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Mar 16, 2016
So today for the first time I used my membership.  First time I have been in the park since 2003, and I thought I would comment on what it was like for the first time being there in a long time.

Well for what has stayed the same:
Loch Ness Monster:  It's Nessie.  I absolutely love it.  Today was cool, and being a Monday everything was basically walk on.  Stayed for 3 rides, and got an absolute treat as I got to ride a train alone one time.  She has aged well and has held up.  Although one thing I have noticed; being 6' tall and about 220 that car is a little more snug than when I was 5'10" 155.
Alpengeist:  Like Great Bear, Dragon Challenge, and any other B&M inverted I've been on, they have aged well too.  No major complaints, although the ride experience is different with Griffon there.
Apollo's Chariot:  A little disappointing here that it didn't hold up to what I remembered.  Maybe it was the paint and lack of foliage, but it didn't seems as special as it once was.

What's new:
Griffon:  My first dive coaster, and while they aren't exactly "long" rides I found it quite enjoyable.  I would ride this one for quite a while if I could.
Verbolten:  Easily a top 5 coaster for me.  Why?  I love that it's built on speed without being absurdly fast.  It's launched and built on that speed and side to side forces, and I enjoy coasters more like that as opposed to ones built on air time.  This thing is going to be up there on the reride level for me.
Temesto: A flat ride masquerading as a roller coaster masquerading as a flat ride.  It was ok.  I don't think I will go out of my way to ride it again, but if I were in the area and it were the only ride without a huge line I could do it.  Still better than a verkoma bommerang (ugh the migranes from that).

What's missing:
Wilde Maus: Not really missed but would be nice to have something like it back for minor thrills. Maybe in Ireland or England with a small car design.
Big Bad Wolf:  Verbolten is a great spiritual successor.  I felt a special connection with Big Bad Wolf as it's one of the few roller coasters that was opened in the year I was born.  And I really loved the unique ride experience of no super long lifts and the teaming.

Obviously I only rode the roller coasters today as I wasn't too into spending the entire day there.  As I spend more time in the park I'll be able to comment more to the changes I've seen, what I like, and what I don't.

But already I'm happy to get my season pass.
netdvn said:
Apollo seems to run better in the back so I'd recommend sitting as far back as possible. The ride feels much more sluggish toward the front.

It wasn't the sluggish part. I think that it was at the time I hadn't been on many 200+ drops, and now that I've been on more of them the experience just isn't the huge thrill it was at the time of when it was new to me.
In the midst of my second trip to the park today. With warmer weather and blooming trees it doesn't bode well for my allergies. But got here and Verbolton is down. They said it may open soon. So I got my first ride on DarKastle and....blah. I've seen well executed dark rides and poor. That (for me) is 99.9% in the poor category. If you want me to expand me I will.

Le Scoot is open so I will take my first ride on that.

Rode Apollo in the back row. And that was a heck of a ride. I think the airtime of it makes that ride special now.

Mach tower was fun. Liked the rotating element that I haven't experienced on another drop tower.

Will for sure add more thoughts later.
I know DarKastle has seen much better days, but I am interested in hearing a first-time-rider's full take on it. There may even be some issues that I have grown to ignore.
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CastleOSullivan said:
I know DarKastle has seen much better days, but I am interested in hearing a first-time-rider's full take on it. There may even be some issues that I have grown to ignore.

Ok let me see if I can do this without being too harsh:

Pre-ride: I love what BG does with theaming on most rides in the que but this one feels...blah. Take Universal for example (I know their budget seems unlimited compared to BGW), where their dark rides make you really walk through a couple of indoor rooms where even if there is no line, you are thrown into the story enough that the ride experience is there. I think if it had an extra room or two with theming and screens that immerse you into the story more would have helped.

Story/Video screens: it was the same thing over and over. 3/4 screens of things flying at you and 3/4 screens of falling. And all the "scary bits" on the screens felt more cheesy than scary. Even the 6 year old kid in my row was laughing at it. I know it's a family park but Gringrotts, Forbidden Journey, and Transformers have all shown to add action and screams while still being family friendly.

Effects: they need to redo those clips. They are old and show it. Add theming and ride elements between screens. Wind effects, steam, sounds, head chop elements. Heck when you go through the fireplace some heat lamps and fireballs would be nice effects. Even if they don't go that far, just do something more than pitch black between screens.

All in all its not a bad ride, but it felt like they used technology that was available because they could rather than create a great ride because the technology allowed it.
Fur Dozy said:
Thomas said:
It's a massive shame Darkastle has gone 10 years with regular downgrades

Sadly that seems to be a more accurate way of describing it. Even in more 4 years of going to the park it seems to keep getting worse each year.
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