Photo TR: Being Chuck's Account of TPR's 2007 Japan Tour

Or, The Knucklehead Goes Abroad (The End, p. eighteen)
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Postby cfc » Fri Nov 02, 2007 4:55 pm

Chapter 14: And the Theme Is . . . Wait for It—Fuji-Q (Kue?)

On one hand, Fuji-Q has a beautiful view of Mount Fuji—when the weather’s clear. On the other hand, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy it while you’re waiting in line to ride something—when the weather’s clear.

The last time I waited three hours to ride an attraction was Curse of DarKastle at BGE—and that was on the ride’s opening day. At Fuji-Q, one-hour-plus waits seem to be the norm, not the exception. How bad was it? Between 9:00 am and 4:00 pm, the little group I was with managed to snag four credits. I’m convinced that this park’s “theme” is waiting; in other words, Fuji-“Queue.”

Robb and Elissa warned us about Fuji-Q’s notoriously slow operations and policy of shutting down all coasters in even the slightest rain. So they went to a lot of trouble to ensure that we could hit the park on the most optimal day, at least when it came to rain, so that everyone could get in all the credits if they wanted to. My hat’s off to them for going to this much trouble.

That being said, not everything about Fuji-Q was bad—just uninspiring. It truly is the Magic Mountain of Japan. As for the coasters:

Fujiyama—This is, actually, a pretty good hyper coaster; if you like Steel Force and Steel Dragon, you’ll probably like Fujiyama. There’s a fair amount of air, and I rather like the twisty bit at the far end. Plus, we only had to wait about an hour.

Dodonpa—This is Hypersonic’s bigger cousin with a fairly intense launch and good air over the high hat. I actually kind of liked it, but would I wait more than 20 minutes for it again? Nah. Besides, the constant “do-don-pa” drumbeat playing in the queue is enough to madden Mother Teresa and turn her into a serial killer (it’s worse that “It’s a Small World After All”).

Zola 7—OK, this might be the weirdest coaster of the trip (next to maybe Geo Panic). It’s actually an indoor shooting-dark-ride coaster. Kind of rough, but unique. The shooting portion is a real challenge: 14 is considered a pretty good score (I managed 1). This ride was practically a walk-on, by the way.

Zuwa Zuwa—This is the “Hamster” suspended coaster. Cute, kind of fun, but definitely not worth 45 minutes in line.

Mad Mouse—A fairly standard model, except for a really funky “club-shaped” turn on the top level. And not worth 30 to 45 minutes in line.

Eejanaika—This is Fuji-Q’s “X” (or “4th-dimension” coaster). I know a number of people who liked it a lot, which is fine. But to me, frankly, the park could’ve saved itself a lot of money by simply rolling guests down a hill in a garbage can.

There was a kiddie coaster (Rock ‘n’ Roll Duncan) that I skipped. If I ever go back to Fuji-Q, I’ll definitely check out their Haunted Hospital walk through; unfortunately, a two-hour wait to take a 45-minute walk wasn’t very appealing that day.

Mt. Fuji is, indeed, an awe-inspiring sight. I just wish the park could live up to it.

Next up—The end
Ch 15 01.jpg
Oh, Fuji-Q!/Oh, Fuji-Q!/Oh, Fuji-Q,/Ijust don't get you,/Fuji-Q!
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You gotta wait in line,/Such a long, long time!
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You gotta wait in line,/And Barry's way behind,/At Fuji-Q!
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So, besides waiting in line, what else can you do at Fuji-Q? Perhaps enjoy a nice taco, . .
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. . . take a picture of an enormous camera, . . .
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. . . or play a rousing game of Tic Tac D'oh!
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It looks like they reserve the front car of each train for giant-grasshopper-mating season on Fujiyama.
Ch 15 08.jpg
The "king," eh? Well, Louise would like to introduce you to a little ride they like to call "Nemesis" in the UK.
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Well, royalty or not, Fujiyama is pretty good.
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Just beware of horny 'hoppers!
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Hmm--I can see why the grasshoppers are attracted to these insect-like trains.
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That's it, Bill! Start waving to keep those horny bugs away!
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As for me, I'll scarf down some of these garlic chips, thus making my breath deadly to all insectoids!
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Oh, god, please don't let me get Dodonpa's polka-dot train.
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Yes, the scrunched-up-face train is much cooler.
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Get ready to Hyper . . .
Ch 15 17.jpg
. . . suckit! It gets a bit painful on the other side of this drop. More to come.
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Postby cfc » Fri Nov 02, 2007 5:16 pm

Still waiting? Then welcome back to Fuji-Q!
Ch 15 18.jpg
There is a 4th dimension, beyond that which is known to man.
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A dimension of pain.
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A dimension of suck.
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A dimension of ouch!
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Yes, you've crossed over into . . .
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. . . the Eejanaika Zone! At least I had good company.
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Oh, Yashimi! Don't let those robots defeat me!
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I wonder how many kids have chipped their teeth on these guns?
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Yeah, right.
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Happy, smiling people everwhere . . .
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Do you see that line of people in the lower left? Yes, they're waiting the ride the Mad Mouse. They'll be waiting a good 30 to 45 minutes. Don't ask me why.
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Apparently, you have to jump over some other fence if you're looking for "danger."
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At long last! Our dreams will be fulfilled!
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Sad, but true.
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All must obey THE SACRED HAMSTER OF VENGEANCE!
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Why is this man smiling? I think this is credit number 800, or something.
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Yes, we are all complete persons now!
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And now, I'll leave you with the two best things about Fuji-Q: Fujiyama and . . .
Ch 15 35.jpg
. . . Mt. Fuji. Thanks for hanging in there--one chapter to go.
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Postby RIP Psyclone » Fri Nov 02, 2007 6:04 pm

This was the one I've been waiting for...thanks, Chuck! I'm sure Robb's will have a much angrier slant. (Boy, he looks PO'd in that group pic!)

I prefer to think of Fuji-Q's slow operations as "full service." Where else do you get clapping?

Also, I am a fan of industrial/factory sounds, and Dodonpa has some of that in the launch tunnel.

Oh, and that girl in front of Bill on Fujiyama is VERY HOT, so thanks again!

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Postby Nrthwnd » Fri Nov 02, 2007 7:12 pm

RIP Psyclone wrote:Oh, and that girl in front of Bill on Fujiyama is VERY HOT, so thanks again!


Now I feel so.... unloved.





:P

You gave more credit to Fuji that I ever would, Chuck. After that several hours of... well, tired but true. Waiting.

Hospital thing would have been cool too. I remember we all found out that THIS was a pretty great walk-through in all we'd go through in the Japan parks, hmm? <sigh>

And I still have both rodents to get the credits on, heh heh.

Thanks for the memory jog. One more chapter, huh? Looking forward to it, finale' ultimo!

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Postby Meteornotes » Fri Nov 02, 2007 7:42 pm

Fuji-Q is the suckhole of the damned. Like I said before, it's like Six Flags Darien Lake and PKI had a baby and then dropped it on it's head several times. Absolutely horrible operations and crap rides. When the hamster coaster is the best ride in the park, there is a problem. Oddly enough, the Thomas Town was actually nice, which leads me to believe that it was accidentally delivered to the wrong place. If I never see this park again, it will be too soon.

Chuck's report rules, as always. And it was cool to see Mt Fuji for a few minutes that day.

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Postby Absimilliard » Sat Nov 03, 2007 6:51 am

Wow... I hit Fuji-Q 2 weeks after the japan trip and amazingly, the park was dead!

Well, dead in their case mean a 45 minutes wait for Dodonpa, 2 hours and a half line for Eejanaika and a 15 minutes wait for Fujiyama. The mouse was a 5 minutes wait and the rest was all walk on. The Hamster coaster never opened and I never found the hospital walkthrough!

The only ride I liked was Dodonpa. Fujiyama was running really bad and Eejanaika was horrible.

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Postby cfc » Sat Nov 03, 2007 8:06 am

Absimilliard wrote:Wow... I hit Fuji-Q 2 weeks after the japan trip and amazingly, the park was dead!

Well, dead in their case mean a 45 minutes wait for Dodonpa, 2 hours and a half line for Eejanaika and a 15 minutes wait for Fujiyama. The mouse was a 5 minutes wait and the rest was all walk on. The Hamster coaster never opened and I never found the hospital walkthrough!

The only ride I liked was Dodonpa. Fujiyama was running really bad and Eejanaika was horrible.


Hmm--then perhaps there is something to be said for long waits (more time to recover between rides).
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Postby BarryH » Sat Nov 03, 2007 6:43 pm

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See, I tower over all Japanese. Those who line jump me will be stepped on! Hahahahahaha! :lmao:

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Postby cfc » Sun Nov 04, 2007 1:40 pm

Chapter 15: Déjà Vu by Daylight, Seashells by the Seashore, and Blinded by the Lights: La Qua, Sea Paradise, and Yokohama Cosmoworld

Well, I wasn’t going to South Korea, so this was the last day of the tour for me—but what a ride it was (literally "trains, planes, and automobiles"). My thanks to Robb and Elissa for always going that extra mile—and often a mile or two beyond that—to make sure that all of us had the best time possible.

We hit La Qua again that morning, just to make sure that everybody had a chance to see the place by daylight and snag all the credits possible there (Linear Gale went down, unfortunately—that’s life). My plan was to check out The 13 Doors, a haunted walk through that I’d missed the first night, but it opened late in the morning and had such a long, slow-moving line that I had to pass on it. Oh, well—a few more rides on Thunder Dolphin wouldn’t hurt, and I just had to check out the weirdness of Geo Panic and Zombie Paradise again (Robb rode Zombie for the first time ever that day and was as puzzled by it as he was by Panic).

Next up was Sea Paradise, which seems to be Japan’s answer to 1970s era Sea World. It’s actually quite a nice place, with a real “park-like” atmosphere and a laid-back vibe—not to mention one credit. Surf Coaster is a non-looping Togo that doesn’t hurt; in fact, it’s actually fun, and I love how its layout extended over the water. There was but one funky little transition to remind you that it was, indeed, a Togo.

However, the Blue Fall Intamin drop tower was the best ride there. This is the one with the “false” drop that stops after about ten feet before sending you on your way, but I think the “full” drop side is more fun (fast and thrilling). There’s a nice scenic elevator, too. All in all, a good place to relax for a few hours and enjoy an ice-cream crepe.

Cosmoworld offered a nice, more-hectic contrast—especially after dark. Like Pal Pal, this is another massive arcade with a “pay-per-ride” amusement park tacked on. It’s a popular “date” spot, as was clearly shown by the enormous line for the park’s requisite enormous Ferris wheel (these rides are popular “make-out” spots in Japan, where public displays of affection are discouraged). There are three coasters, too:

Diving Coaster Vanish—This is a decent ride, but I doubt I’d wait nearly an hour for it again. The sad thing is that this wait could’ve been halved if the park had better operations. They ran one train, but that wasn’t the worst of it. The train returns; the operators wait until all the riders grab their belongings from fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo and exit; open the air gates; let just enough people in the station to fill the train (who also have to put all their stuff in fluffy, fluffy bunnies filled with medicine and goo), and from whom they have to take tickets; then dispatch the train without bothering to let more riders into the station and checking their tickets (one wonders why they bother with the air gates at all). It would help a lot if Cosmoworld would fill the station and check the tickets while the train cycles, but perhaps there’s a reason for the extra caution that I don’t understand.

Family Banana Coaster—This is an OK kiddie coaster in the park’s front “carnival” section. It’s tricked up with plastic palm trees and Christmas lights.

Spinning Coaster—This was, unfortunately, not operating that night, but it looked like a pretty standard spinning mouse. (I’m sure Elissa was bitterly disappointed.)

There were a couple of dark rides in the arcade—a shooter, which I rode, and a haunted house, which I didn’t (wished I had—oh, well). As for the arcade, I did take on Falafel Girl in a rousing armadillo race, which I won. I think. It was kind of hard to tell.

It was good way to finish up the Japan tour. Once again, I can’t thank Robb and Elissa enough for TPR’s “adventure” tour of Japan—one of the best vacations ever.

Thanks for wading through all this, folks.

EDIT: "thank . . . enough." Fixed. D'oh!
Ch 16 01.jpg
First up, La Qua: The Tokyo Giants were playing that afternoon, so their fans were staking out their places in line with plastic mats, tape, newspapers, etc.
Ch 16 02.jpg
Thunder Dolphin doesn't have any more airtime at day than it does at night.
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But the "Big O" is still very satisfied . . .
Ch 16 04.jpg
. . . as is the "Little O."
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The now spent train returns.
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As for me, this was the "Big D'Oh!"
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Next stop, Sea Paradise: The blue tower is Blue Fall; the observation tower is growing out of Miles's head.
Ch 16 07.jpg
Here's Surf Coaster, which make you think, at first, "Uh oh! Togo!"
Ch 16 07a.jpg
The Windjammer-like trains do nothing to ease your misgivings.
Ch 16 08.jpg
But it's good--really.
Ch 16 09.jpg
Much less painful than having an observation tower grow out of your skull.
Ch 16 10.jpg
But here's the park's star attraction.
Ch 16 11.jpg
Chris looks pretty happy while waiting for Blue Fall.
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I wonder how happy he is now?
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Whe-e-e. . . oof!
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Now they're gettin' down.
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Here are some pictures from "Miles's Skull Observation Tower."
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The glass is a bit dirty, but you can see how Surf Coaster literally just hangs over the surf. and, yes, you can see the helices that seem to be required on all Togo coasters by Japanese law.
Ch 16 17.jpg
Next stop, Cosomoworld. More pics to come.
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Postby cfc » Sun Nov 04, 2007 2:00 pm

And now, the last park in Japan (well, on the tour, anyway).
Ch 16 18.jpg
It's a bit of a walk from the train station to the park, past this proud sailing vessel, . . .
Ch 16 19.jpg
. . . past this ultra moderne version of London's Tower Bridge, . . .
Ch 16 20.jpg
. . . and past this sculpted tribute to Joker's Jinx.
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And, sniff, here's the entrance to Cosmoworld.
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This is the permenent "street carnival" section of the park, where you'll find . . .
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. . . Banana Coaster!
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You see it's got monkeys and bananas and palm trees; all it lacks is Gilligan.
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But the sounds of so much heavy making out coming from above draw us to . . .
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. . . Wonder Amuse Zone!
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Vanish? Still there, as near as I can tell.
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As you can tell from this moody shot, Bob is ready chew bubblegum and kick ass on Cosmoworld's shooting dark ride. He is Fresno's action hero!
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But my lousy score relegates me to the role of "goofy sidekick."
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Waiting for Vanish is, truly, a hairy experience.
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Sorry, Ferris wheel--no "Big O" action for you.
Ch 16 32.jpg
Yes, that's saved for the plunge into the pond.
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Look--it's the Eternal Prince of Darkness rendered in yarn! Isn't that adorable?
Ch 16 34.jpg
Looks like they've put up their Valentine's Day tree a bit early this year (or they're just late taking it down).
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I bet you're all salivating for corn dogs and fried Oreos about now.
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Yokohama towers over Cosmoworld.
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A fun place in one awesome country. Japan was even better than I'd hoped. So what could be better than topping it off with . . .
Ch 16 38.jpg
. . . a refreshing can of Texas Select beer? (Thanks to Joey and Dan for giving me a can of this distinctive beverage.)
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