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A great adventure, 5 parks, 4 days


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As you all know we went on a whirlwind tour of 5 parks over the July 4th weekend. Several KICers took part. UnrealNightmare (Zach), NoChickens (Rick), MrsNoChickens (Dee), Andrew (Andrew on here I believe), Beastie1980 (Melissa), Princess Sparkles (Katie) and myself.

This trip was originally planned for August, but Katie would have missed two days of school to go. We were told by many people we were crazy to plan a trip on a holiday weekend like this. While I cannot deny that we might be a little (a lot) crazy, we experienced minimal crowds for the most part and had a great time.

I want to say a very special thank you to Zach. He's pretty much my partner in crime. He comes up with ideas and I say ok. Thank you for planning this trip. I was having a very difficult time and you've gone out of your way to help make this trip stress free for me. I needed that.

Dee and Rick - I am so happy you all went with us. Thank you for allowing the girls to ride with you some for more leg room for us. Dee you're a great friend who gives the best hugs when you need them - I don't care what others say about hugs.

Andrew - thank you for tolerating the craziness of our group. I know we are a handful and loud at times. Thank you for letting us take your car, too.

Melissa and Katie - I love you two. Thank you both for having great attitudes during this trip as the three of us pursued our 100 coasters.

Melanie - thanks for being an amazing friend and for trusting us with your most valued treasure. (Melissa's mom, momofbeastie1980). The only thing that could have made this trip more perfect is if you could have gone with us.

The girls really did not know where we were going except Katie overheard me talk about our final stop. The parks included Dorney, Six Flags Great Adventure, Six Gags America (oops Six Flags America), Kings Dominion and Carowinds with an additional trip to Hendricks Motorsports Museum.

This will take a couple of days to compile due to work and Katie's birthday tomorrow, but I will try to break it down so it doesn't get too boring.

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July 4

Well not only are we crazy to do a trip like this, but there was a hurricane in the forecast. Thankfully it only rained at one park which was our first stop.

Dorney

We arrived about the time the park opened. It was rainy and actually chilly for a summer day. However, due to the rain virtually everything was walk on or a train wait.

Talon was our first ride. It's a decent coaster that is pretty smooth.

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Next was a top spin called Hangtime. Hangtime was fun and better than the one we broke at Worlds of Fun (it shut down after our ride). I love top spins.

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Next was Hydra. Hydra is my very first floorless coaster. While I did not like the roll at the beginning, it's a good ride (just my least favorite floorless).

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Next was Thunderhawk. It's the oldest wooden coaster I have ridden. It was built in the mid 1920's. Very rough coaster, but enjoyable.

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Steel Force. What an awesome ride. I want to go back and ride on a sunny day. It was raining pretty hard when we were on it making it feel like a million little daggers were hitting our faces.

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The Whip does exactly what the name says, it whips you around. It's an old school flat.

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Possessed is a lot like Wicked Twister at Cedar Point, but has one end that is straight. I liked this one. I wish they offered steps up though for short people on rides like this because it's quite the work out jumping up to the seat.

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Meteor was an awesome flat. I think Dee has pics of it in motion.

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Wild Mouse is good, but so many seem similar. I strongly prefer the ones that spin. I love the paint job on the trains.

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More to come soon!

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Lora,

Again I want to thank you and everyone that participated in this trip for putting up with me. I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope to do it again with y'all.

You are welcome for using my car. Saved you some money in gas as we averaged anywhere from 37-40 miles per gallon the entire trip.

Six Gags America...Lora is EXACTLY right. Dee and Rick went right onto Kings Dominion and did not go to SFAm. Good decision on their part.

I was afraid my car would be up on cinder blocks by the time we left and that's no joke.

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It saved a small fortune in gas. I even got a roll back in your car.

July 4 second stop. Six Flags Great Adventure.

With my first experience ever being at Six Flags Kentucky Kingdom I was not entirely sure what to expect with other Six Flags parks. Six Flags St. Louis a couple weeks ago was decent. I enjoyed the park. So I was a little more optimistic with Six Flags Great Adventure.

If you have not gone to Great Adventure, do yourself a favor and go. The park is worth the drive. The employees are great. The themes are wonderful. They have a wonderful assortment of rides. It's simply an excellent example of how a park should be ran.

El Toro. I have to admit I had a walk of shame on this ride initially. I was sitting on the very back seat. I was a bit discouraged because I has seen people bigger than me on there and I've been trying to lose weight. I exited the station and waited for the group.

With encouragement from the group I went back and was able to ride and ride comfortably.

El Toro is a beautiful wooden coaster. I cannot say it's my favorite woodie, that would be Ravine Flyer II at Waldameer in Erie, PA. I really need to go back to Six Flags Great Adventure and see if I can place El Toro as #1.

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Bizarro - love this ride. It was a lot better than Hydra.

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More to come.

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Thank you.

July 4 Six Flags Great Adventure continued

Great Adventure has a lot to offer. Without making this extremely lengthy, here are a few additional highlights.

Dark Knight. While this is a pretty basic Wild Mouse coaster, the theming of this ride makes it really cool. You enter a room with a large group of people. You watch a snippet of a Batman movie. Then you go into the queue to ride. One thing to keep in mind is if you are the last train on this ride and no one is in queue from the next group they may let you ride a second time. (We re-rode.).

One ride I most looked forward to riding was not a coaster, but a flat. While I love coasters, I love good flats.

Houdini's Great Escape is a dizzying experience. If you easily get motion sickness, it would probably not be a good ride. I thought this was cool. The theatrics (for lack of better words) was decent. I really enjoyed this ride.

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Kingda Ka was the coaster I most looked forward to riding. I have not rode TTD at Cedar Point. The first time we went to CP the line was long then it began to storm. The last time we were there, it was not operational.

Ka is an amazing ride. It's fun. It's smooth. It's fast. I loved Ka.

Zumanjaro (The Big Droppy Thing) it is absolutely worth waiting in line to ride, however the lines move slowly (I did not know at the time Ka and Zumanjaro could not run at the same time.) it goes up fairly quick (I think 30mph) and drops you at 90mph. The drop is intense and awesome. Watching the fireworks from Zumanjaro is awesome.

Unfortunately I did not get a chance to ride Green Lantern. I had rode it when it was Chang at Kentucky Kingdom and had hoped to ride it again. I suppose that is as good of an excuse to go back as I really need.

The only major line we experienced was for Zumanjaro. Considering it was a holiday weekend I could not be more pleased.

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July 5 Six Flags America.

Dee and Rick did not go to this park. They went on to Kings Dominion. Lucky Dogs.

Well, I was hoping all the things I had heard about this park were not true. After an enjoyable time at Six Flags St. Louis and a wonderful time at Great Adventure, I hoped that the things I had were not true.

We walked through to security and were greeted by a very sweet security guard. She was smiling and happy. Aside from the costumed characters, she was the highlight of the park.

I have to say that the park exceeded the expectations, but it was worse than I heard. I can say it takes effort to be as bad of a park as this.

It was a busy day. The lines were not long, they just move at such a slow pace. The ride ops have no sense of urgency whatsoever.

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The best example if the worst was the crew at Batwing. Batwing is very similar to Firehawk. We were in line and it moved painstakingly slow. The gal at the mic was singing (poorly) and the two gals with her were grooving to her howls. Initially it was funny, but quickly got old. She asked if anyone would like to request a song and someone requested loudly that she shut up. About the time we were a train or so away, the ride malfunctioned. We got out of line and returned later.

Melissa, Katie and I stood in line to ride Batwing an hour or two later. When we got in line, there was maybe a 4 train wait. It took an hour to get through because they were so slow.

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The coasters are nothing spectacular. They do have Jokers Jinx that is like Flight of Fear, but outdoors.

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I will say their costumed characters were probably the best of any park we went to.

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July 5th pm - July 6

Kings Dominion.

This park is the best Cedar Fair park I have been to. It is beautifully landscaped. They have an excellent selection of coasters and flats. I struggle with which park is better between Kings Dominion and Six Flags Great Adventure. Both are marvelous.

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Well, for starters I need to give props to Zach. Katie, Melissa and I were in pursuit of our 100th coasters. I was going to hit 100 first, followed by Katie then Melissa was 3 behind her.

When we arrived at the park I believe I was at 96 coasters. Katie and I both decided we wanted to have Intimidator 305 as our 100th.

We first ride Grizzly. It was a fun, but bumpy woodie. It has small seats.

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Hurler is violent. The only coaster less enjoyable is Timberwolf at Worlds of Fun. Hurler gave me a neck adjustment and honestly my neck has not felt better in a long time.

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Well once I hit 99 coasters, Dee took the girls to ride Avalanche. Rick, Andrew. Zach and I headed to I305. I told Zach I really wanted front row, but they had it blocked off for a parent swap. The couple in front of us asked if they could ride front row and the ride op said yes. Zach told him it was my 100th coaster and he nicely allowed us in the front row.

Before we were dispatched, the ride op announced my 100 coaster. It was cool! When we returned he welcomed me back. I cannot imagine a better way to have my 100th coaster experience.

Intimidator 305 is awesome. I love the speed, smoothness and essentially every thing about this ride. It flies up the lift hill and does not let up. I cannot say it tops my favorite Banshee, but it's a close second.

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Well the park closed and we headed to the hotel.

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We returned the following morning and meet up with my friend Cathy, her daughter Kris and her grandchildren Em and Callie. I have "known" Cathy online for years. She has shown extraordinary amounts of kindness to us over the years. I so appreciate her making the trek to meet in person.

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I had the privilege of taking Em on her first coaster, Great Pumpkin Coaster. She loved it.

Cathy and her family went to the water park. We really aren't water park people so we went back to riding rides. (More on that as time allows.)

As I have been going through pics, I found some that at least make me laugh. They pretty much sum up our trips to parks.

My daughter is crazy.

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Andrew willingly said he would have his picture taken with a Charlie Brown statue unlike Zach who refused.

Andrew is standing like nothing is going on. Katie is trying to drag Zach to get his pic taken with Charlie Brown and Melissa is right behind (it's not a zombie).

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Andrew is still stand like nothing is going on. Katie in the background trying to play Tug of War with Zach.

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Both Katie and Melissa attack.

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Followed by Em running in to help.

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This pretty much sums up any park experience so far this season and probably why OhioColts is leery of any more trips to Kings Island with our group.

More about Kings Dominion to come.

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I really cannot wait to return to this park. It has such an excellent variety of rides.

Avalanche was a great ride. I do wish they had a Jamaican flag. It's a fun bobsled ride.

The Crypt is a fun top spin. I miss our former ride so much.

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I did not get to hear them sing.

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Unfortunately I will have to add pics later of Katie's 100 coaster. I have them on my camera and haven't uploaded them yet.

Thank you Chris for talking to Logan (ride op on I 305). I told Logan I had my 100th ride the night before and this is my daughters 100th and he knew about it. She did not get an announcement, but he knew about it.

I bought the girls white tshirts to decorate in honor of their 100th coaster.

Melissa

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Katie

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I can go on and on about Kings Dominion. However this would be very lengthy. I will finish KD with we had to evac Rebel Yell after an over 30 minute wait and had about a 15 minute delay in Boo Blasters on Boo Hill. Most of us had never had an evac or stranded on a ride more than a few minutes and it happened twice. I will do BBOBH Reviews at some point between the parks (Katie loves BBOBH).

A few more random KD pics.

Dee cracks me up.

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The ride op is a good sport.

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Great report so far!

The gal at the mic was singing (poorly) and the two gals with her were grooving to her howls. Initially it was funny, but quickly got old. She asked if anyone would like to request a song and someone requested loudly that she shut up.

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!! What was the gal's response?

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Zach may have been fighting it, but at least that looks (much) easier than getting Jonathan into a picture with the big noodle!

LOL! Somebody's been taking lessons from me. :D

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LoraX, had I known about trips like these beforehand there could be a chance I would come along as well. By reading your trip reports it looks to me like you guys have a blast. But I would love to come along someday! :D (and my Platinum Pass would get me in for free at Dorney Park and Kings Dominion!)

Even if I don't come on these trips, we still have plenty of fun at Kings Island together. Can't go wrong with that! :)

(Who knows, maybe we can meet up if we're at the park together when I take my 250th ride on Vortex! I just hit 245 on Wednesday.)

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July 8

Carowinds.

It was a very hot and humid day when we arrived. It seemed to cool somewhat quickly.

This park is a nice park. It's like Dorney and not necessarily a destination park, but it's a good park. By the time we arrived here I have to admit I was exhausted.

Dee and Rick headed home on Sunday. I wish they could have came along for the full trip. Maybe next time!

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Melissa needed 3 coasters to reach 100. Her 100th coaster was Intimidator. Intimidator was Zach's 200th coaster a couple years ago.

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I have to say I like Intimidator better than Diamondback.

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Hurler at Carowinds is much smoother than Hurler at Kings Dominion.

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I hang my head in shame because I did not ride Flying Eagles. Zach said he pointed them out and I apparently ignored him.

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LoraX, had I known about trips like these beforehand there could be a chance I would come along as well. By reading your trip reports it looks to me like you guys have a blast. But I would love to come along someday! :D (and my Platinum Pass would get me in for free at Dorney Park and Kings Dominion!)

Even if I don't come on these trips, we still have plenty of fun at Kings Island together. Can't go wrong with that! :)

(Who knows, maybe we can meet up if we're at the park together when I take my 250th ride on Vortex! I just hit 245 on Wednesday.)

I think we are going a week from today in the evening to Kings Island.

We are putting our passes to good use. It's the first year we have upgraded to Platinum. We have Six Flags as well. The Six Flags season passes are inexpensive especially if you buy a group of 4 or more.

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Final trip stop - a surprise for Melissa. Hendricks Motorsports Museum and garages. These are free things you can do if you are in the area.

Growing up in Indy, we've had racing around us all the time. I don't follow racing or follow anyone specific for Indy Car or NASCAR.

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We have rode Boo Blasters On Boo Hill at Kings Island, Kings Dominion and Carowinds.

As you may know, my daughter loves BBOBH. we ride BBOBH almost every time we go to KI. (Oddly enough, we did not ride on her birthday.)

BBOBH is probably the longest of the three we've ridden. The theming in it annoys me. Many things do not work. It seems extraordinarily generic. The guns work minimally at times.

BBOBH at Carowinds seems like the shortest one. The guns work less frequently than the ones at KI. The crew is probably the friendliest of any crew (including coasters and flats) in the parks we visited. Very pleasant experience.

Kings Dominion is by far the best. Guns worked. Targets worked. It was smaller than the one at Kings Island. We rode this one twice even getting stuck the second time for 15 minutes.

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Zach, you like the abuse and torture.

Just because I have this started, we went to Kings Island last night for Katie's birthday. I was very happy to ride Banshee three more times. Out of all the coasters I have ridden over the past week, Banshee is still my favorite. I truly hope that Kings Island continues to pay attention to the things they have done with Banshee, specifically the theming. While "theming" does not necessarily enhance the actual ride (at times I think it can) it really adds to the full package of the park experience.

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From back to the front of our group - Zach, Melissa and Katie, Lucas (OhioColts) and Duncan. I forget Duncan's name on here.

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This was not only Katie's actual birthday, but A Kid Again Day. I got to see my friends Amber, Steven and KK. This is the family that I wanted to do the A Scream For A Kid fundraiser for.

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I can say meeting this family has been one of the most rewarding things I've had in my life. Amber's example of what a dynamic mom does has helped me be a better mom. Both Amber and Steven got to ride Banshee and loved it.

When I met Amber, it was on July 10, 2012 at the Ed Alonzo show. We were able to watch Cirque Imagine. It was great being able to see them again.

The new additions to Cirque Imagine are really good. It's just a really good show all the way around. As Amber said she loved Ed and hoped he returned to Kings Island this year, she was well pleased with Cirque Imagine. Both are great shows that cannot be fairly compared to one another.

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Katie taking selfie taken with someone wearing a horse head. Thank you BoddaH for tweeting this out.

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KICers waiting in line for the last train of the night on The Beast.

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I am pleased to announce that BoddaH is coaching Katie in the art of courtship in hopes she can court a certain ride op.

Happy birthday Katie!

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As long as it won't mean creating a thread on here to try to hook up with an employee (anyone else remember that last year?)...That thread just got creepy.

Anyway, glad you've had so many awesome park trips lately!

This is different. Katie has found true love. I wish her the best in her courtship full of side-hugs and chaperoned dates with her 18 brothers and sisters.
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I have 19 kids if Katie has 18 brothers and sisters. I struggle keeping Cody and Katie and Chloe (my doggie) names straight. How am I going to remember 17 more names? When I struggle with their names I am gently reminded (normally by Cody) "Male Child" or "Female Child" followed by "you know I am talking to you!"

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It was a great trip to be sure, though I wish we had ridden Talon again without the rain. The ride we took on Steel Force without the rain was much better, sorry you missed that one.

I will also say, like Andrew I wish we hadn't skipped Kingda Ka. While I will admit I was intimidated in general, the lack of eye protection was the deal breaker.

Overall I'd call it a toss up between NJFTP and Kings Dominion, both are very high up on my "must return" list, and both deserve a full day instead of a whirlwind tour.

Six Flags Great Adventure was great. The park in general had a great feel to it, and was full of energy. El Toro is awesome, and the name fits, a bucking bull intent on dislodging you from its back. Sadly this experience could've been better if the cars didn't have graphics made to resemble a Kia Soul, really? When I think "bucking bull", a Kia is not what comes to mind. Nitro was also a very fun ride, the transitions into the 2nd? and 5th? drops were quite unexpected, wish they had incorporated at least 1 of those into Diamondback. Skull Mountain and The Dark Knight are both decent dark rides, almost inexcusable KI doesn't have something like them. Like I said, I will go back and give this park a full day visit.

Kings Dominion was also outstanding, and really better than I had expected. Avalanche was nothing short of just plain fun, nothing intense about it, just FUN and semi unique, only bobsled coaster I've ridden, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Grizzly was fun as well, nothing special, but fun. Hurler, you can have it, one ride was enough for me. Now, Volcano on the other hand, WOW! What a ride! Nothing short of fantastic, the line was long, but glad I waited for it. Blast coaster is just that, a BLAST! Wish we had rode I305 the same train as you for your 100th, but glad you got the front !! This ride is also nothing short of awesome!! It grabs you up the lift, throws you over the top, and never lets up. Great smooth, quick transitions. The turns are so quick I actually felt some air time just transitioning from one turn to the next. And the turn after the first drop, INTENSE!. This is another park I will be giving a full day of attention in the future.

Glad we went, had a great time. :-D

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