Photo TR: Non-German Tom's California Adventure

Page 7: OMG!!! IT'S BEEN FINISHED!!! Las Vegas and more!
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Postby JimmyBo » Thu Dec 14, 2006 4:30 pm

Great stuff Tom! Can't wait to see the rest of your trip. Too bad the sunwheel had to have a pissy fit when you were out here, I went on it this past weekend and Jeff Johnson still counts the sunwheel as 16 credits...Whore!

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Postby Shockwave » Sun Dec 17, 2006 5:49 pm

Thanks for everyones kind words!

Sorry I've not been on top of the updates recently, but I said to Erik that I would get this report done, and I'm not gonna rest till I have. It's now time for the last big park of the trip, Universal Studios Hollywood.

It was very quiet at the park, so I got the big attractions done in a relaxing 4 hours. Not much really to say about this park to be honest, but when the theming in the CityWalk section overshadows the park that's not really surprising. Yes, I have been spoiled by the very good Floridian parks. Yes it's certainly not a bad park and they do put a lot of effort in, but for me it's a lot like Hollywood itself - a let down.

In fact, I didn't even learn much today. All I learned was that Bad Mummy was bad, Backdraft was good, Jurassic Park wasn't bad, Terminator 2: 3D wasn't bad but wasn't that good either, Back To The Future is still there, and the Tram Tour was very good.

Here's what happened.
Tired is the word you're probably looking for now. I'm just looking for the words that say Red Bull.
The escalators might be big, but without any cool effects inside the tunnels they might as well be stairs.
If this ride were a song, it would be Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm by Crash Test Dummies. And just as average.
If this ride were a song, it would be Burning Down The House by Talking Heads. And nearly just as old.
Talking Heads would get bigger queues.
But they wouldn't use any pyros.
And David Byrne would probably melt in there.
Backdraft was damn hot. So I checked out a wet ride, called Jurassic Park.
Jurrasic Park! A-ha! Smell my cheese, you mother! (You probably have to be English to get that.)
Thanks to some crazy brakes after the big drop, this one is more Dan-friendly than I expected.
We've never finished a trip report before, and I'll be damned if I get through this one!
For those of you you have never seen England, it all looks like this.
And we all listen to the Austin Powers theme doing this.
marilyn monroe.jpg
And she's not really dead.
Sorry Ed. It had to be done.
Superheros never were meant for quad bikes.
And sorry, I used up all the Arnie jokes at Legoland.
After Derek's bad week, I sent him this Get Well Soon card.
USH's signature ride.
This is quite a famous set.
As is this. Can't remember what they're from, but they're famous!
After seeing this, I felt a bit better about taking the Tram Tour and not the Helicopter Tour.
If there is a God, you will make Eva Longoria come out of that house in nothing but a strapless bikini.
You decide - Flash flood, or Joey finally gets laid?
Anyone for a car on a stick?
I also felt a lot better about not taking the Aeroplane Tour. But I did have to drive to Las Vegas.
So it's "Smell You Later" Los Angeles, cos I'm off into the desert!

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Postby Erik Johnson » Sun Dec 17, 2006 6:22 pm

Thanks for posting all of these reports Tom. It helps planning for March that much easier.

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Postby Jeezus Juice » Sun Dec 17, 2006 7:38 pm

I still don't quite understand the "Cars on Sticks" attraction. Either does anyone else apperently...

And LOL at Joey's dumb no airtime/no fire Mummy Movie Ride being compared to 4(mmm). They are both so excruciatingly average...just like Joey!

I guess Uni Hollywood is just the park that's really not worth the drive out there, unless you're from Japan or something.

You may actually finish this Photo TR! I'm actually impressed!

See you in 6 months!

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Postby Jew » Mon Dec 18, 2006 10:38 am

^No airtime? The effects might suck, but there is definitely a couple of decent pops of air on Mummy in the back.

-Joey "we have the better control room, break room, and it's all good!" Mandel :b

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Postby Jeezus Juice » Mon Dec 18, 2006 11:25 pm

Yeah, who care if the ride sucks...are there donuts in the control room?

I think Mummy west just went up a few notches. :Pr :lolr: :P

-Don "yummm...donuts!"

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Postby Ryan King » Tue Dec 19, 2006 1:05 am

Jeezus Juice wrote:I still don't quite understand the "Cars on Sticks" attraction. Either does anyone else apperently...

And LOL at Joey's dumb no airtime/no fire Mummy Movie Ride being compared to 4(mmm). They are both so excruciatingly average...just like Joey!

I guess Uni Hollywood is just the park that's really not worth the drive out there, unless you're from Japan or something.

You may actually finish this Photo TR! I'm actually impressed!

See you in 6 months!

I actually enjoyed the Cars on Sticks! It was just kinda cool seeing cars thrown in the air by a pissed off robotic arm. The tour there is much better then in Florida. So no worries on that...I just like seeing a wide range of different effects. Oh well


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Postby Shockwave » Wed Dec 20, 2006 4:22 am

Universal Studios Hollywood is a good park on the side if you're going to Disneyland for a few days. Mummy was a really good WTF - the steam at the end was cool but it's not a patch on Florida's.

OK, so this is the last section of the update! And a nice anecdote to end on.

After Universal, I was faced with a 5 hour drive to Las Vegas. No problem I figured - I'd driven from Atlanta back to Florida in a day, so how hard could this be?

Well, it was very hard. the journey took 8 hours, and it wasn't much fun. The traffic was horrible. I was exhausted, and pulled over at least four times for coffee just to keep me awake. It took so long to get out there, I missed riding Desperado night, as by the time I got there, and I was so tired, I managed to miss the exit twice, only to find out it had closed. But finally after 8 hours, I made it off the freeway, and towards Las Vegas Boulevard.

Now at this point I was only a few hundred yards from my hotel, but somehow at the Boulevard, I put the car into reverse instead of drive. I hit the pedal and got two of the biggest shocks of my life. First when I went backwards instead of forwards, and second when I reversed into the back of the big Hispanic guy behind me. That really woke me up. I immediately put the car in drive and floored it. Wheelspinning like crazy, I drove off from the lights very, very fast. I have never driven so fast in my entire life. A few minutes later, I got to a McDonalds car park where I stopped the car, stopped hyperventilating and inspected the damage. To my utter disbelief, there wasn't any bodywork dents. just a few chunks of paint from the other car. I then got back into the car, drive to the hotel, checked into the hotel, lay on the bed and laughed a lot.

After two days checking out the Las Vegas strip, and getting back to Desperado, I headed back to the urban jungle to visit Castle Park and Scandia Park. I wasn't in the mood to run back to Magic Mountain for Riddler or whore Adventure City. I think I'd had enough excitement for one trip.

Now I'm not proud of what happened. But I do appreciate the importance of staying focused behind the wheel. Gil Grissom is probably on a manhunt for me, and I might be on some Hispanic gang's hitlist, but I'm still here, and learned the most important lesson of all - responsibility.

Here's Part 1 of "The End".
Yep, I stayed at Stratosphere! The nicest hotel at the North end of the strip. It's got some rides too!
Here's the first one. A Space Shot made a lot more intimidating by putting it 1000ft up.
Damn, I missed the High Roller credit! :lol:
Well, this is a sort-of credit. If you're Jeff Johnson!
This is the first in a series of stupid faces.
X-Scream is pretty scary, but not as scary as those jolts when you stop over the edge!
This one's pretty scary too.
It's not a place to take your cousin with advanced vertigo.
Shortly after this photo was taken, two people were found in several pieces about 900ft below.
The view was quite something. I've never seen so many building sites from so high up!
I still can't get over how really tall that thing is.
Just over the road from Strat, there's this thing.
Speed is good fun. Definetly worth a few re-rides.
Apparently they're going to remove this loop as well!
This would have been even better with a train on it.
Ooh, classy!
At this point I thank Robb & Elissa for advising me to not stay here. It's horrible!
Wow, a 13 year old Arrow looper with silly trains! I can't wait.
Half of the Buffy Swears alphabet came out right about here.
$2 Craps. Sounds about right for a place next door to Circus Circus.
Now that looks much better! A Spaceship Mall!
Las Vegas has a lot of lavish and overpriced hotels.
But they do look very good!
Caesar's Palace would look even better if Celine Dion wasn't on there!
For anyone who's a Toni Braxton fan.
Personally, I'm more impressed by the fountains at the Bellagio.
I never knew they named the James Bond film after a Denny's!
And now for two of Las Vegas' biggest inhabitants. God Botherers...
...and strippers. Note: Actual stripper may not appear as advertised.
New York, New York. You know what that means...
Manhattan Express! Complete with new trains!
I can feel the pain from here.
Yep, it's getting closer. The pain, not the ride.
The new trains look swanky.
But I don't think they would have made much difference to the other ones! It was still very rough.

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Postby martinb » Wed Dec 20, 2006 1:48 pm

Tom, you have doen the exact same trip that I want to do!

How do you find driving in America?

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Postby Shockwave » Wed Dec 20, 2006 3:17 pm

^Martyn, it's not too bad as long as you select drive instead of reverse when you want to pull away at the lights! :lmao:

Driving an automatic is probably the easiest thing I've ever done. Everything is generally very well signposted, so it's easy to see where you're going.

But the drivers in California are a bit crazy, people on their cellphones left right and centre, lots of lane hogging, cutting eachother up, etc etc. So be prepared to drive a bit aggresively to get where you want to go. Also, you should try and avoid driving at times when the traffic will be horrendous, i.e. rush hour.

OK, here's Part 2 of "The End".
Now I actually forgot to mention this earlier, but whilst in Adventuredome, I saw this. In rhyming slang, this ride would be a bit "Ginger Beer".
It doesn't get any better!
Talking of beer, you can drink in the street in Las Vegas! And I wasn't joking about the silly faces either.
But there was one coaster I still needed to do...
Desperado! One the the most violent rides I've ever done.
This way to cheap spinal adjustment! I couldn't believe how much you got shaken around.
But I had the train to myself, so I decided to take the ultimate challenge, and ride in every row.
Here I am after the first ride.
Halfway down the train, I was nearly dead.
But I pulled through! With only a few bruises to show for my hard work.
Oriental Takeaway! Sounds interesting.
I wonder how many Pandas died to make this food?
So there you have it. Desperado - About twice as violent as the Big One, but it did have a couple of pops of airtime.
Just don't ride it in every seat.
At least I'd be easy to find in your address book if I lived here.
I made it to Castle Park while it was still light! Just.
It's a looping thing! I think I'll pass.
There's a Log Flume in there somewhere.
And there's a Pirate Boat too.
There's even a couple of credits. Here's the first.
And here's the second.
This one even sprays you with a light mist!
The Gravitron nearly killed me.
My final park of the trip was Scandia.
Or Sandia, as this ride calls it.
I skipped this Gravitron.
But they had a couple of credits too.
These people are really ghosts. The ejector airtime killed them all earlier!
Screamer was, well, interesting I suppose.
It was quite smooth, a little shaky in some places, but...well yeah.
And that's it! I finished the trip report! I rode some great coasters..
...some not-so-great coasters...
...and missed a few as well. So I will be back.
I'd like to say thanks to Jimmy, Don & Monica for taking the time to come and hang out with me.
Thanks to Darth Maul for this shot.
Thanks to Elissa for taking time out from having a kid to come out.
Thanks to Robb for coming down and being a great laugh as always.
And because I didn't take his photo, here's an Arrow coaster for Jahan - thansk for hanging out at the Mountain!


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