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Ride On_17

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  1. Hey guys! It's been awhile since I've been active on here, but figured I'd make my way back to share about an exciting event that was held this past weekend at Ohio State. I'm the VP of our Theme Park Engineering Group, essentially a group of students of any major and background who have interest in the amusement industry, and we hosted the first ever student-led themed entertainment industry conference. Named SITE OSU (Students in Themed Entertainment), it has been in the works since October and took lots of planning and effort from our club, especially the committee that was responsible for organizing and putting it all together. It was such an incredible, fun, and successful event, and I did a write-up/report on it which I figured I would share here for your enjoyment and to learn about what exactly that conference entailed. In summary, there were 65 college students from across the midwest that attended, over a dozen industry professionals, and a full day filled with presentations, networking, and friendship. Several professionals gave really cool presentations about their respective jobs and companies, and we also hosted a student project fair to share what we all have been working on with relation to engineering and the amusement industry. Add in lots of time to casually and informally socialize all together and build industry connections, and it was an amazing conference. Here are just a few pictures from the event, and be sure to check out my full report found here to learn all the event details and see the rest of the pictures from the weekend!
  2. I wrote up a detailed element-by-element ride review as well as a full media day photo trip report, feel free to check it out! I still can't stop thinking about this incredible new coaster. http://thrillsawait.weebly.com/trip-reports/element-by-element-review-and-steel-vengeance-media-day-delight
  3. It was such an incredible day! My first media day experience and being a part of the world premiere of one the most, if not the most anticipated coasters ever, was something I'll never forget. Thank you Cedar Point for putting on such an incredible event and for bringing us this world class coaster along with RMC. It became my new #1 after my first ride. 8 rides later, it holds that title even firmer, and I'd dare say it's the best coaster on the planet. I'll be posting a full photo trip report soon with in-depth analysis and opinions on the ride, but for now, WOW. What a truly legendary ride.
  4. Check out all about my Winter Chill Out experience at Cedar Point this past weekend! It was an amazing event, and getting an up-close experience with Steel Vengeance was definitely a highlight. http://thrillsawait.weebly.com/trip-reports/off-season-awe-and-steel-vengeance-stupor-cp-winter-chill-out-2018
  5. That's so awesome! Definitely right up there with my interests, I've just started reading through your thesis and am excited to continue it. So far it's fascinating!
  6. Hey everyone! As some of you may know, I currently run two blogs: Thrills Await is focused on amusement parks such as trip reports and photography, and Urbanetics is more related to my academic interests (urban planning, architecture, aesthetics, etc). My most recent Urbanetics blog post actually incorporates the best of both worlds, looking at the planning and design that goes into creating our beloved amusement parks. I figured I'd share it here, since I figured many of you might find it interesting. I talk about several urban planning and design concepts such as placemaking (essentially creating a sense of place, beauty, and welcoming in public spaces) and how they apply to amusement park planning and design. Hopefully it gives insight into both the urban planning and themed entertainment industries and how they are interconnected. Hopefully you enjoy it! https://urbanetics.wordpress.com/2017/11/03/the-art-of-amusement-parks-people-place-and-planning-for-thrills/ I figured it could also be fun to start a conversation, so feel free to share any relevant insight or opinions. This could be anything from your favorite midways, plazas, or design elements of Kings Island (or any other park), as well as your own personal reasons why you like some areas better than others. Or if you have any fun memorizes associated with a specific location in the park, feel free to share that as well!
  7. All new photo trip report is up from Cedar Point's closing day! Between my first ever Dragster rollback to the last train of the season on Millennium Force, it was quite the way to end an incredible 2017 season. http://thrillsawait.weebly.com/trip-reports/my-first-dragster-rollback-the-last-train-on-millie-and-an-end-to-the-2017-season-cp-closing-day-1029
  8. Steel Vengeance Speechlessness and HalloWeekends Horror...Check out my latest trip report from Cedar Point this past Friday, 9/29. Plus I added an all new gallery featuring SV construction updates! http://thrillsawait.weebly.com/trip-reports/steel-vengeance-speechlessness-and-halloweekends-horror-cp-92917
  9. Dollar Days, massive chili cheese fries, and lots of great rides! Check it out in my latest blog post! http://thrillsawait.weebly.com/trip-reports/dollar-day-deliciousness-and-rockin-rides-kings-island-93
  10. On Friday, 8/11 I was able to visit KI for the second time this year! I had an awesome trip filled with tons of great riding. Read all about it and check out some cool pics in my latest report! http://thrillsawait.weebly.com/trip-reports/night-rides-or-bust-kings-island-8-11
  11. I decided to bring this topic back rather than creating a new one. The new 2017 Halloweekends Haunt website is live, showing that 3 haunts will be retired and replaced. Eternity Infirmary, Eden Musee, and Fear-y Tales will be getting the axe while Deprivation: No Way Out, Fearyground Freakshow, and Harvest Fear will all be new. An interesting thing to note is that Harvest Fear is listed as being in Frontiertown. However, with Tombstone Terror-tory and Cut Throat Cove already existing, plus Maniacal Mechanical Screamworks and CornStalkers along the Frontier Trail, I have no clue where this scare zone will be. I don't see where there's room back there for yet another one. Deprivation sounds like it will be a black out maze which I'm excited about since I've never experienced one before, and Freakshow sounds like what the name suggests. I'll be curious to find out what all that entails and how it's themed. Something of particular interest is that Midnight Syndicate is returning again for daily live shows. I'm thrilled about this, since I thoroughly enjoyed their performances a few years back when they were at Halloweekends. It was actually one of the highlights for me, and I can't wait to see what they do this year. Thank you Cedar Point for bringing them back! What are your thoughts on these new haunts as well as anything else about the upcoming HalloWeekends/Haunt? https://www.cedarpoint.com/halloweekends/haunt/
  12. I'm torn about this announcement. I absolutely love Universal and the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, as well their innovative use of technology and special effects to create immersive experiences. However I thought Dueling Dragons (both ride layouts) were among some of the best B&M inverts so I hope they get relocated rather than simply scrapped. Regardless, I will be excited to see what the replacement is. It sounds like it will be yet another groundbreaking and innovative ride.
  13. On Friday I made it back to CP for the first time in a month (crazy for me!). It was great to be back, and between checking out progress on Mean Streak and getting in some awesome night rides, the whole day was memorable. http://thrillsawait.weebly.com/trip-reports/theyrecoming-thrills-and-maverick-marathons-back-to-the-point-721
  14. On a road trip back home from the east coast last week, I had to make a detour at Dorney Park for a few hours. Check out this latest trip report about my time spent at the park! http://thrillsawait.weebly.com/trip-reports/crowds-craziness-and-coasters-dorney-park-715
  15. Hands down airtime for me. I absolutely love the feeling of weightlessness and flying out of your seat, so I especially prefer ejector air. However, I do love long, drawn out inversions especially barrel rolls/inline twists/etc. That twist on Banshee is one of my favorite coaster elements ever, but I still have to give it to airtime for winning this one. I realized that only 1 coaster in my top 10 has inversions (Maverick), so I guess that's pretty obvious that I prefer coasters with speed and airtime over inversions.
  16. I was on vacation for the past week but finally made my CoasterMania trip report and photo gallery! Between 17.6 miles of walking (seriously), lots of great ERT, and awesome RMC Mean Streak views, it was such a great day. http://thrillsawait.weebly.com/trip-reports/coastermania-2017-epic-ert-and-mean-streak-marvels
  17. Cedar Point Shores is awesome! I went for passholder preview day and was very impressed. In addition, I experienced Brew & BBQ (so much good food), checked out RMC Mean Streak progress, and met the famous Mean Streak Henry. It was an awesome trip and I just added my trip report and a CP Shores photo gallery! http://thrillsawait.weebly.com/trip-reports/cp-shores-brew-bbq-and-rmc-mean-streak-henry-cedar-point-526
  18. For one of my recent visits to Cedar Point, I went with my girlfriend and two of her friends. Between flying phones and passing out on Millennium Force, it was quite the memorable trip! http://thrillsawait.weebly.com/trip-reports/fresh-fries-feeling-the-force-and-a-stellar-sunset-cedar-point-522
  19. Hey everyone! Some of you may remember that a few years ago I would always post detailed trip reports whether it be Cedar Point, Kings Island, or any other park. Then I decided to create a blog to specifically post them on but life got in the way and I never really ended up using it and haven't posted trip reports much since. Well I decided to change that since I love writing them and hope other people enjoy hearing about my experiences too. Therefore I created a new blog to share trip reports, pictures, and other industry insight. So far I have an introductory post and a recent trip report to Carowinds as well as some pictures in the gallery featuring Cedar Point and the Carowinds trip. I'll try to post here whenever I add a new blog post or gallery update but feel free to follow along with it and check regularly for new posts! Hopefully everyone enjoys reading and seeing about all my park adventures! Here's my site: http://thrillsawait.weebly.com/
  20. I spent yesterday as well as Friday evening/night at the park, and I was able to ride Mystic Timbers 4 times. It truly is an incredible addition to the park and I loved the ride from the point I first saw its plaza. Everything about it was a homerun for the park, which I'll go ahead and describe in detail. Location When the first signs of construction appeared in this area last year, I was very skeptical that a coaster would be placed here. If you would've asked me where I thought KI's next coaster would go, I don't think I would have mentioned this location at all. Then once we got the blueprints, I was still curious about the exact placement since I truly didn't think that spot could successfully work for a new coaster. However, the Planning and Design Team as well as GCI proved me wrong. When the official ride layout was released, I was very impressed with how they integrated a decent length coaster with the woods and existing rides. After seeing and experiencing it in person, I honestly love the location, and it's hard to imagine Mystic Timbers not being there before. I love how from the parking lot you can just see the top of the lift hill peeking up, and same with from a few other areas of the park. I love the view standing near the Rivertown LaRosa's. Seeing Diamondback in the foreground with MT's lift hill behind it, it looks really nice and seems like a perfect fit for that area. That wood structure adds a nice focal point when walking towards it from that direction. I was very impressed with how many trees the park kept, which is especially noticeable from the Eiffel Tower. Rather than clear cutting everything around the ride, the park kept as much foliage as possible that wouldn't interfere with the layout, which I really appreciate. In addition, I give high admiration for the creativity incorporating the ride not only into the woods, but also around the train and White Water Canyon. Theming From the moment you come across the entrance plaza, the theming becomes evident and looks really nice in that area of the park. While the two separate panels of the ride sign and the vines that go right down the middle that block some of the letters still really bother me, once you look past that detail everything else is really well done. In the queue itself, I appreciate how it starts as a landscaped meandering path instead of additional back-and-forth queue blocks. From the use of security footage, misc signs themed to the lumber mill, and the shed structures, it's a really nice experience actually waiting in line. I feel like the side of the station and shed facing the queue could have been utilized to add additional signs/theming elements but this is just my personal opinion. As a whole I really love how much the park has stepped up its game in terms of theming and attention to detail. One of my favorite surprise theming elements was the queue music. I wish they didn't have the FunTVs playing over it at the same time (but thankfully the volume was low), but the creepy/Haunt-esque soundtrack playing in the queue really helped set the tone. I hope to see similar details like this in future Cedar Fair installations. Between this and the conversion of International Street back to orchestral music, I was very impressed. Another one of my personal favorite theming elements was the detail on the ride trains. The way the truck was incorporated into the front of the trains was brilliant, and I love the weathered look given to them. It definitely completely the feel and look the park was going for. Overall I just really enjoy the lumber mill theme and think the park pulled it off well. In terms of the storyline, I think the general park-goer won't really pick up on exactly what it is. The audio (both when you first enter the line, when you go up the stairs into the station, and up the lift can all be difficult to hear, especially if you're in a group of people/near people who are talking loudly. However if you can hear it and understand the premise, it's very clever. I especially enjoy the sound effect as you pull out of the station and how the lift hill slows when you're warned not to go in the shed before picking up speed with a screeching noise at the top. Ride Experience To start, the Millennium Flyer trains are very comfortable. Like I mentioned before, the lift audio recordings help add to the storyline and get you excited for the ride. The final audio and slow lift at the top really add a nice touch before flying down the first drop. The laterals at the bottom really caught me off guard--I was not expecting to slam into the side of my seat as hard as I did, especially when sitting in the back. The ride truly never lets up from when it drops to when it comes back into the brake run. You are constantly out of your seat and flying to the side. It has the perfect mix of airtime and laterals, and per usual with GCI, you get some crazy and unique forces in places where you least expect them. My favorite part of the ride is the little twister section leading up to the tunnel. You really fly all around and it's actually pretty out-of-control and intense. I rode in the very front, very back, and twice towards the back. While many reviews I've seen rave about the front row being the best, I have to disagree. I was personally blown away by the back and thought it felt more like a mini Maverick than a family woodie. I'd highly recommend riding in the back at night...that really is an incredible experience and left me breathless. The shed, as I assume most people have heard by now, is nothing super crazy or but adds a nice touch to what could have been a long, boring end of the ride. I'd much rather have what it is than nothing at all. While I do agree it was overhyped, or that the quality could have been increased to match up to the hype, it's a fun little ending that's better than Adventure Express' (which someone behind me one time compared it to). However, on my very first ride the shed didn't work properly (the lights came on and what was supposed to happen didn't happen--to put it in a way that doesn't give away spoilers). I had already heard what was in the shed so at least I knew that it was a faulty experience but still disappointing for my first ride. However it seemed to be working fine after that and I got 2 of the 3 experiences. Overall Kings Island has a true winner on their hands. Not only does it provide a great family coaster that younger thrill seekers can ride, but I personally rank it high overall out of my favorites. Each time I rode it, I loved it more and more. I definitely prefer the back to the front, and night rides are significantly better even. The ride does seem to go way faster than 53mph and is filled with unique elements and forces that you can't experience on any other KI coaster (or many coasters at other parks even). Already I'm looking forward to my next visit to ride it some more. Kudos to Kings Island and Cedar Fair for an excellent addition!
  21. I'm so happy to see the park continue to progress and improve. Even the little thing like small initiatives to improve guest experience such as the paper cups, the app, and other miscellaneous enhancements all contribute to making Kings Island one of the best parks in the world. I can't wait to get there and ride Mystic Timbers in addition to everything else it has to offer!
  22. I'd say that Backlot has the best/most theming during the actual ride experience but that Banshee has the best theming/atmosphere before riding and surrounding the actual ride itself. I really do enjoy BLSC and some of its effects and props, and I think it has the most out of any other ride in the park. Banshee just excels with the whole package between the station, sign, tombstones, light posts/railings, fog, etc. While some of these are noticed on the ride itself (especially at night with the lights), it is mostly for an off-ride visual/thematic approach. Going off of that, I really hope Cedar Fair does more Banshee-esque theming and atmospheres with new rides. While all the new additions have dramatically been better in regards to this, I still think none of the new rides in the past few years have been able to top Banshee's comprehensiveness and overall quality.
  23. Hope you had a great time too! I didn't look too closely at them but I believe they had Millennium Force and maybe Raptor. Not entirely sure what they were but I think they had the original advertisements/ride promo videos for these rides.
  24. Front here we had lunch in the Lakeside Dining Room. There was a delicious salad bar, soups, pastas, cookies, and cobbler. It was great to sit down, relax, and warm up before going to the Q&A session. Tony and Jason hosted it, and gave a presentation that summarized the new changes coming to the park for the year. Highlights included: -New "Lights, Camera, Action!" show in the Jack Aldrich Theatre. -Return of Luminosity with all new special-effects and acrobatics, as well as continuing to offer diverse music in order to appeal to all ages. -Cedar Point Express Hotel has a nice refreshed look and logo that includes the Gatekeeper keyhole flyover. Some pictures of the ongoing renovation were also shown. -Bottle-less Season Drink plan--still have the option to purchase a souvenir bottle, but another choice is to not have to worry about the hassle and inconvenience of carrying around a bottle by receiving a new disposable cup each time a drink is ordered using the all-season drink pass (via scanning your season pass). -The Battle for Cedar Point is returning and will be expanded with more queue trivia and entertainment. -This year's tweetup coin will feature the Cedar Point Shores logo. -Beginning this year, all CoasterMania participants will receive a commemorative pin with the year. -Coaster Campout is returning again in May. -Melt Bar and Grilled, the Cleveland Based extreme grilled cheese restaurant/bar will be coming to the park. All because of a tweet jokingly sent out by Tony, Melt replied with serious interest to open a location. It will replace Joe Cool's cafe, the ugly "Wendy's greenhouse" windows will be removed and an outdoor patio will be added. The contract was just signed at 4pm the previous day, and the restaurant is expected to open toward the end of May. -Professor Delbert's Frontier Fling's new name and location was given (although I'm sure everyone already knew and had seen it), and we were also shown its logo. It seems very steampunk but looks really cool and combines mechanical/frontier elements. It will remain an upcharge attraction. -Barnyard is receiving a new entrance, will be expanded, and new animals will be added including another camel and I believe also an ox. -Pony rides will be added in front of the Blacksmith based on feedback and guest surveys. -Somebody asked if there were any plans to bring Midnight Syndicate back, and the vague/hint responses by Jason and Tony made it seem like there could be some possible plans for that, although they didn't confirm it. -Virtual Reality will be returning to Iron Dragon for several months beginning in June I believe and after 6pm when the park is open until 10pm or later. No paperwork or registration will be required unlike last season. Based on Samsung's requirements, the minimum age to ride with Virtual Reality will be 13. It will be the same animation as last year. -A picture of Mean Streak taken from what looked like the bottom of the first drop looking up toward the first element was shown. We were told that more details will be announced when it is beneficial for the park's business, which does make sense. But still it's torture for all of us! Following a short Q&A session, prizes were given away including ride promo VCRs, bags, Mean Streak goodbye pins, and other random stuff. The 10:30 group was the last to be dismissed, and since there were still plenty of extra giveaways, Tony let everyone from my group pick something out before leaving. Following this, we went into one of the ride maintenance buildings. It's always really cool to check out, and it's crazy to see all the coaster trains dismantled with various parts all over the place. The entire event was such a blast, and I couldn't have asked for a better experience. While it ended up being really chilly and windy, that couldn't stop our fun and enjoyment. The hard part now is just waiting until May for the park to open! On the way out, we received an insulated bag, calendar, scarf, and light up foam wand. Everything was greatly appreciated. See you in a few months, CP!
  25. The tour continued by stopping next to the Cedar Point Shores construction site. We didn't get to actually go through it but still had some good perspectives. There's a lot of work to be done but I'm sure they'll be able to get it all finished in time for its opening toward the end of May. It was cool to see the construction of several buildings like the new restaurant and to see the vertical progress of Point Plummet. In addition, the at-grade crossing and new entrance gate by Magnum are coming along and look a lot different from what that area used to be like. (Goodbye Tunnel of Love.) I really am glad the park is finally getting their waterpark up to par. For such an amazing amusement park, it needs a waterpark to match in terms of quality. While I'll have to experience it in person to find out for sure, it even sounds like the park is putting a lot of emphasis on aesthetics. We were told that extra consideration and thought is going into adding more shade, better connecting views of the beach, increased seating, better landscaping, and a lake resort theme throughout. I'm very excited to see the finished product. We were also able to see the construction of Hotel Breakers' new 6 story, 158 room addition. It will include a direct indoor connection to the rest of the hotel, a pool, and consist of standard rooms with a large amount of rooms with connecting doors to cater to large groups/families. Honestly, one of my favorite parts of this section of the tour (and of the entire event), was seeing Mean Streak in person. While in the CP Shores area, we were able to get a good view of Mean Streak 2.0's 1st element that has been a hot topic online lately. Again, all pictures I took of Mean Streak were in approved photography areas. All I can say is WOW. This coaster is truly going to be fantastic, I can already tell. I feel like the park will have a winner and will create one of the best coasters in its collection, if not even the ultimate best. To be continued...
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