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netdvn

Team Instinct
Jan 12, 2012
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3,100
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in the rear
dvn225.deviantart.com
So after Texas getting cancelled twice, I had to plan another park trip. KK announced an opening date and I jumped on planning a quick, weekend trip with all my flight credits. Stayed right across the street from the park (Crowne Plaza is really nice).

Walking to the park from the back is a bit of a pain. They've got a manned tollbooth back there but no real way to get into the park without having to walk around a fence. I don't know how the park managed to screw that up but oh well.

Getting into the park was smooth. Temperature checks and getting into the park went off without a hitch. Park wasn't clear about the out of state free soda thing though. Just flash your out of state ID at guest services and you'll get a wristband for free drinks all day.

Operations sucked. I hear operations aren't great under normal circumstances. They were pretty bad here too. Luckily it wasn't too crowded otherwise I'd be having a far more miserable time. Why you may ask???

There's almost no shade in the queue lines. Well maybe Thunder Run is well shaded and Storm Chaser has some shade here and there but most queue lines are devoid of coverings or trees to block out the sun. Couple that with some queue lines spilling onto midways due to social distancing and you've got a good recipe for heat stroke when it gets really hot. Even the waterpark is mostly just a giant concrete pad with no coverings over anything. Makes me appreciate parks like Water Country and Aquatica even more.

The park layout is terrible too. All the rides are kinda all over the place and stuff isn't really clearly marked so its a little confusing trying to find your bearings if you're not used to the layout. You've got some dry rides in the water park as well so there's that. It kinda reminds me of somebody going crazy with rides in RCT trying to squeeze rides and queues wherever they see fit. The road cutting the park in half doesn't really help.

Much like SFA, the park is 50-50 on landscaping. The well landscaped older sections of the park look nice and well manicured. The park added little signs telling you what plants grow there much like a public garden. Some of the older rides are surrounded by trees so its really nice having shade around those areas. The park clearly tried to landscape the older sections because it really shows with all the flower beds, big trees and benches to sit and admire the atmosphere. Its the opposite for the newer sections of the park. Basically anything built after the park reopened sits in an open field. They don't even have covers for any of their queues. Plus some of their queue lines are in gravel. Like y'all couldn't even get a company to pave a queue line for your major attraction.

But that's enough about the negatives.

The park has a really solid selection of flats and coasters. ARM drop tower, Zamperla flat ride package and a pretty nice selection of smaller family rides. Add a couple world class coasters and you've got a pretty well-balanced park.

Lightning Run is stellar. Basically Chance-Morgan's attempt at making their own RMC. Its not as well refined as most RMCs and the lapbars are bulky, but everything else about this amazing ride screams RMC right down to the way the ride vehicles are designed.

Storm Chaser is also stellar. It was down most of the day but I mustered up one ride on it and wow did it deliver. It may not have Timbers' length or Lightning Rod's wow factor but for a smaller RMC, its really amazing.

Thunder Run takes the best of both Hurler clones and combines them into a neat little package. You've got the smoothness of Carowinds' Hurler model with KD's speed and intensity. Makes me wish those Hurlers were maintained better.

Kentucky Flyer really made me love GG coasters even more and I hope we get a lot more of them in the states. Its basically a mini Mine Blower and its fantastic.

T3 needs to go. Badly. What a waste of space.

Staff was pretty good overall. Most of them wore their masks and tried to keep distance from people. No real disinfecting of rides but again it seems the virus spreads more with direct human contact. Can't really say the same about the guests. Masks weren't required so a lot of people weren't wearing them. Distancing was hit miss early on but as the day wore on, it felt more like a regular theme park with cut capacity on rides.

So did I have a good time overall? Yes the park has its share of problems but its also got its share of positives. I will definitely plan a return here, especially with them adding a potential RMC Raptor in the future. Its location not far from the airport plus its location in relation to other area parks means I'll probably combine it with other parks in the future. The park kinda feels like its growing a little too fast for its own good, especially when you compare areas like the Thunder Run midway to the back half of the park where Kentucky Flyer is.

TLDR
Positives
- Good location
- World class coasters and good supporting cast of flat rides
- Staff was friendly overall
- Well prepared for COVID-19
- Half of the park's landscaping
- Free soda for out of state guests!

Negatives
- Terrible ops
- Confusing park layout
- Lack of shade in queues
- Odd placement of rides
- Half of the park's landscaping

Overall its basically SFA with better coasters.
 
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