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May 19, 2015
Wright Patt AFB, OH
Evening everyone, long time lurker-ish. I checked in every now and then for updates, nothing major. Figured I'd finally join and keep up to date, especially after this trip I'm typing up. Wow was it a huge highlight during week.

First off, bit of backstory with the trip. Me and a few friends decided to head to Carowinds for Fury 325 and figured while in the area, lets knock out KD & BGW as well and do a week of coasters since we all had time to do so. After three days at CW riding Fury (fantastic btw, not the best, but best Giga hands down) we headed to Sandston, VA. We wanted to be in the middle ground between that and KD and stay in one hotel. First off there, do not book the Motel 6 right there next to the Airport. The rooms are the remodeled Motel 6 rooms which are quite nice, however that place is less than desirable to stay at. Between being right at the beginning of April with nice warm temperatures, the AC was turned off for the building, and then the clientele and area seemed less than trustworthy. None of us felt comfortable leaving a $40k+ rental sitting outside and quite alot of personal belongings in the car or even the hotel room. I mean we were unloading the stuff to the room, and we left the door open in between trips to carry our bags and stuff in, and a gentlemen went up to the door and awkwardly stared in for a few seconds while we were at the car. Majorly creeped out, so left there and headed up the road to a Courtyard Marriot. Price point hurt, but hey, it had a bar, pool, and those comfortable beds. Night and day difference just a few minutes up the road.

Anyways onto the trip. Being since the last time I was at the park, BBW still stood tall, it's been quite a long time since I got to enjoy it. Since we were going to spend the whole day in the park we pulled out all the stops to make this a sweet trip. We booked the coaster insider tour, got the two ticket meal plan, and I got a season pass to use later, and help my other friends out financially by using my discount on purchases.

We got to the front gate bright and early, we were the first car sitting there waiting for them to open, it'd odd being there that early and not seeing anything run or move while being so quiet. Once the tolls came to life, a security car escorted us back to preferred parking, where we immediately claimed the closest spot you can get. That was such a perk, right there past the pavilions next to the fence. Closest spot in the park, I'll take it. Anyways we got our lanyards and off we went. Also might I add the turnstiles at that park are so convenient. Took five seconds to get my season pass printed with the automated machine and then fingerprint taken care of. Short, simple sweet.



Everyone used the restroom and off we went. First stop Nessie. It's so nice to stand next to Arrow track and see bits and pieces of them in bins waiting for trains to be worked on. After working on Arrows all season at Cedar Point one year, you do miss being below the station looking around from time to time. Here is my only critique with the insider tour. Yes I know it's curtailed to a wide audience including average park goers. But asking "where does the upstop wheel go" makes me just roll my eyes. Won't lie I just walked around and took pictures for awhile seeing people learn for the first time what an anti-rollback does (hmm I wonder). It also allowed me to take a quick picture accidentally and make a meme of one of our tour guides. If anyone knows the guy, be sure to send it his way, I forget his name and don't care to zoom in on a tag :p






After a few photo ops, time to enjoy Griffon. This was such a blast to do, and worth my money right here. I convinced my other friends to join in before the trip. They were skeptical at first not wanting to go up there without fall protection, but peer pressure does work still :). After a ride up the funicular, a very pleasant view was available. Still a quiet park, not much alive, no noises really aside from a few rides testing and coming to life. The only bad part up there was a nice strong breeze made the legs quite chilly, but nonetheless, what a view of the River and the surrounding park. Once we got down, we waited for the rest of the groups to go up and scout around as we were the first to go. Also this is when I discovered it's nice to sometimes have a camera with a ridiculous zoom on it. Best $300 I ever spent on a camera.










After everyone enjoyed the lift walk it was time to head to a maintenance shed to take a look at the train off of the track and watch them transfer on to get ready to open. It's neat seeing the trains from this perspective and up close, the best part is even though they have ridiculously strict tolerances in spots and very complex parts in places, it's still relatively simple in design. I mean even the chain dog that drops to catch the chain on the first drop, it's so simple, but works perfectly.










Then it was time to ride. Getting to basically use the tour guides as pack mules for loose articles, bypass the line, and get two back to back rides on everything, what a steal. I felt like we used the guy honestly, if I ever meet him again on another trip I'm planning on tipping, because he ended up holding phones, SLR's, and several other items it was hilarious to watch.



Next up was Alpengeist. This is still to this day my favorite invert. It and Afterburn at Carowinds are very close, but the theming takes the cake for me here. Having that train and such a unique lift hill design just make the ride perfect. May not be as forceful as Afterburn, but it does give off speed and smoothness. The maintenance shed part to us seemed somewhat boring aside from just looking at a train. The magnetic brake part was a neat treat and seeing how a B&M inverts ratcheting OTSR works, but it wasn't anything crazy fantastic like Griffon or Nessie at that point. I think however the other lingering issue by this point was we were excited to do everything, but my oh my were we quite hungry. Being up since 6 to make the drive in time and hit the tour at start time and then smelling all of the epic food cooking in the park didn't help our case. After the tour it was time to ride again, thanks pack mule!





On the way we had a quick BGW history before Verbolten involving Das Katzchen. I need to share these pictures I took because for some reason I just picture the song "To the Window..To The Wall" by Lil' John and chuckle everytime.



Anyways, onto Verbolten. This was the ride I was most excited to ride. For years I've watched videos and pictures off ride and POVs shot and just overall fascinated with it. Launches, free falls, tribute to it's predecessor, such a fantastic looking coaster. I really do miss seeing BBW, it was the absolute best Arrow Suspended I've ever been on, and it's sad to see it's becoming a dying breed of coaster in the world, but I'll take it's replacement. Two back to back rides of Spirit (what I wanted to see the most and saw for the first ride) and Storm (meh). Regardless though, comfy trains, excellent theming everywhere involving the ride, great launches, nice laterals, and then to conclude the building, that free fall drop needs to be replicated more here in the US. Why haven't other parks picked this design up? It's seriously perfect in what it does, and seems relatively straightforward. I get Zierer charges an arm and a leg but that alone is worth it. Maverick, this and Magnum XL-200 are tied for my favorite coaster. It's hard to choose between the three, they all are perfectly fantastic in setting out what they wanted to achieve. Brilliant ride by the park IMO. After the ride we got a tour of the ride building with all lights off which really wasn't a big deal as it's pitch black in there for most of the time minus a few lights flickering on and off as a train whizzes by. I wish they maybe did this tour earlier in the day to get a chance to see it with the house lights on, or maybe send a few trains empty while we're in there or something. I enjoyed the tour more while the door was open letting light flood into the building than I did standing and bumping next to people looking for lights to turn on and catch a glimpse of track. Plus I'd love to go over and see the drop track for myself and function if possible considering you only can see glimpses of everything with how they have the curtains and building separating everything.

Once we left the building we walked near the launch and the big hill finale over the Rhine. It's such a really well put together ride now. I heard of issues that plagued it for awhile but wow it does a great job now. The theming alone sells me on it, the bridge out signs, the jacked up roof, the trains alone, it's such a neat ride. Also while walking around that drop track makes a ton of ruckus and the ground shakes everywhere around it. Not sure if subs contribute to the shaking, but wow you can feel it move.

Then to finish it up at Verbolten we got to view the control room which was neat seeing it operate on the screens, aside from that hearing about blocks was somewhat disinteresting (for people who are/were prior ride ops and big time enthusiasts, this info is as basic as can be). However again, seeing IR video of the drop track working was a really pleasant treat up there.










Finishing up we went over to Apollo's Chariot for quick rides. This is such a great B&M Hyper. The hills at return helix is so unlike other Hypercoasters as most use a Hammerhead to turn the train around or just a plain old curve, it's such a welcome change to the lot. Then to finish with some nice negative g's on the last few airtime hills, great stuff.


Then to finish our day, we ended where we started, good old Nessie. It rode a bit rougher in the front than I remembered last, but still a great ride. I'll always enjoy the crazy long helix and abrubt hill before the second lift. Then the interlocking loops, it's going to always be such a timeless classic. After we finished our rides, we were given a quick queue to skip the lines for one more time on each coaster again for the day and told we'd have some images waiting for us later to pick up. Cool stuff, thanks to them, great tour guides for the most part, and seriously, being pack mules deserves a tip, tip them if you take the tour, I felt so bad by the end of the day using them.


From there, we were hungry as hell, food had to happen. We decided to hike over to Festhaus for the new Barrel show and grab some food. Man has it been too long since I enjoyed BGW and their food. It's seriously the best in the business when it comes to seasonal parks. Good stuff, reasonable prices, and nice portions. With the meal plan to get a plate of food and a drink, I'll call it a deal. I upgraded and feasted while we watched the show adding a beer and a few others to my plate. I felt so good after that lunch, not going to lie. German sampler, torte cake, pickle, beer, and a soda..Life is good. Being a normal visitor of Cedar Fair parks, this took the cake, literally. Also while there, the live e was fantastic. CF has lately been stepping up their game with live e with shows like Luminosity, Cirque Imagine, and a few roaming bands and whatnot, but seeing live music, singing, and acrobat work while mirroring the show on each side of the stage, great work! I enjoyed the show while chowing down on a pile of food like I didn't eat for a week, great environment. It really does make me miss the park and dread that I'm not close enough to it to frequently visit. Curse you 8 hour drives.

Speaking of Curses, that was next on the agenda. My normal parks seem to not know what the term dark ride is, or at least until recently. This ride is one of the best in class for seasonal parks. I really don't enjoy shoot-em-up rides, so having actual sets to interact with aside from the screens, physical effects (air, water, etc.) and then a really sweet ride simulator to move us around was quite enjoyable. Triotech needs to take note, I don't think WMG or any of the other new CF installations will top what Dark Kastle will pull off. What made me even happier was on that day all the effects seemed to work without issues.

From there we went to the car and take a food coma for a little bit of time. Once we got back it was time to hit up Pompeii. For years I don't know why this forum has had an Anti-Pompeii vibe about it. When the theming works, this is the best shoot the chute made. All others, ya go up, turn around, and come down. Common, ya get fire, music, theming, and a good sized drop. It needs to be here to stay, it's the best in category no doubt. Plus, if you like fire and SFX, cool it's got it down.




From there we headed up into Italy some more to enjoy the sites while scavenging for dinner by that point. After one large meal, why not finish with another right? This park is beautiful, always has been. I wish other parks took the hint. Some CF parks have a charm to them, but not to this detail. From the landscaping, to the buildings, to the lack of pop music, it's just as enjoyable to walk around in as it is to do things here.







For dinner we ended up stopping in Italy for a Spaghetti entree meal. The fact the park has food options like this makes me quite happy. I'm used to Panda Express, funnel cakes, hot dogs, and random snacks. To have sit down options like this makes me want to stay in the park to eat, and take it all in. Plus I don't think I'd get bored with the food options ever. After dinner, more walking and enjoying, also taking in that 42x zoom, man does it allow me to get right in on the action.




From there with the last few hours in the park we went around and repeated the coasters. We really didn't focus on many flats as either they had a bit of a line, and two we enjoyed the coasters here so much. If I could sit and marathon Verbolten and Alpengeist I would. They seriously are perfect.

To finish the night up we got a few souvenirs out of the way for us and people back home. I give credit to the parks for having high quality merch. Take KI or CWinds for example. If it doesn't have the park name plastered on it or a ride logo, it isn't for sale. To get a nice Stein, an official Rugby polo, and a Guinness shirt, I was quite happy with myself. I wanted to get a Verbolten shirt, which is rare considering I don't like buying coaster branded merchandise (I hate wearing stuff like that in the parks, it makes me feel like a weird coaster enthusiast for some reason) but nothing was worth getting to me. The other stuff though, how cool. We stopped by the Clydesdale stables and looked around there for a bit before returning our stuff to the car. Which btw, when they have to take a leak, they really do take a leak!

Once the merch was secured in the trunk, it was Operation: Ride ALL The Things, which was an absolute success. Knocking out Nessie, Griffon front edge seats, Appolo's Charriot, and Verbolten in the last few minutes of the park was such a great finale. I wish I would have gotten a Wolf ride on Verbolten but I hear it's really not as cool, that Spirit is the absolute best. But still, great way to end the night.

It made me realize, I love CP, I love my home park, I miss working the rides there, but this park has everything I want and love. Great rides, food, theming, environment, activities, and entertainment. It has the perfect package. If I had that right nextdoor like I have KI & CP now, I'd be there more often. This season I'm already burned out by KI, and it's only still in the first month of operation. I don't see this happening with BGW. I really hope to be back soon to give Tempesto a shot, it looked awesome testing in person, and the POV's really look sweet. I think it'll be the new Boomerang clone across the nation, it's simple and sweet for all I see from it.

But wow..what a trip, it sucked leaving that park, luckily heading back to a comfy hotel room was tolerable, but I will say, finishing the trip the next day with KD was an absolute bummer. I would have went for BGW Take #2 easily, it had everything I wanted. So glad I got to fit this neat little park in on my trip. I envy all of you that go weekly/monthly and work there. Be proud of this place, because I certainly am, and again, totally envious you get that park more than I do.
Wow! Fantastic review! Thanks so much for taking the time to write all of that.

I'm sure you're tired from writing right now, but would you consider doing a KD trip report as well? :)
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I can do a KD trip report, it won't be all high and mighty like this one however, I don't enjoy that park and it commits many mortal sins in my book. Most notably speakers around the carousel pointing away from it playing music from a band organ and no band organ or speakers on the carousel itself. Very upsetting. Even KI has their priorities in check there, even with an out of tune Wurlitzer.

Also I don't have any pics of that park, we didn't care to even stay the full day.
Thanks really enjoyed this. It's nice to see someone else who shares my love for the park. I love to read your KD write up to.
Review posted under KD's Trip Report area. I have a slight thing for them, they're something every amusement park should have and be able to do right. They've had them around for years and how to do them is easily outlined, to deviate from there is just being stupid if I'm honest. Nostalgia is important, it keeps people like me coming back over and over to reride the classics and relive old memories and create new ones. If it wasn't there, we'd ride that year and never again. It's not a hard concept to grasp.

But that wasn't the only flaw, it's all posted in detail there and my reasons.
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