Bas does TPR West Coast Tour 2009
Day 0, Day 1
Driving upstate and Six Flags Discovery Kingdom
In order to get to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom and other parks in the bay area, we first had to get over there. So, we all hopped on a bus and started driving north.
Unfortunately we only got 2 blocks before we bumped into the wonderful standstill that people call LA-traffic. Thankfully, there were lots of things to keep us occupied. While our ‘tour-bags-of-not-necessarily-crap’ were handed out, we experienced a Q&A with Robb. I won’t go into details, but after the session, everybody on the trip knew a lot more about Papier-mâché-volcanoes, lending out laptops and Jezus fixing coasters.
As we passed by Six Flags Magic Mountain, Robb opted to play a game they usually play when driving alongside parks: How many coasters do you see operating? The results:
X2: not operating
Viper: not operating
Tatsu: not operating
Superman: not operating
Déjà vu: not operating
Riddler: not operating
Batman: not operating
Scream: not operating
Goliath: not operating
Colossus: not operating
So, 30 minutes after opening all of the visible coasters weren’t running for a good 4 minutes we had SFMM in sight.
Anyways, we tried not the think about it all that much and after more miles, snack time and other randomness we stopped to get some food. But after the food stop it was SHARK ATTACK 3 that kept us entertained for the rest of the drive. And believe me, entertaining it was.
Eventually, we got to our awesome hotel. Why awesome? It has coaster-mosaic-murals, space invader room keys, an IHOP and a decent pool. As soon as everybody got themselves a bit settled, the pool area was invaded by snacks from almost every place on earth. And while eating all those snacks, I failed to take any pictures, sorry.
The next day we went to the West Coast Bash at Six Flags Discovery Kingdom, which was essentially a lot of people joining in on the West Coast Tour for a day. We started our day with EAT, exclusive animal time, where some animals were served, uh, brought for us. Soon after, we were put in the new tiger theater were a lot of people told lots of things about tigers.
But onto the important stuff! Because after the tigers, it was time for Medusa ERT. The coaster was awesome, and my favorite in the park. The straight drop is just as awesome as the dives on other B&Ms, and the rest of the ride is just great. However, I do prefer the other Medusa/Bizzaro, and that’s basically because of the cobra-roll.
The rest of the morning consisted of getting all the coasters in that weren’t open for ERT that evening, looking at animals, shopping for random souvenirs and defining the way of life. Cobra was just a regular kiddie, except that the snake in front was one of the coolest coaster trains I’ve ever seen. Boomerang wasn’t that bad for a boomerang, and Kong wasn’t that bad for it being an SLC.
At lunch we got an Q&A session with a marketing guy and an operations guy. And while the marketing guy was acting like he was presenting for the home shopping channel, the dude from operations was able to tell us some cool things of how the park and coasters are run.
After the lunch I joined the ‘bonus activity’, the jelly belly factory tour. Having never heard of jelly belly’s and no worries of getting all the credits, I figured I’d join up. The whole tour turned out to be a walkthrough-jelly-belly commercial and I discovered that I hate the candy and requested to visit an M&Ms factory next year.
We got back in the park in the afternoon and did some of the flat rides. The topspin was the worst topspin I’ve ever been on. I don’t know why, but it ran only half a regular cycle (3 flips) and then broke down. We also got the remaining credits while everybody else was playing TPR-trivia. After the trivia was over, the ERT begun. With something special going on at the Tony Hawk Big Spin. The game was to fill a cup of water at the beginning of the ride, and trying not to spill water during the actual ride.
Tony Hawk itself was a fun ride, and if you were lucky with the weight distribution, got could get an insane amount of spin. V2 (or V1.5) was not as fun as its full-size bothers, but it was different and during the sunset you could get a spectacular view of the park. Roar was a very decent ride, powerful but a little slow on the hills and high turns. One funny note about the Roar operations, though. Now, first of all, I am not a racist, and I don’t want to step on anybody’s toes, but it was too stereotypical to see 3 black female operators chatting loudly in the operator booth, while one white girl had to check almost all the restraints by herself.
I rode Roar about 5 times in the back row and then went over to Tony Hawk to do the water challenge. I failed miserably at the game, but it was a lot of fun see to others fail as well. But when I got off the ride to take some more pictures my camera had decided to commit suicide and do nothing except for displaying ‘lens error’. So there I was, half a planet away from home with can $250 camera not functioning…
Apart from the disaster with my camera, I really enjoyed the day. I’m sure that lots of people liked all the animals, but I was really positively surprised by the coasters in the park and the way the event was set up. Thanks to everybody who was even remotely part of it, Thank you.
(And, managers, if you are reading this: Get that Topspin some decent programs!)