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Everything posted by HandsUp

  1. Met up with another family we know from SC (good half way meeting spot). Spent Thursday at the waterpark which was a great move considering the heat and the mid-afternoon thunderstorm. We waited it out in the cabana and had the run of the place until close (which is early for both the waterpark and the big park). Both parks benefit from an absolutely amazing setting full of hills, shade, nooks and crannies that give the whole place an organic ambiance that is rare in the parks I've been to. Don't have time to do a play by play, but suffice it to say that Dollywood exceeded my expectations in terms of the rides and the experience. The theming and landscaping were absolutely stellar. Much of the park has a rivertown feel that focuses on logging, mining and fire fighting. But the 'jukebox junction' area was especially well done to resemble a small town from the 50s-some of those elements were Disney-caliber. Overall, the place exuded the positive spirituality and oneness with nature that Dolly is all about. The living statue of her mom quilting the 'coat of many colors' is awe-inspiring. For being so family-oriented with multiple kids' areas, DW balances it out with some amazing coasters for a park its size. FireChaser Express and Mystery Mine are incredibly unique ride experiences. Thunderhead felt like a cross between Mystic Timbers and The Beast--placing it above MT IMO. Wild Eagle was amazing and the most intense winged coaster I've ridden, Tennessee Tornado was awesome for an old Arrow, and Lightening Rod was my only experience of an RMC in a terrain setting...even Dragonflier, the suspended kiddie coaster, was a major surprise. The main thing that makes the bulk of the coasters stand out is the way that they fit the terrain. Not sure if it was a low-traffic day and/or the marginal demand for thrill rides, but the coaster lines were overwhelmingly short. Several walk-ons and never very long. A very nice departure from KI/CP. I'm admittedly a Dolly fan, but this place surpassed my expectations. The setting and ambiance brimming with Dolly's musical spirit would be great even if it weren't for the rides--but the rides were next level as well. With all of the elevation, and newly cleared out area by Wildwood Grove, it really seems like the sky is the limit in terms of expansion.
  2. A Screaming Swing (or whatever CPs Skyhawk is)...don't care where
  3. Loved those streamers. If I was the boss of the world that place would be dark, cold and full of german food and beer. It's always been a refuge from the outdoors.
  4. Would be sweet! Could have all sorts of cool indoor theming but I wonder if the building is big enough. The radius of those swinging arms is huge.
  5. Swap out the ropes course with a wild mouse and fit a screaming swing in there somewhere and I'm in
  6. Went Friday and had an amazing time. Figured it would feel much more crowded and it wasn't even that bad. Didn't do the mazes because was with the kids--but even the scare actors were creepy but not too over-zealous. Loved that basically everything was open. Daughter finally hit 54'' so her 1st time on DB and Orion were both at night! This is the best time of year and I love to see the park put to such good use.
  7. Millennium Force. Fast, quiet, exposed, and amazing views. Also personal since I remember a gorgeous sunset ride with my wife when we first started going out and this summer I did the same with our daughter.
  8. IMO-Any new coaster that DOESN'T feature terrain and the forest is a huge missed opportunity. I know it's more difficult and costly, but hills and trees are a feature of this entire region and especially KI...a reason why The Bat is still great.
  9. Sounds like I really need to ride at night and/or in the back. Not had that pleasure yet. In terms of the Millie comparison, I still have to give Millie the nod for a few reasons. The sprawling cloverleaf layout makes all those long fast turns cover so much real estate and really get you turned around so that it's hard to keep track of what's next. Just this year (1st rode in 2002) was I finally able to remember the order of each element. A big reason why I've always loved The Beast. It is also smooth as glass after all these years-I don't think I'd feel comfortable hopping right back on Orion after getting off. Could ride MF all day. Also, despite having a lower ride height that allows my 7 year old daughter to ride (her new fave), the 2-seater trains with that little lap bar give such an exposed feeling and connection to the track. JMO of course.
  10. IMO the novelty of FC wore off pretty quick. WindSeeker is way more enjoyable/thrilling and WAY taller.
  11. Extreme launch coaster that acts as a 'portal' to the other side of the park. Think TTD but instead of straight up and around it would be a huge airtime hill out of the launch and you'd 'land' in the other side of the park. It would be all acceleration and air time in a straight line. Of course, you'd need a mirror image of it going the other way as well, and people would end up on the other side-introducing a host of other problems, but a ride like that would be an amazing experience and dominate the skyline.
  12. Yep-I shuttered myself for over a year. Worked from home while trying to 'teach' my kids. Didn't go out to eat, see a movie or concert, go to a bar, or have Christmas or Thanksgiving with my extended family. Now we have vaxxes that for the vast majority make this similar to a nasty cold. If people want to still be extra cautious, then by all means do what you see fit to protect you and yours. Personally, I feel that this has been in the hands of the individual ever since they opened everything last Spring because Karen needed a haircut. It is the same now except it is flipped. If you're vaxxed and you're outside, you're pretty safe...if you still don't feel safe you can choose to not go.
  13. After enjoying Maverick, Mille, and TTD a few weeks back with my kids--complete with frustrating shut-downs, etc. I've realized that Intamins are like those unstable flakey girlfriends who you can never totally trust, but when everything lines up she reminds you why she's worth it.
  14. People die in car crashes every day--we still haven't sworn off cars. Unlike SOB, which was rough and unpleasant even without major injuries, TTD is an absolute blast the vast majority of the time. It's like nothing else and the visual centerpiece of the park. If it runs again, guests will be more understanding when it goes down. If it doesn't, I'm glad my kids got to ride it this summer.
  15. Just got back from CP and it reminded me how much KI could use a Screaming Swing. The Skyhawk is small, thrilling, and high capacity..and looks awesome as well. They could stick one in a variety of locations.
  16. Well if it happened to one person, on one particular day, it is clearly a universal problem.
  17. A couple advil, a big breakfast, and tons of hydration do the trick for me--still, sometimes you just need to space out the rides.
  18. Yesterday I set it off, presumably with my altoids tin, belt, and phone---the attendant didn't stop me at all and was mainly concerned that I got the 'code of conduct' business card.
  19. In my experience, the Haunt is always massively crowded (depending on weather)--I doubt if increasing demand is needed. I would like a rating system for the mazes, etc. though
  20. I would 100% go by what the kid wants to do. Mine are 9 and 7. My son just hit 54'' and will do whatever he can (he and I just did front row Orion yesterday-epic). My daughter, on the other hand, wanted to hold off on Banshee even though she's 52''...up until now she's done everything. I've always felt like pressing them to do too much, or trusting your own safety guidelines over engineers' expertise is misguided. It's supposed to be fun--if he rides and doesn't like it, no biggee.
  21. Kids these days will just be playing with their phones I'm sure The duration and frequency of this current event makes it a lot different than The Grind--can't see too many coming out of the woodwork just for this.
  22. The Friday night dance parties in the mid-90s were 'MTV's The Grind' which was a dance party TV show and I'm assuming MTV was owned by Paramount. It was in the waterpark right by what's now Rendezvous Run...I want to say it ran from 8pm-1am on Fridays. I think they had reduced admission after 4 or 5 to draw the crowds. It was an absolute blast to be quite honest. It was the cool place to go for a wide range of teens and had an awesome club vibe that the <18 crowd wasn't used to. For those who had loved KI as a child, it was another reason to still love the place once puberty kicked in. It also made KI a destination for kids who would otherwise be too cool for amusement parks. Skaters, hip-hop kids, J-Lo wannabes, etc. It was where I 1st kissed a massive crush from HS, so that era makes up some of my best KI memories. In retrospect, I'm amazed that they pulled it off as long as they did without major problems or public outcry. I'm sure there were fights, but before camera phones and viral videos it wasn't that big of a deal. Since it was in the waterpark, it was technically OK for girls to just wear bikini tops (ridiculous) and as mentioned, there was plenty of age-inappropriate behavior (sorry for partying). Overall though, the majority who went behaved themselves and had a great time without causing problems. It was the one time that KI drew people who wouldn't normally go to the park and was personally the best thing about the Paramount era.
  23. Seems like a perfect storm of events. It was massively crowded in part due to bussed in kids with no supervision in end of school year mania mode. It was clear as of last week that this crowded environment with passive and overwhelmed staff leads to a lawless situation where guests realize they can more or less get away with anything. Just in a few hours last week I saw multiple instances of vaping both nicotine and reefer (this doesn't bother me), but I also smelled cigs all over the place. There was also rampant line jumping which isn't cool at all-but what is a law-abiding guest going to do? It's not our job to police bad behavior-it is the park's job-and that was not happening. I was a kid in the 80s and 90s and believe me-kids were just as bad then as they are now. So all this pearl-clutching about 'kids these days and the fall of society' is mis-placed. If this had happened in '89, it would have been witnessed by few, spread as a rumor for a time, and then forgotten. This doesn't excuse the act, but we could use some perspective. It definitely doesn't warrant a chaperone policy which will just punish the innocent. As mentioned, being a teen/pre-teen and free to roam in KI is absolutely awesome. It has motivated me to share the park with my own kids. If the sole priority is to get as many people as possible into the park(via cheap passes, group discounts, etc.), there is going to be a point of negative returns in the form of both extreme incidents like this as well as the overall guest experience.
  24. When it went in, it was smooth as glass. For years after that it was a KI institution and in my youth, when the only coasters were Racer, Cobra, Vortex and Beast it was a favorite for sure. But over time it got super rough to the point where it simply wasn't that pleasant to ride. So while I'm not sad that they got rid of it, I'll always think very highly of it.
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