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May 19, 2015
43
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Wright Patt AFB, OH
First..let me say this..when writing here as much as I do, save a draft often...Because when your computer crashes from opening a link on the side, and you lose several paragraphs. You look like this

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Now...that about 30 obscenities have been said, lets get back to work calmly k?

Well..time to start the first trip of the coaster season..it was a long off season..quite...long

Anyways, it started at 0600. Rental packed (2015 Ford Taurus Limited, sweet ride, check it out), music set, GPS set, time to go. We made great time on the trip actually, and the 8 hours didn't seem all that bad to be honest, even with the minimal sleep I had. Aside from stopping for a sit down breakfast, restroom breaks, and caffeine breaks we made great time. Having empty highways to start off the first good long bit of the drive, to me forgetting the speed limit a few times, and determination, we still arrived an hour under our originally scheduled time if we drove nonstop. That's pretty damn good!

Day 1:

Once we arrived, it was time to ride some roller coasters. What other way to start the coaster season exists than to ride an Arrow? We hopped on Carolina Goldrusher and enjoyed the first ride we all have had since the end of October. It's such a great Arrow Mine Train, even better than the one in my home park. Not the best Hybrid, that title stays with Gemini, but it is the best Mine Train I've been on.

From there it was time to knock out Intimidator. We were going to ride Fury right after but one of our friends wanted to wait until tomorrow after getting some other coasters knocked out. Fair deal, we can work up to it. For starters, like I mentioned with I-305, I really don't get the whole Intimidator theme deal. Maybe it's because I'm not a left turn loving, NASCAR breathing southern guy, but seriously it doesn't do anything for me. Which I also don't get what the parks homeage to the guy they're trying to honor achieves either, but hey, it's whatever. I think what gets me the most is the "Gentlemen START YOUR ENGINES" (emphasis required) being played every dispatch. It gets annoying really quick, kind of like "auf Wiedersehen" on Verbolten twice every dispatch. Plus me being an operational efficiency nut, I wouldn't be surprised if it delayed dispatches too. I know it does on I-305, I bet it does here. Seconds add up people.

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Back to the ride, man it's a great Hypercoaster. There isn't a B&M Hyper I won't ride and enjoy really. Arrows did it best, but these are so damn good. I love the turnaround on this one too, like Apollo's Chariot it's unique. It's not the typical Hammerhead deal like most B&M Hypers. The only complaint I'd ever have with the ride is the trims, and yes I know it's nickname is Intrimidator. I would really love to see that ride go through without those things on the ride. I would bet money that thing could buck as good as Apollo, and I'd love to see it happen.

From there it was time for food. Being cooked up in the car all day for hours and then walking around an amusement park where there's southern hospitality and cooking, damn well bet I'll enjoy me some great food! We decided to head nextdoor to Harmony Hall. It was established last year and is similar to a Festhaus in many ways. First off you walk in and follow the hall down to the entree counters. The three counters let you choose sandwich/snacks, southern good stuff, and finger foods. I went southern, duh. They offer Brisket, Ribs, and Pulled Pork. I decided on the brisket, ah it looked good. Right after those counters is a drink stand with Coke Freestyles. I'm a Pepsi guy (and so are the Carolinas, sweet!) but hey, Coke Freestyle is pretty cool. I'll take Cherry Vanilla Pibb any day. Passing that you go to the cash registers, where they have placed little snack counters full of candy bars, snacks, and things screaming "EAT ME." I obliged and got a candy bar. Once seated it's a total festhaus style setup with long wooden tables and benches. They do get things right in the aspect that you're able to navigate about them easier which is a sweet setup. In front of it all is a stage where at the time a magician performed a live e show. It was geared more towards little kids, but hey, free show with my food? I'll take it.

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From there leaving fat & happy (emphasis on the fat & happy), we decided to hit up the Eagles. I do miss seeing this ride in Kings Island, but I'm happy they're still alive and exist. It'd be an absolute shame if they went away permanently. The best thing about this set of Eagles though is snapping is encouraged, and gets you a reride if you're the best. What a flipping (or snapping) sweet deal! The only problem is a cycle full of enthusiasts, this makes winning a bit more difficult. Remember to get on cycles full of moms and 5 year olds in the future.

From there it was getting late and we decided to take a gander at Fury 325. We originally planned to ride it the next day, but with seeing an empty queue and night rides in the forseeable future, we went for it. First before I even talk about the ride, this crew and ride deserve MAJOR praise. The crew, which first off seemed mainly from KD, were performing like a boss. Counting off hand, they were dispatching trains about every 15 seconds, that's just boss. Plus, the way the blocks are setup, the transfer table is almost like a pre launch (think like Verbolten almost). The train would be checked, cleared, and dispatch, and then wait right before the lift until it's the right time to dispatch. This kept the station clear to just focus on getting people on and off, let the computer do the rest in terms of hitting interval and keeping spacing, the crew can just focus on safety and capacity. Excellent stuff. Then to hear they already hit capacity on the ride already, that early in the season, just, sweet stuff. No wonder they already hit 325k, it's a perfect combination, this ride is ganna go far.

Now, the ride. Holy CRAP! Best Giga, hands down (or up, idk how you do it). Riding a giga the first day of the coaster season after riding nothing since October, and it's a new coaster, wow yeah you get a bit of butterflies. This sucker climbs that lift, and just keeps hauling ass. We decided to ride first in the very back row, and wow, what a drop! You get dragged down, nice little bit of negative g's, and then a beautiful overbank to start. Once you exit that element it's a race to the front entrance. This thing never ever loses speed. It stays on and on the whole time. Going to through an S curve and darting between some support columns on the return track you pass over the front entrance. From there you climb up I'd say one of my favorite coaster elements now, it's this really sweet hammerhead turn. You climb way up, get thrown on your side and dragged back down and dart full speed under the bridge at the front entrance. Really, really sweet stuff. From there it's time for some airtime hills. This is where I lose a bit of respect for the ride. The airtime hills look sweet in person and on POV, but it doesn't deliver like you'd think. It has some negatives, but not much, they just float. I don't know if this will be a B&M thing from now on like I feel it may be, I don't think we'll see ejector air like Apollo or Behemoth anymore which is a downright shame. I will say speed and smoothness are sweet. I'll take 2 out of 3, but it's a damn shame they don't have ejector air anymore. Again from there, airtime hills, some nice headchoppers from support columns, then come slamming into the brakes at 55mph. Damn what a sweet ride, just, wow is it just perfect. Best Giga. It may lack lateral forces and overwhelming negative g's, but it does have un-relentless speed, sweet deal.

Wow, what a way to finish the night, time to head to our little Motel 6 and sleep off the adrenaline, man what a sweet night. Too bad it went from sweet to boring sleep..boo

Day 2:

First off, I have a video to start with. Tradition ensues we like to mess around with people and have fun. Basically we pull off stupid stuff at parking tolls for our laugh and to give some enjoyment to the people taking care of parking tolls, it's a boring job I'm sure, so it'll brighten someones day. Enjoy the vid, do note we're in character a bit, and there is some language, but it's all in good fun.



Once parked, it was time to ride everything we could get our hands on, total success by the way.

We hit up their Vekoma Flying Dutchman Nighthawk first. Nice start to the morning, and man is it better than the Flying Dutchman I grew up with at Geauga Lake/Kings Island (X-Flight/Firehawk). The coolest part was the quiet lift. Usually Flying Dutchmans have this crazy loud anti rollback deal and it's annoying as all hell on the way up the lift. This thing was super quiet. There's a part of me that wants to know if anti rollbacks were installed, or what the hell made them so quiet. Good ride, same layout as all pretty much, but good stuff.

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From there, Afterburn. I already have said, I love Alpengeist. It's so close with this one though. Out of all B&M Inverts I've been on, this thing is forceful as hell and just perfect. If it had the speed of Alpengeist I'd say this wins, but they're almost perfect equals in my book. Such a great invert, and it gave such a great ride. Feeling crazy G forces on an invert makes me a very happy coaster enthusiast.

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From there time for Thunder Road. Yeah it's another Kings Island Racer clone. It's good, but I have the original and the best :). It's so neat though to think that ride crosses state lines and comes back again. Fun wooden coaster, and they do maintain it well, fantastic ride as I'd expect.

From there I wanted to ride Carolina Cobra but something happened prompting the train to be taken off. I heard rumors a chain dog broke on the train but nothing verified. It's unfortunate as I'd love to have a chance with those new Vekoma trains and also ride another Geauga Lake removal to pay tribute to my childhood and all, but hey, stuff happens.

From there though it was Carolina Cyclone time. Man if you don't love Arrow loopers..well..you're wrong, lets just leave it there :). That ride in the last car, absolutely fantastic. The ride layout is just so flipping (see what I did there) fun. The only thing I dislike about the ride is it's paintjob. I feel like an adolescent chose the color scheme, and even with that, it's fading and chipping bad. A repaint is in order soon I hope, such a good ride.

Ricochet is right nextdoor and made the list next. Wild Mouse coasters are a must for me in amusement parks, they're a blast to have and ride. The only negative I spelled out here was a moment when Ricochet decided during one of the small hills that I no longer needed my balls anymore. To sit on one's jewels is a feeling I wouldn't wish on even my worst enemy. Fun ride, but oh boy, I almost needed ice haha.

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From there, onto Hurler, the other woodie in the park. This thing when it got retracked, wow was it a great job. Overall it's smooth as hell, few little rough transitions, but nothing a woodie isn't known for, but man it packs a beautiful punch. I could marathon this ride all day if I could, serious. The best part is the trains. These trains have about as much padding as a plush loveseat. They're ridiculously comfortable. I've sat on beds and couches in peoples homes that have less padding. Great, great ride. Thunder Run at Kentucky Kingdom is still better, but this was great!

From there it was time to hit Vortex. This is a tiny little B&M Stand up (rare breed nowadays). It's alright, and I think maybe it'll get the Rougarou treatment, but we will see. It's alright, and def. not as painful as Mantis ever was, but I wonder what will happen with it, I have my hunches. The park already is the Cedar Point of the south, it wouldn't surprise me to see a change.

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From there we got back in line for Fury, round two! We had to do a tad bit of waiting this time, but it was worth it as we asked and got front row after a small hassle. The ride op there gave a bit of lip and rolled his eyes in frustration (I'm sure he hears the same request hundreds of times a day) about us asking for the front. But we told him we'd wait in line and let people pass us for the front. Easy deal, and he allowed it. Once on and in, time to ride. This is one of those rides that from front to back is a night and day difference. The speed is just brutal! The wind smacking your face, the track right in front of you zipping past, the elements hitting you first, getting pushed by the train, just...DAMN. Image totally relevant

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From there it was a bunch of rerides, food, more food, alot more food, and then some night rides. This park is the next big flagship of the Cedar Fair chain, I feel it. I really wouldn't be surprised if corporate decided to leave Sandusky and stay here. The park has the same front gate, and same high stakes crazy thrills now that the Point has, it's such a great park. Anyways, lots more rides, no reason to repeat those, and then home for the second day of the coaster season.

Day 3:

Day three was just a repeat our favorites day and eat food, we even left the park mid afternoon to make time to get to our hotel for the Virginia parks. The best part of the day honestly was walking around taking pictures. The camera with 16mp and 42x optical zoom, it makes for some really sweet in your face action shots. Some pictures of the third day are used above, but here's some favorites to end the trip with. Oh and then this happened on the way to Virginia. How many others have had crazy music moments on long car trips?



Now to some sweet park pics!

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Oct 7, 2011
635
943
210
Virginia Beach
Loved the report!

I had a much different and better experience on Fury 325 it sounds like. I was floating for 4 seconds on the first drop (front row) and greyed out going into the barrel turn! I was then whipped side to side through the transitions with subtle hints of airtime. The Treble Clef turnaround was astonishing. It was the weirdest sustained sideways airtime that didn't let up until we flew under the bridge. Then I was flojected from my seat on the first camelback for a decent amount of time. After the helix, those last too hills ejected me so much. #1 coaster I have ever been on!

As for your comments about Apollo ejecting you: I have never been close to ejected on Apollo, it is my #3 coaster and it always floats over those hills. I love the ride, but it has never ejected me like Fury did!

Thanks for a cool report!
 
May 19, 2015
43
73
60
Wright Patt AFB, OH
No problem. It doesn't hold laterals strong in the sense of say Wooden coasters. Even though it really isn't a great coaster to me. Take the Beast's Helix, those are laterals. Getting rotated isn't much for me. It's a damn good ride, easily in my tops for sure and stomps everything else in that park, but it left a little more to be desired. The hills aren't crazy with airtime like I'd expect. The POV almost makes them seem Intamin camelback hill ish, and they clearly aren't those. That's what I expect from airtime hills. Floater air is cool, but, meh, I like forceful..to an extent.

Where do you ride on Apollo? I ride very last row edge seats and have a blast with it everytime with no issues. It's def more tame towards the front in my opinion
 
Oct 7, 2011
635
943
210
Virginia Beach
thedevarious said:
No problem. It doesn't hold laterals strong in the sense of say Wooden coasters. Even though it really isn't a great coaster to me. Take the Beast's Helix, those are laterals. Getting rotated isn't much for me. It's a damn good ride, easily in my tops for sure and stomps everything else in that park, but it left a little more to be desired. The hills aren't crazy with airtime like I'd expect. The POV almost makes them seem Intamin camelback hill ish, and they clearly aren't those. That's what I expect from airtime hills. Floater air is cool, but, meh, I like forceful..to an extent.

Where do you ride on Apollo? I ride very last row edge seats and have a blast with it everytime with no issues. It's def more tame towards the front in my opinion
I've probably ridden it a hundred times. Front, back, edges of those rows, middles of those rows. I have some strong floater in the back edge but never ejector or airtime like I experienced with Fury! Maybe your train got severely trimmed on the camelback?
 

Shane

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Great trip report. Fury in the front really is an entirely different animal. I have to totally agree with you on Afterburn, one of the best inverts I've ever ridden.

I've also got my fingers crossed for a Rougarou treatment on Vortex. It's tons smaller than Mantis, but I could see it benefit so much from that conversion. Plus, Ouimet mentioned in a conference call they had two other coasters they could do it with, so here's hoping!
 
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