018

Postby SharkTums » Tue Jun 25, 2019 11:56 am

Really great report! I've enjoyed reliving the trip through you. Thanks for the kind words, we hope to have you on many more trips with us.

As for your picture you were confused about with the big lines midway through your day? I'm assuming that was around the time when they offer the Starlight Passport (after 3 or 6pm depending on the day). It can get very busy around those times as it's a great deal and many people take advantage of it so it's almost like another mini-ropedrop!

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Re: Taylor's Japan Adventures 2018

Postby Nrthwnd » Tue Jun 25, 2019 7:23 pm

^ Tokyo Disney has so many great ticket/visiting deals for (mainly) their local visitors, and those from overseas who are lucky enough to get to visit TDLR. It's wonderful!

And thanks for the awesome TR on all of Disney AND Japan, Taylor! I miss Japan (and Disney) so much.
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Re: Taylor's Japan Adventures 2018

Postby bert425 » Tue Jun 25, 2019 8:10 pm

I've loved following along, and seeing all the fantastic pics.

and agree 100% on your comments about Robb, Elissa, the Mods here, and the entire TPR community as a whole (including Kristen too, as her joy in some of the pics that are shared is fantastic).

So glad I found this place years ago!
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Re: Taylor's Japan Adventures 2018

Postby ObeyTheShihTzu! » Fri Jun 28, 2019 2:07 pm

Thanks, Taylor, for taking us along on your awesome adventure! Great report, great photos, and I think that we all share your sentiments re TPR! =) Wishing you many more amazing trips ahead.

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Re: Taylor's Japan Adventures 2018

Postby PKI Jizzman » Sun Jul 14, 2019 3:56 pm

Just finished reading! Awesome report!
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Re: Taylor's Japan Adventures 2018

Postby Taylor Finn » Mon Oct 07, 2019 6:15 am

Knoebels Phoenix Phall Phunfest

Well, I have a lot of other photos from trips I would like to post. But I am going to go out of the order because I didn't want to NOT post up a report of Knoebels Phoenix Phall Phunfest this past weekend. Maybe this will be the spark to get this thread going with other reports from the past year or so.

Either way, here's the scoop. I was unable to leave work until 3:00 on Friday, so we hustled over from Pittsburgh and parked around 7:10 PM at Knoebels, hungry and eager for some airtime. We checked in to the Coaster Club only event and were wristbanded and given four coupons. They were:

1. Free small bag of kettle corn
2. Free roasted ear of corn (with omfg delicious option for 'mexican style' with mayo, cayenne pepper, and parmesan cheese).
3. Free slice of cake
4. Free hot dog, hamburger, ribbq, tri-taters, pierogies (yum but not the buttery, oniony ones), tiger tail, and drink, with a bacon and cheese topping bar.

This was different than in 2017 when it was seemingly unlimited (which would be totally unnecessary). Oddly enough, the line for food was immense and far longer than in 2017 (though Phoenix was always 1 train wait or so). We abstained for a little while and eventually bit the bullet, alternating holding spot in line with solo Phoenix rides. We ended up with 13 laps on Phoenix, 1 on the Haunted Antique Cars (a huge treat) and 1 on the new Twisted Timbers ride, as well as loads of delicious food. Why they do this, I dunno? I thought maybe it was to butter up enthusiasts who may have a vote for the Golden Ticket Awards?

Regardless, Friday was a great, great success. We were tenting over at Lake Glory and had to set up shop around 10:30, which we did. Weather was rather chilly at around 35F, but we made do.

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Dick singing Ring of Fire, just as I remember from 2017.

Saturday, we got to the park around 9:50 (craft show opened at 10, rides at 11) and the lot was already 2/3 full. We weren't too worried because folks generally come just to see all the vendors. I had purchased the 'enthusiast wristband,' which was priced as normal, but included two free slices of Cesari's Pizza, a drink, a haunted mansion coupon, and a free game. I gave Kylie the wristband and I used some tickets I had been given for Christmas.

Here is the part of the report where I summarize every food item we ate on Saturday.

Potato Pancake: $1.50/each or 3/$4, plus $1 for apple sauce to top them with- this was quite tasty and something I had not tried until this year.

Chili at the Wharf: $4 for a big bowl- this was pretty solid, hearty, sweet chili. In 2017, there was a pop-up stand right next to the waffle ice cream sandwich stand that sold chili that was INSANELY good. This was not that chili. But still, good.

Cesari's Pizza: $3.75/slice (in our case, free) 'nuff said. It could've been warmed up more. One day, I will have reason to purchase a whole Pie and it will be fresh and even more delicious.

Roast Beef Platter with Fries and Slaw: $8.25- this was a simple but well done rendition. Roast beef was tender and pretty juicy but could use some seasoning or something. Fries were fresh cut and slaw was REALLY good.

Sweet Tea Slush: $3.5 for a large- we love these and will never not get them.

Zombie Fries at International Food Court: $4- These were fried onion and jalapeno strings served with a tasty spicy boom boom sauce. Pretty solid!

Fresh Roasted Peanuts: $2.50 for 1/2 lb bag.- These are underrated and need to be experienced.

Waffle Ice Cream Sandwich: $4- Neapolitan goodness. I wish the waffle was like super warm. But this is a yummy, yummy thing.

...phew. I think that's it. I mean, it sounds like a lot. But it was like < $40 and we ate like... constantly.. all day long. I wish I had taken pictures of everything for you guys to salivate at. But trust me, none of it was bad.

Now, for a few pictures.

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We worked our way through the park, hitting up all of the usual suspects. There are certainly some rides we never feel the need to do here. But that's only because there are SO many must rides. The Skyway had some funny decorations, though I didn't catch the skeleton they usually have on one of the carriages.

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The slide is always fun, though I think I need to like push up the mat onto right side of the slide as I head down. Maybe I'd maintain some speed better. Is it a kiddie attraction? Yes. Do we care? Naww.

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The park has nice bits of decoration here and there and practically every ride has something clever or funny thrown on it.

As this was Kylie's 25th birthday, she had a goal she had set for herself Friday night: to ride Phoenix 25 times. She had thought it possible to get fairly close Friday night. But I think we only ended up with around 13. So the two of us got two rides on it earlier in the day on Saturday and then around evening time, it was decided, I would wait for the Haunted Pioneer Train and she would marathon Phoenix with her wristband (I love the ride but I couldn't justify shelling out alllll those tickets). I joined her for ride 25, though!

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The other thing we did... that I regret a bit... was ride the Looper. Two years ago, I braved it for the first time to humor Kylie. We were ridiculously unsuccessful at actually flipping it because one of us mismanaged the brake pedal. This time around, we got three laps on it. The first ride, Kylie manned the pedal and we probably got 5-7 rotations under our belt. I wanted to give it a go, so we went a bit later in the day and I managed to get us going pretty good, getting 10 or so in a row. Toward the end of the night, against my better judgement, and because I knew how much she likes this deathtrap, I joined for one last go-round. I manned the pedal and got 25 straight rotations in one cycle for her birthday. Once you get in the rhythm of pushing and releasing the pedal, you got loads of room for error. I felt a bit weird the rest of the night, but alas.

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As far as the Flyers go, we got three cycles on them and the thing is running same as ever. The operator had to slow it the cycle before I went on (justifiably as it was just a mess of people whipping the sails). I got three seemingly normal cycles and really can't describe the craziness of this ride any better than others have done. It seems absolutely incorrect that a ride should do this. And the folks in line behind me seemed to agree as they kept discussing how 'sketchy' the ride seemed. I love this thing to death and hope it never changes.

One other note: The Haunted Antique Cars and Pioneer Train are truly awesome. Knoebels has no business putting this much effort into these things (they operate like 9 evenings a year for like 4 hours a night).

The Antique Cars have a good four or five actors along the way (one actually hopped in our car for a trip, as we were one of the last few of the night) and quite a few great scenes. The Train tells a proper story and really takes advantage of the real estate back in the woods. They're popular and for good reason. Don't miss them!

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So, that does it for Saturday. Sunday morning, we got to the park around 9:15 and had breakfast at the food court.

$11 got us:

2 big pancakes, side of bacon, side of ham, home fries, toast/jelly, two eggs, and a large coffee. Yeah, of course it was good.

From there, we decided on a whim to play some mini golf. One of the few things we have not done in this park, so it seemed wise. $4.50 is a great price!

Of course, it is a great course. What else do you expect from Knoebels. It was honestly a bit exciting going from hole to hole seeing what was next. Also, it sits right by the Carousel so you get to spend a good hour enjoying the beautiful music.

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From there, we played a few rounds of Fascination (no luck) and then grabbed an early small lunch, sharing the popcorn chicken bowl from the Roast Beef Stand (turning down the pierogies in the process, but next time). $5.25 and quite yum! Took another stroll through the craft fair and were on our way home by 1:00. A short little day, but fun, nonetheless.

Final ride tally for the weekend.

1- Skylide
1- Haunted Antique Cars
1- Bumper Cars
1- Giant Wheel
1- Grand Carousel
1- Haunted Pioneer Train
1- Skyway
1- Whipper
1- Black Diamond
3- Flyer
1- Flying Turns
1- Haunted Mansion
3- Looper
16-25- Phoenix
1- Stratosfear
1- Twister
LOTS- Food

Thanks for reading. Sorry for the shortage of pictures. There are plenty out there. Phoenix Phall Phunfest is a great excuse to head to the park. For me, with limited time off, it's real nice that Friday can still be an eventful fun evening even though it doesn't start until 7:00. The rides are never too too crowded (just plan to ride some things a bit later in the evening if the line looks too long). Love, love, love this park and everything about it. We sat on the Ferris Wheel trying to think of criticisms (we are so used to just heaping praise) and these are the only ones we could come up with.

1. Bathrooms could definitely benefit from some modernization
2. Game prizes suck (but prices for games are affordable, so it is a wash
3. Layout can be confusing (but also charming in its own way)

Yeah, the place rocks as these are all super nit-picky.

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Re: Taylor's Japan Adventures 2018

Postby Canobie Coaster » Mon Oct 07, 2019 7:30 am

Great report! Sounds like you guys had a big feast.

Taylor Finn wrote:Is it a kiddie attraction? Yes. Do we care? Naww.


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Re: Taylor's Coaster (and Food) Adventures

Postby coneyislandchris » Mon Oct 07, 2019 9:26 am

Agreed, great report Taylor! Echoes a lot of our own experiences from the weekend. My only complaint is even with the whole weekend from Friday night onward it still felt like there just wasn't enough time to experience everything that we wanted to do. We never got a chance to spend some time in the Fascination parlor, for example, and we didn't get a chance to check out the Scenic Skyway or train rides either. Guess this just means we need to go back again real soon! :)
That coaster dad [338] and that coaster kiddo [220]. 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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