Photo TR: Scott's MEGA Trans-American Road Trip!

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Photo TR: Scott's MEGA Trans-American Road Trip!

Postby Scaparri » Mon Mar 24, 2008 4:00 pm

So, a few months ago, my buddies Tyler (CTU Agent), Robby (BamaRob21), and I started discussing what we should do for spring break. After contemplating trips to Texas, Missouri, and Virginia, Robby said, "Why don't we just go to California?" And so our crazy road trip was born. In 10 days, we drove 5000 miles to LA and back, hitting every open amusement park on the way.

I just want to say thanks to everybody that helped us out and who met up with us on the trip. We all really appreciate it.

Day One: SFOT (Part 1) & Speed Zone
Day Two: SFOT (Part 2)
Day Three: Vegas
Day Four: Six Flags Magic Mountain
Day Five (Part 1): Knott's Berry Farm
Day Five (Part 2): Disney's California Adventure
Day Six: Disneyland
Day Seven: Belmont Park & Castles 'n' Coasters
Day Eight: No update. Driving day.
Day Nine (Part 1): Six Flags Fiesta Texas
Day Nine (Part 2): SeaWorld Texas and SFFT return
Day Ten: Kemah Boardwalk
Special Update! CTU Agent has an accident!

Part 1: SFOT (Part 1 as well) and Speed Zone

We took off at the crack of dawn so that we could hit up SFOT during the latter half the afternoon and hopefully knock out some credits since we only had a short time the next day (Saturday). The park was dead! With the exception of Mr. Freeze, which was down, we got every credit! This park really is the "best overall" SF park in my opinion. The rides selection is solid and the theming is great. The only real disappointment was Texas Giant. My first ride was in the second to last seat, and though it was fairly rough, I really enjoyed it. My second and last ride was in the very last row, and it was easily the worst coaster ride I've ever had in my life. The jackhammering was so bad that I was screaming in awful pain. I'm quite stunned that Shapiro hasn't given it the ax yet. Overall though, it was a great day and a great park.

Later that night, we intended to do the SCAD Tower in Dallas, but it was closed, so we went across the street for some friendly, violent go-kart racing/bashing.

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When you're about to start of journey of this nature, a pre-trip photo is necessary. Tyler seems to disagree.
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This would be Tyler's theme throughout the trip. I'm pretty sure he only saw about 200 miles of 5000 we traveled. If competitive sleeping was an Olympic event, he would medal.
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Robby, on the other hand, is a different story. Therefore, he won all-time shot gun privileges.
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SFOT! Is there a better skyline outside of CP?
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Cool sign leading up to the parking lot.
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Look at it! I maybe a total Premier fanboy but look at it! Unfortunately, it was closed today.
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It's fellow Gotham City inhabitant was alive and well though.
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I hyped up Runaway Mountain quite a bit to these guys. Most underrated coaster in Texas.
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Fortunately, the hype wasn't excessive. They were in full agreement. Seriously, why doesn't nobody talk about this awesome little coaster?
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Titan looms in the distance.
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During my last visit in '05, I was really underwhelmed by this ride. However, we were quite stunned this time around! It's not an airtime machine, but it's one intense coaster.
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Here's one for you coaster perverts.
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Texas Giant **Through the trees!**
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Seriously, the need to either invest a LOT of time and money into this ride, or douse it with gasoline and let the highest bidder throw the match.
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All SF parks should strive to be like SFOT in my opinion.
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We tried to whore ourselves out, but Wile E. wasn't having it.
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Texas Chute Out is always worth a ride when at the park.
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Plus, it provides some sweet aerial shots.
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Flashback was definitely the better of the two Boomerangs we rode on the trip.
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Gotham City overlook. Yeah, that's the best caption I have.
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We'll get to you tomorrow, Freeze.
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Best large S&S tower. All in favor?
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Robby, a closet rapids enthusiast, joygasmed over Roaring Rapids. Unfortunately, it was also down that day.
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Holy crap! Oil Derrick is actually open! There is so much good and so much evil in this picture.
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Hmm, something is missing here...
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This is was twisted awesomness looks like.
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While moping over the SCAD tower being closed, we look across the street at the Speed Zone and Tyler informed me that he could stomp me in go-karts. For those of you that really know me, you know those are fightin' words. Devastation followed.
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"America is all about speed... hot, nasty, bad A$$ speed."
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Now THESE are some serious go-karts.
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Yeah, I'm that fast. Kimi Raikkonen doesn't have jack on this.
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*Race Faces* before our showdown. And yeah, I let them know how it is ;)

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Postby Scaparri » Mon Mar 24, 2008 6:32 pm

Part 2: SFOT (Day 2), bizarre closed coasters, and driving to Albuquerque

So, we headed back to SFOT to ride Mr. Freeze and get a few re-rides in. We successful did both, and then took off for our hotel in Albuquerque that night.

During our drive to Albuquerque, we found out that the wild West doesn't believe in gas stations. We drove over 40 miles on E. We all collectively crapped bricks thinking we were going to run out of gas in the middle of nowhere. It was during this time that we also found out that tumbleweeds actually exist. This was discovered when I obliterated one that rolled in front of my car on the interstate. Fun times.

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Back at SFOT, waitin' for the gates to open, hoping that Freeze is open.
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Jackpot!! There it goes!
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The trains fly through that overbank.
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Mmmm, yes.
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Some more Batman goodness.
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Seriously! This ride may be really short, but it packs one heck of a punch. The mid-course drop is ludicrous.
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Now I'm going all artsy on you guys.
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Robby has another joygasm because Roaring Rapids is open today!
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Seriously though, forget Titan... forget Freeze... Forget Runaway Mountain. The main event is the Pink Thing! Cherry ice cream on a stick for $2. How often do you find anything for $2 at a SF park!? I wish they had these at all SF parks!
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Goodbye Titan... see ya next year.
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Heck yes! We're in Jack in the Box territory now!
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What!? They have QTs in Texas!?
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While driving through the middle of nowhere, TX, we stopped at a gas station that was the only sign of civilization. There was a random dog just standing on top of a truck, staring us down.
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Apparently, the country is becoming over populated...
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Texans aren't big on gas stations, but dammit, do they love their porn...
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We drove a few miles out of the way just to see this thing in person. Hopkins must have been on some good stuff when he thought up this ride...
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So bizarre... if only it were open.
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I don't even need to say anything...
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After driving 40+ miles on E, we finally found civilization!! Let's go clean our pants now!
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Umm, yeah... my tank is only 15 gallons. This is why you tell the little sticker on the pump to go to hell and top off anyway.
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Whoa! Tumbleweeds DO exist!!!

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Postby ElToroExtreme » Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:21 pm

random road trips are the best!!! good work keep it up!!!

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Postby sfotkid » Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:23 pm

WOOT!! SFOT fanboy in the house! Sucks that Mr. Freeze was closed, Its been running well for a while.


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Postby sfotkid » Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:35 pm

How, There Station? :lmao:

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Postby Scaparri » Mon Mar 24, 2008 7:52 pm

^^Ha, yeah, I totally acknowledge that. I still felt it necessary to throw it in there though.

But yeah, I found SFOT's Freeze to be a little rougher. They are both still so awesome though. I love those things.

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Postby Swimace » Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:32 am

What a killer spring break! I'm looking forward to your updates!

If the other boomerang you rode was out at Knotts then I really don't doubt that SFOT's is better. The one in California is horrible!

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Postby Hercules » Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:48 am

And to think, all I used to do on my Spring Breaks was go home to my parents house. My jealousy is at it's peak. I can't wait to see more of your report.

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Postby Scaparri » Tue Mar 25, 2008 5:50 pm

Swimace wrote:If the other boomerang you rode was out at Knotts then I really don't doubt that SFOT's is better. The one in California is horrible!

You are a winner! :lolr:

We should have had three boomerangs actually, but for reasons that will be explained later in the TR, SFFT's was lined out the entrance and we weren't about to wait for it.


Day 3: Vegas!

So, we woke up bright an early in Albuquerque because we had quite the day ahead of us. I was pretty stunned when we walked out of the hotel in the morning. Turns out our hotel overlooked most of the city, we were surrounded by mountains, and the New Mexico Rattler was about a half mile down the road. Of course, if it was their operating season, we would have planned to ride it. But, it wasn't, so we didn't.

Anyway, the plan for the day was to drive to Vegas, hit those rides as fast as possible, and then head to L.A. in hopes of hitting up Scandia and PacPark if time allowed, since both are open late. Unfortunately, a major snow storm in the Flagstaff area and almost two hours of barely-moving traffic at Hoover Dam killed our Scandia/PacPark hopes. An hour's worth of traffic from a wreck right across the Cali state line.

Vegas was great though, as always. I wish we had more time to spend there, but I think we'll probably budget a little more if we decide to do another cross-country trek next year. I sat out on the Strat rides because I did them a few years ago and didn't really care to spend the money on them. Speed was great like usual. Canyon Blaster was quite surprising. I definitely don't remember it being as fast and intense as it was. Honestly, it gave Speed a run for it's money in my eyes. I had high hopes for Manhattan Express since it received new trains after my last visit. Unfortunately, it was more brutal than I remember. However, Robby discovered that if you lean your head a bit forward, it's actually not so bad. He didn't share this info with me until about halfway through the ride though, so it was already ruined for me.

We had hopes of riding Desperado but we didn't get out of Vegas until 8:30 and found out the ride closed at 6. I was a bit disappointed, but at the same time, I didn't care too much because, hell, we were going to SFMM the next day!

Enjoy the pics! SFMM will be the next update!
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"How come every time I come around my London, London Bridge wanna go down"...

Yes, we know how to boogie to crappy music in the morning.
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New Mexico was my favorite state to drive through during the trip... well, at least northern New Mexico. Outside of Vegas, I had never really been out West, so landscapes like this were completely new to me.
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Just amazing...
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Hooray!! 4th new state credit of the trip!
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Remember how I said Tyler was only awake for 200 miles of the trip? I'm tellin' you, that's not far from the truth. Taking pictures of Tyler asleep became a hobby for Robby and I.
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Welcome to the West.

I promise, I'll get to some coaster pictures shortly.
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Robby is all "What the heck? We're in Arizona!"
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Yeah, it got bad. I haven't seen weather like this since I moved out of Indiana at the beginning of the year.
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Here is a dam picture for all you dam enthusiasts. We were stuck in dam traffic for about two hours. Apparently, Hoover Dam is the only way to Vegas from AZ.
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Alright, here you go kiddies. The good stuff.
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Tyler is excited to tryout the Strat rides.
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I bid these guys adieu. I didn't care to pay the money for the rides again, nor did I care to eleven freaking bucks to go up the tower. So, I just stayed in the casino and celled some honeys. That's how I roll.
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The Strat was my abode during my only other visit to Vegas so it was cool to go back. Unfortunately for the wombmates, Insanity was down due to winds that day.
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Vegas' main event is fortunately just a block down from the Strat.
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I know this ride looks and sounds pretty lame, but it's actually pretty freakin' sweet.
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Mhmm, check out that Premier goodness. I will argue that these are the best looking non-custom coaster trains with any fellow coaster nerds who want to contest that notion.
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That train gets whipped through this overbank at some speed that feels faster than advertised...
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Then it goes through some Derek action...
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And then goes through this little section, where it feels like you get a rocket strapped to your A$$. Whip around the building, up the spike, and do it in reverse.

Most of you probably already knew all that.
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It's expensive, but the best ride on the Strip.
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Next in line on the Strip was the Adventuredome. Seriously, why pink though? I don't have a male complex, but the color on the entire building is just hideous! The coaster inside is a lot of fun though...
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Canyon Blaster sports Drachen Fire trains with pimp paint on them. For the most part, the ride is actually fairly smooth!
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Kind of a crappy photo, but I still thought it was cool.
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I love Chaos', but not for $7! I'd rather pay twice that for terrible rides on the south end of the boulevard!
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Wastin' away again in...
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The Paris is my personal favorite casino in Vegas, but unfortunately, we didn't have the time to stop in. We had jaws to break!
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Lady Liberty welcomes us to NY, NY... Casino.
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Manhattan Express time! I'm glad I'm spending my $14 towards such a quality attraction! Seriously though, it looks like one of those rides that should be so much fun. Such a tease...
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It definitely has one of the coolest settings for a coaster.
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The sign says Manhattan Express, the painting is of Viper, but the ride's official name is "The Roller Coaster." Nice.
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This face sums up my feelings on my decision to spend $14 on giving the ride another try.
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The rest of the camp had mixed reactions...

SFMM is up next!

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Postby Scaparri » Wed Mar 26, 2008 1:31 am

Day 4: SFMM!

After staying the night in Stevenson Ranch, got up bright and early and headed for the most anticipated park of the trip: Six Flags Magic Mountain.

I'll spare you guys of all the details, but we had an awesome day at the park! After hearing so many bad things about the place for so long, I was really stunned by how nice it was. Out of the seven current SF parks I've been to, it's my personal favorite (though not the "best"). The park had a really cool setting with its placement on the mountain, and the ride selection was stellar. We were pretty surprised that almost all of the coasters exceeded our expectations, at least mine. The big surprise of the day was Riddler's Revenge. We were all blown away by it. It is definitely one of the best B&Ms I've ever been on and by far the best ride in the park.

Well, I'll leave the description at that and let the photos and captions tell the rest of the story. Overall though, it was an amazing day.

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I've waited to see this sign for years...
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We draw near! Just out of curiosity, has the park ever actually been called Six Flags California?
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Wow! It's 9:30 and the park doesn't open until 10:30!
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X2 looks really good with it's new paint. It's hard to notice the real color of the supports with my camera. I really like the charcoal color though.
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This ride looks so awesome. Fortunately, it's not very visible throughout most of the park so I didn't have to think about not riding it too much!
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:( Next year... next year.
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Yeah... everybody has seen it, but when you see it for the first time in person, you can't help but take a picture of it yourself.
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First up, Tatsu! I really enjoyed the ride. It definitely kicked the crap out of the SUF clones.
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The placement of this thing is awesome, as with many of the SFMM coasters.
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Here's an artsy one for ya'll. I'm a die hard lift hill enthusiast.
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After Tatsu, we headed straight for Deja Vu, however it was down, and remained so for the rest of the day. We weren't too heart broken though. Actually, the rest of the rides in the park pretty much made us forget it even existed, especially since it's so tucked away in a corner.
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With Deja Vu closed, we headed straight toward Riddler's Revenge. We had no idea what was in store...
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We were blown away! What a freakin' ride! Honestly, this might be the best B&M I've ever been on.
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Riddler gave a fairly intense ride, had great pacing, and an awesome layout. It set the bar pretty high for the rest of the coasters on the trip. Why do we not hear more about this thing?
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After our amazing ride on Riddler, we headed over to get the Batman credit.
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I bet you've never seen this view before ;)

I just want to throw out there that this is personally my favorite Batman paint scheme.
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Robby doesn't seem to be expecting much from Gold Rusher.
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Neither does Tyler, as he is obviously in deep thought after that stunning ride on Riddler.
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"Holy crap... what just happened?"

We were all expecting a fairly tame coaster, but this thing was quite surprising.
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*thinks to myself* "Why must it be closed when I finally make it out here!?"

My day will come.
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Viper **In the reflection of the freakin' Panda Express window!**

I've hit a new low...
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I loved Viper. It has what is easily one of the greatest drops I've ever experienced. It's a little on the jerky side, but is still a great ride if you know how to brace yourself.
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I have no idea what the point of this tree is, but I thought it was cool in a random sort of way.
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It's generic for a reason, and that reason is because it's still a really cool shot.
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Goliath really makes "Colossus" look pretty pathetic. I loved the tropical theming.
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Parking lot coaster or not, I was really psyched about trying this ride out.
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There was a decent sized lizard roaming the Scream line
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I must say, this was the only part of the park I didn't care for. It just didn't seem like they tried at all. I still loved Scream though.
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Can't they throw some sand or gravel down on top of the parking lot? Anything would make it look better. Heck, paint the pavement green!
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That whip was pretty sweet.
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If it were up to me, every sit down looper would be floorless.
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Check out that hot lift hill action.
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After being down for the first half of the day, Ninja opened. Yet again, I was stunned. Going by what other people had said, I expected it to be the best suspended coaster I'd been on, but that doesn't really require a whole lot. Ninja pretty much destroyed the field.
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And look who I ran into when our Ninja train came back into the station! Jahan was crackin' the whip around Samurai Summit! It was good to see you again, dude.
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This view was awesome. Tatsu looks ginormous from the bottom of the mountain.
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Revolution was really the only disappointment of the day.
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It could have been a fun ride, but those horrible restraints ruined it.
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We caught one more ride on Tatsu before heading out for dinner in Stevenson Ranch.
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Heck yes! It was finally time to see what the scoop is with this In-N-Out stuff.
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Yeah, there's a reason I've never heard anything bad about these burgers. I'm going through withdrawal as I make this TR.
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After dinner, it was back to the park for some night rides.
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Naturally, we headed straight to Riddler, which had an empty station.
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Riddler re-rides pleased Robby.
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The same can be said for myself. Such an amazing ride. Have I said that enough yet?
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My slightly stuck lens cover made this Scream train shot look kinda cool.

The night ride on Scream was even better. You couldn't see the parking lot!
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Goliath's entrance almost looks kind of creepy. The Goliath crew was really movin' fast that night! I've heard through the grape vine that Jahan showed them how it's done.
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Unfortunately, this concludes our day at the Mountain.

Thanks for reading. Knott's and DCA are up next!


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