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ziplock

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About ziplock

  • Rank
    KIC Local

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Wisconsin
  • Interests
    Top 10 coasters: 1. El Toro 2. X2 3. Bizarro 4. Maverick 5. Skyrush 6. Diamondback 7. Nitro 8. Millennium Force 9. Intimidator 305 10. Intimidator

    Total Coaster Count: 145

    Parks visited: Cedar Point, Six Flags Great Adventure, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Six Flags Over Texas, Hersheypark, Kings Island, Busch Gardens Williamsburg, Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios Florida, Knott's Berry Farm, Six Flags Great America, Kings Dominion, Carowinds, Six Flags New England, Dorney Park, Mt. Olympus, and Nickelodeon Universe
  1. ziplock

    Hades 360

    According to some random stranger who said they asked the park, it is because they want to take absolutely no chances of a collision. Yes, Mount Olympus claims that their one train operation is solely for safety purposes and collision prevention. Knowing their track record for maintaining coasters in the past, I personally don't blame them. However, Hades' queue moves tediously slow with only one train and I would love to see another added if it was deemed safe. It takes the lazy, unmotivated employees a lot longer to load a train than it should, and there should constantly be a train being loaded as the other takes its course. I'm very excited to hear the news of a coaster-upgrade at my home park. Sure it may seem less than impressive to those of you who live in coaster-kingdom, but it will be nice to have an inverting coaster in the same state as me. I have ridden Hades 100+ times now and welcome the much needed changes! It will be interesting to see how the new Timberliners affect the ride's smoothness and how long it will take for the ride to return to its neglected, rough self.
  2. ziplock

    ziplock's 2012 Amusement Park Tour

    First of all I'd like to apologize for the delay in writing this second part. I've been very busy lately, but finally found a few hours to sit down at my computer and type. Part 2- Six Flags Great Adventure After about three more hours in the car traveling from West Babylon, New York, we were in the shadow of the magnificent, towering structure known as Kingda Ka in the parking lot at Six Flags Great Adventure. Since it was nearly 7:30 by the time we entered the park, we only had two and a half hours left until closing and we wanted to make the most of our “night ride” time, because we did not intend on staying until sundown on the next day. We decided to use the same strategy as we did at Cedar Point, and try to ride our three favorites with this limited time. We also attempted to make them all night rides, but that attempt did not succeed. First up was the gigantic B&M hyper coaster that looms over guests that take an immediate right upon entering the park, Nitro. At the point that we were at in the line, there was a sign that said the wait was 30 minutes from that point, but I knew that it would be no longer than 15 minutes since they were running three trains. I was right, for within the next 10 minutes we were boarding the back row and all clear for dispatch. Nitro is truly an excellent ride full of all the floater airtime one can imagine. The first drop and rolling bunny hills after the mid course brake run are my highlights of the ride, simply because during those parts you rarely contact your seat! The overall experience is just so smooth and enjoyable that I could just ride it over and over again. (And I would do that the next day) 10/10 After all that floater airtime, we felt like we needed some ejector air to balance it out a little bit. In order to get our fair share of that and more, we headed to my favorite coaster at the park, El Toro. We waited about 20 minutes outside of the station before the employee let us proceed and choose our row. There’s just one thing that confuses me: all the guests seem to overwhelmingly crowd the front of half of the station and leave the back half practically empty! The ride op had to announce several times for people to use the whole station but it continued to happen for the remainder of my visit. Having ridden this coaster in both the front and back half of the train several times, I enjoy the back a lot more than the front. I’m fine with it I though. Less waiting for me! Anyways, we choose the very back row and waited one ride cycle before we were speeding up that cable lift hill. El Toro is simply amazing. The ejector airtime is the most intense I have experienced from the first drop to the brake run, and it is the most exciting ride I have ever been on. Seriously, this thing just relentlessly throws you out of your seat on every high-speed hill in the most extreme way imaginable. I’ve been on the ride before, but I cannot stop describing its magnificence. After this trip, El Toro moved ahead of Millennium Force and Maverick to take the place of my number three rollercoaster. I’ve never been on The Voyage, but I have an awful hard time believing that it can match the airtime, speed, and smoothness of El Toro. 10/10 with no doubt in my mind. Next on our “to ride” list was the tallest coaster in the world, Kingda Ka. It was dusk at the point that we got in line, but after the hour and a half long queue, we were about to get our front row night ride in on this massive steel beast. Now don’t get me wrong this thing is just as crazy of a rush as Top Thrill dragster, but I just don’t like Ka as much as Top Thrill. The restraints on Top Thrill are a lot more comfortable and open in my opinion, and Ka has too much vibration in the track and just lacks the hype and excitement that the theming on Dragster gives the ride. It is still a great ride, but not the best of its kind. 9/10 After rocketing to the sky on Kingda Ka, we decided to get our night ride on El Toro. Since we only waited about 10 minutes to get into the station on this ride, we thought we were going to have enough time to hurry over to Nitro for a last night ride before the park closed. But it was not to be. Because of the tight restraints on this ride, many people have troubles getting them to lock and need the assistance of an employee. This significantly slows down the operations of the ride, and it was past closing by the time it was our turn to ride. However, this disappointment was quickly forgiven after a spectacular night ride on this beast. At night, the ride seems to fly even faster and more out of control over each and every hill than it does in the day. It was a truly fantastic way to end the night at the park before heading to the hotel to recharge for a whole new day of thrills. At about 11:00 AM the following day, we had already scanned our Six Flags season passes and were on our way to the Flash Pass booth. Yes, I am aware many of you are against these expensive devices that allow you to bypass most of the regular line, but in some cases, they are necessary. On the rare occasion that I get to make the journey to this excellent New Jersey amusement park, the last thing I want to do is waste my time in the same kind of hour and a half lines in the heat of the day that I had waited in the previous night. We also did not plan on spending the whole day at the park, and wanted to make the most of the precious time we had. We chose the Gold level Flash Pass, and dashed to the same ride to start our day with that same ride that we had ended the last with last night, El Toro. We were directed right into the station and waited about 10 minutes before a back row ride that is sure to fully wake you up in the morning. After that breathtaking ride on El Toro, we headed next door to Bizarro and waited one train to ride front row on this floorless coaster. This ride has always been my favorite floorless because of its X2-like fire effects, audio soundtrack, and mist effects on various parts of the track. The ride itself is fantastic also with a large drop cobra roll, and many other wonderful elements like a zero g roll. Bizarro is also very smooth, making the overall experience very enjoyable at the same time as thrilling. 8/10 Next we headed to Kingda Ka to experience yet another exhilarating ride before making our way right back the path we came to get another ride on El Toro, and finally another ride on Kingda Ka before exploring some other rides that the park has to offer. While we were in the area, I considered riding Rolling Thunder just for The Interpreter, but since my dad doesn’t ride most old, wooden coasters, I decided against it. First up was their parachute drop ride because it was on our way to the rest of the park from El Toro. We had never been on a ride like this, and actually enjoyed it. It is a nice way to view the park while not flying over the hills of a roller coaster or anticipating the drop of a Drop Tower ride. 5/10 because well… it’s a parachute ride Since we were in the same general area, we decided to check out the newest coaster addition to the park, Green Lantern. Now going into this ride, I had low expectations because I strongly dislike standup coasters in general. But I tried to keep an open mind because of some of the positive reviews I’ve read of Chang. Nope, it was the same as every other standup coaster I’ve ridden if not worse. The sharp pain in my lower legs just got worse and worse as the ride goes on. I know some of you are probably thinking right now that I’m not riding it correctly. But I paid very close attention to the instructions this time and rode just as I always have; with my legs straight and not sitting on the small bicycle seat. Upon exiting the ride I tried to remember anything positive throughout the ride whatsoever, but it was made difficult by the leg pain that persisted throughout the remainder of the day. 2/10 because the drop was less painful than the remainder of the ride Next we skipped a long regular line for the surprisingly popular Superman: Ultimate Flight. Looking back at it, I’m pretty sure we just rode it because it was right next to Green Lantern and we didn’t have to wait in line for it, because there is really nothing special about the ride. The layout of this cloned ride is simply uninteresting and feels weak and slow after flying at the speed of fear on Tatsu. 6/10 because it is relatively smooth, has a decent pretzel loop, and after all, it is a flying coaster We then decided to check out Great adventure’s new swing ride, SkyScremer. We used our Flash Passes and waited one ride cycle before boarding our seats. If the spinning and towering height isn’t enough to make you nervous, the unsecure-looking restraint system is. I personally liked the ride and like how it goes all the way up, down a little, then all the way back up to the top before it’s final descent. This increases the ride time and at the same time is more exciting than staying at the very top. You also get considerably more wind on SkyScreamer than WindSeeker because of its faster maximum spin speed. 6/10: A slightly more exciting way to view the park than the parachute ride. After SkyScreamer, we decided to get our ride on the airtime monster known as Nitro. Since the Flash Pass path led us to the back half of the station and there were two open seats in back row, we waited all of about 45 seconds from the time we entered the queue to dispatch. It was every bit as fantastic as it was the previous night, so we decided to ride it three more times in a row with about a 2 minute wait each. Since we were already in the area, we decided to get a quick ride on Batman: The Ride. We waited an extra 10 minutes to ride front row, as we always do on inverted and floorless coasters. We’ve always thought these compact little clones are pretty fun. All the different elements and inversions are packed so close together that there is never a dull moment. Because the track is so close to each other, it also feels like you’re traveling even faster through that twisted, smooth mass of steel than you really are. It is by no means my favorite inverted coaster, but it is great for a ride that I have been on at four different parks. 7/10 By this time, it was the hottest part of the day and we were looking for some way to escape the heat so we went to the Dark Knight Coaster since we were already in the area. For this ride, the Flash Pass users enter the line before you get into the building, and most of the queue is actually inside the building so we couldn’t skip much of a line. Immediately upon entering the building, we knew the wait was too long for the quality of the ride, so we just left to go ride Nitro a few last times. After those three amazing rides on Nitro with very little waiting, we headed over to El Toro to balance the ejector and floater airtime a little better. After that superb ride El Toro, it was about 4:30 and we were hoping on leaving soon so we headed over to the Golden Kingdom for a last ride on Kingda Ka Approaching the entrance of Kingda Ka, we saw a kid being cared for in a first aid golf cart with a large crowd around it. Thinking nothing of it, we continued through the Flash Pass entrance and into the station. Some of the employee’s started cleaning one of the cars, and announced on the loudspeaker that the ride will be temporarily closed due to natural causes. Thinking that we knew what they meant by “natural causes”, we decided we didn’t have enough time to wait for it to reopen and took off to get a last ride on El Toro. While exiting we overheard a couple of ride ops talking about what happened, so I decided to ask and find out. They replied that a kid got hit with a bird at the bottom of the drop before the brake run. The boy thankfully only suffered a nosebleed and a couple of cuts on the face, while the bird however died and had to be cleaned out of the train; thus the delay. After hearing of this bizarre incident, we continued over to El Toro to get one final on this insane coaster before taking off. Part of the reason why we took off so early is because we hadn’t eaten since we arrived at the park. But the real reason is because we had a two and a half hour drive to get to a sweet amusement park in Hershey, Pennsylvania. I hope to have part 3 posted more quickly than I had part 2 posted, but I can't make any promises with school starting soon. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for part 3!
  3. ziplock

    ziplock's 2012 Amusement Park Tour

    Thank you! My dad and I have had great times on these trips and have made countless wonderful memories. We have visited at least two new parks every year since 2009, and I am very grateful that we are able to go together.
  4. Hello KIC, Here is my trip report for four of the parks that I visited this summer in one giant tour. I've decided to break it up into parts by each park visit to spare you the many headaches that my drawn out writing style may bring you. Part 1- Introduction and Cedar Point-Visit 1 July 21st was the big day. This was the day that I worked ever so hard for. This was the day that I had deserved by receiving a 4.0 grade point average in last year’s second semester. This was the start of a trip that I had been planning and anticipating since last year’s trip had ended. This was my summer 2012 amusement park extravaganza. On this day, my dad and I finally departed our small, boring city in south-central Wisconsin to visit several cities in many different states to go to conventions and install equipment for my dad’s company; Foundational Fitness. But as much as I would have loved to travel with my dad only to help him with his business, this was not the reason that I accompanied him. Our plan was to hit four different amusement parks near the places we would be going anyway for Foundational Fitness. But plans changed. As a result of a last second call requesting my dad to spend two more days installing equipment in New York, the order in which we were to visit the parks was altered from my original plan. Our first stop on our nearly three-week journey was now to be West Babylon, New York. This city is about 18 hours away from our home city of Middleton, Wisconsin, and we knew we were going to stop at about halfway for some rest and complete the trip the next day. Without my knowing, my dad had already booked the hotel at this halfway point. And to my surprise, it was in a little city in northern Ohio called “Sandusky”. We arrived at the hotel to check in at about 10 PM. And by about 10:30 PM, we were scanning our Platinum Passes at the front gate of the world’s greatest amusement park, Cedar Point. Since it was a Saturday and we only had an hour and a half until the park closed, we knew we would probably only get on one ride. For that one ride, we choose Top Thrill Dragster. After about a one hour and twenty minute long wait, we were onboard the front row with our arms down, heads back, and oh yes, we held on. All I can say is wow. No matter how many times I go on this ride, it always manages to freak me out and give me the rush of a lifetime. And front row at nighttime just adds to the experience and gives the illusion you are cruising even faster before you behold that breathtaking view of a lit-up Cedar Point at the top. It was the perfect way to end the day, and even though we had time to make it to another ride afterwards, we just decided to go to the hotel and rest up for my dad’s next surprise, morning ERT. 10/10. At 8:30 AM, we were back out the door of our hotel room and on our way back to that beautiful peninsula known as Cedar Point for our Platinum Pass holder early ride time. We headed directly toward my, at that time, third favorite coaster, Millennium Force. We waited about 10 minutes before we were in the back row listening to the techno station music as we departed from the station that looks strangely similar to a toaster oven. The first drop on this ride is breathtaking and only sets the table for the rest of the layout filled with floater-airtime goodness, high speed perfection, and bundles of high g force, overbanked turns. It was a brilliant ride and just about the best way to wake up in the morning. 10/10 After that astounding ride on Millennium force, we ventured through Frontier Trail for a ride on Maverick. We waited about 30 minutes and we were in row one all ready for dispatch. Let me just say, in all my rides on Maverick (all in front row of course), I have never had a bad ride on this astounding coaster. From the fast lift hill to the insane ejector airtime, twisty turns and inversions, and surprisingly forceful launch mid-ride, Maverick never has a dull moment. This ride is just crazily fast paced from start to end and is probably the most exciting coaster I’ve been on besides El Toro. Maverick is so amazing that I could just ride it all day long. 10/10 We then decided to race to the sky on one last ride on Top Thrill Dragster before we headed out. Even though it was just barely still early ride time, we waited about an hour for another front row ride. It was another spectacular experience on Top Thrill Dragster that left both of us breathless. Not many rides can do that after you’ve already ridden them about 10 times! 10/10 as stated earlier. Since we had gotten to ride our three favorites in the park already and it was almost 11, we decided to hit the road and spent about 10 hours in the car that day before arriving in West Babylon. We spent Monday, Tuesday and half of Wednesday installing fitness equipment into several different schools and teaching other teachers how to use the equipment. On Wednesday at about 4 PM we left New York to make our way to the next great adventure on our tour, Jackson New Jersey. To be continued in Part 2. I'll write and post it as soon as possible.
  5. ziplock

    Most anticipated water park ride?

    I've been to each park in the Wisconsin Dells several times, and have had a Noah's Ark season for the past 4 years because I live very close. Having been to these parks and other top water parks such as Schlitterbahn New Braunfels and Wet n' Wild Orlando, I have to say my all time favorite water park ride is Scorpion's Tail at Noah's Ark. The trap door and the countdown in the capsule at the start of this slide just build anticipation to a maximum. Shortly after being released, you experience a prolonged moment zero g forces while plummeting and then are immediately glued to the side of the slide with surprising positive g forces as you smoothly begin your 45 degree ascent back up. From there, the ride just builds up more and more speed until you burst out of the end of the tube to experience one last instance of zero g forces before gradually slowing down on the final runway. Scorpions Tail will always hold a special place to me because of my first ride on it. I was fortunate enough to be picked as the second official rider on media day after Bert the Conqueror because I was the leading contributor of the forums on the park's official website. I was extremely grateful of the park's management for choosing me, and it was by far my most memorable ride on a water slide. The whole experience is just one big rush, and non stop speed until the final splashdown. The only major problem with this ride is capacity, as there is only one slider at a time. Another more expensive option is getting multiple Aqualoop slides like Wet N' Wild Australia did, which would dramatically increase the ride's riders per hour. Overall, I think this type of attraction would be a fantastic addition to any water park
  6. ziplock

    If Six Flags owned KI

    I really don't understand where all this hate for Six Flags is coming from. Three Six Flags owned properties that I have been to, Great Adventure, Magic Mountain, and Over Texas, I actually prefer over Kings Island. The other two I have visited, Great America and New England, are by no means bad parks either. Be sure to visit these parks before making hasty assumptions about them.
  7. Having visited Magic Mountain a few times now, I too would recommend visiting on a Friday rather than a Saturday. As far as ride strategies go, I would highly recommend heading straight to X2 at opening if you decide to go on Saturday. It is a spectacular ride and my all time favorite. Most visitors agree with me, and therefore the ride gets long waits very quickly.
  8. ziplock

    First Ride on Diamondback

    My first Diamondback ride was in July of 2009. It was my first visit to Kings Island, and I went with my entire family from Wisconsin. Since the only roller coasters I had been on before this trip were at Mt Olympus, I had absolutely no idea what to expect and was very excited. After an amazing day of riding other rides with my brother, who has always been terrified of heights, we decided to get in line for Diamondback. We waited in line for about an hour, anticipation growing by the second. I'll admit, we were both extremely nervous getting on the ride, but by the time we got off, we couldn't wipe the smiles off of our faces. We liked it so much, were practically shaking with excitement after that spectacular ride and wanted to ride it over and over again. Our parents could even tell that we loved it by the ceaseless grinning. That one ride was the ride that got me to love roller coasters. Ever since that day, I have ridden over 100 other coasters, but no experience can compare to that one ride. It was easily the best experience I have ever had on any ride.
  9. I can't wait to ride this on my spring trip to Magic Mountain. That thing looks crazy.
  10. Noah's Ark in the Wisconsin Dells will also be featured on the water park show. In my opinion The Ark is a very underrated park and is truly one of the best in the country. Sadly, things have taken a turn for the worse with this new ownership from Palace Entertainment and I am concerned for the park's future.
  11. ziplock

    Amusement Park Tour Advice?

    Thanks for the help everybody! Another question though; On the average July day, how do these parks' crowds and waits compare to that of other parks like Kings Island and Cedar Point? That is assuming there is perfect weather and no other special events are occurring these days.
  12. ziplock

    Amusement Park Tour Advice?

    Hello KIC, This late July, I am planning on taking a summer amusement park tour to four different parks with my dad. Two of the parks, Cedar Point and Six Flags Great Adventure, I have already been to and know most of the basics on having a successful trip. However the other two I will likely be visiting, Hersheypark and Dorney Park, I have never been too, and know very little about. I have a few questions for anyone who has been to Hersheypark or Dorney Park. Are there any strategies on attacking these parks to make the most of my day? What are the must-rides, and the rides that could be easily skipped? Where are the best places to eat at these parks? I will only be able to spend one day at each park and am hoping to experience most major attractions. I will also most likely not be getting any kind of line skipping pass for either park. However I will be getting one for both Cedar Point and Six Flags Great Adventure. Here is the schedule for my trip to help give you a sense of what day I will be visiting each park; Saturday July 21: Drive from Middleton, Wisconsin to Sandusky, Ohio/ Go to Cedar Point that evening Sunday July 22: Go to Cedar Point all day Monday July 23: Drive from Sandusky, Ohio to West Babylon, New York Tuesday July 24: Workshops for my dad's fitness equipment business in West Babylon, New York. Wednesday July 25: More workshops for my dad's business/ Drive from West Babylon, New York to Hershey, Pennsylvania Thursday July 26: Go to Hersheypark all day Friday July 27: Drive from Hershey, Pennsylvania to Alllentown, Pennsylvania early in the morning/ Go to Dorney Park all day Saturday July 28: Drive from Allentown, Pennsylvania to Jackson, New Jersey early in the morning/ Go to Six Flags Great Adventure all day Sunday July 29 to Friday August 3: Workshops in Asheville, North Carolina Saturday August 4 and Sunday August 5: Watch the West Virginia Miners in Beckley, West Virginia and go drive back to Middleton Wisconsin. We have Platinum Passes and Six Flags Season Passes, so the only admission we will have to buy is for Hersheypark. Are there any places we can get a discounted admission ticket? I would really appreciate your advice for these parks, and plan on posting a trip report as soon as possible after my trip. Thanks, -ziplock
  13. ziplock

    What's Your Favorite Moment on Any Ride?

    Top Three: 1. First drop on X2 in row 7, stairs side of the train in the inner seat. 2. Back row airtime on Bizarro at Six Flags New England 3. Launch on Top Thrill Dragster in the front row.
  14. ziplock

    Cedar Point hotel recommendations

    On my first trip to the Point, I stayed at the Super 8 in Milan. Sure it's not the nicest of hotels, but it was relatively inexpensive and we didn't have any problems. We weren't very picky since the only time we planned to spend at the hotel was for sleeping, as we were in the park all day. The hotel is a little over 10 miles away from the park, but the advantage to that is it wasn't crowded at all.
  15. ziplock

    Cedar Point Ride Watch

    There is another app on the App Store called "Ride Hopper" that is essentially the same concept as Ride Watch, but for a variety of parks. Unfortunately, because the program lacks users, most parks are rarely updated. The app is useful however, when visiting more popular parks like Six Flags Magic Mountain.
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