Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Poll Results and New Plans

Hey guys,

Hopefully you were following us on Twitter or Facebook over the weekend, as I was down at Kings Island for Memorial Day and tweeting live from the park. I managed to get a lot of great pictures, and I'm going to try to work on a Park Impression for it soon. It's one of my favorite parks, and it grows on me every time I visit, so I definitely want to do it justice.

Then, there's another piece of business to take care of - the 2010 Impressions. I think that I'm going to remove that page, and instead add a page for Trip Reports, as that's what they really are. I'll be adding them as I get the chance, and may do Park Impressions for them in the future. For now though, the ones listed will simply be Trip Reports.

One last thing: our poll! Only four readers voted in our poll for the best B&M Invert, which is a bit disappointing... The poll closed on Sunday night, with Cedar Point's Raptor as the winner. We're a bit behind schedule, but we'll have a new poll up soon. Please be sure to vote, it only takes a second!

Anyway, that's all for now. Keep an eye on the site and our Twitter and Facebook pages for more updates!

Thanks for following Park Impressions.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tagada Disco Video

Hey everybody,

I'd forgotten that I wanted to share this video I'd taken of the Tagada Disco at Siam Park City. I talked quite a bit about it in my Park Impression, and this video gives you a better idea of what it was like. After watching the video, you'll understand why one ride was enough for me!

Friday, May 27, 2011

HodgePodge: Week of May 22, 2011

Sorry for the break, but I've been terribly busy lately. The HodgePodge is back!

Busch Gardens Williamsburg
The park's new for 2011 Mach Tower has gone the way of the 4 Windseekers and is now delayed, according to Screamscape. Unfortunately, we can't blame it on Intamin this time, but at least the delay is expected to be short.

Busch Gardens Tampa

Screamscape has posted this great POV video of BGT's just-opened Cheetah Hunt! The ride opened on Thursday for its Media Day, and you can get a full report of the event over at Theme Park Review - just follow the link on their home page!

Kings Island
What is it with Cedar Fair and fires? Kings Island's new "Dinosaurs Alive" animatronic walkthrough park caught fire on Tuesday. Fortunately, only one dinosaur was damaged, and the attraction opened as scheduled on Thursday. At least it wasn't Windseeker...

Six Flags Magic Mountain

Green Lantern: First Flight at Six Flags Magic Mountain is now complete! Above, you can see two photos of the ride that the park posted to their Facebook page. The first shows the ride with just one track piece missing, and the second shows the last piece being installed. After a late start to construction, it sure has gone up quickly! Hopefully we'll see testing begin in the near future.

Six Flags Over Georgia

Theme Park Review has posted this POV video of the brand-new Dare Devil Dive Eurofighter! You can see more of their Media Day coverage here.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Our response from RIT

Hey everybody,

So I submitted my three questions last Thursday:

1. What is a "dwarf particle," and what is its significance?

2. Can you shed some light on the codes found across the internet? Only the last eight digits have been found _ _ _ _  3162 2037.

3. Why has the Interdisciplinary Studies Report been released with no information?

Their only response was this. The file name is 4thStudy_r3_c3. It looks like they've answered #3:

Anyway, hopefully we'll have more soon. Until then, thanks for reading, and vote in our poll! 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Impression: Siam Park City

Siam Park City was definitely the strangest park I’ve been to. Some parts were great, new, and had good rides. Other areas seemed abandoned, with literal junk piles. What drew me to Siam Park City was actually the SLC, which I was told was smooth. This park seemed like a good option, as we had been deprived of “big coasters” thus far.

When we first got to the park, we felt a bit of a bad vibe. The entranceway was really run down, and didn’t look like it was that attractive to begin with. However, once we got into the park, it got better. They had what looked like it was supposed to be a Main Street façade. It had clearly seen better days, and the architecture was kind of nice. I had the feeling it had once looked very nice - hopefully they take the time to fix it up.

At the end of the midway was a double carousel and, of course, the second level wasn’t running. We passed on it anyway, because immediately to our left was Boomerang. What was really shocking about Siam Park City was the lack of lines, for anything. Somehow, though, we still managed to wait a while for Boomerang. While it was a walk-on, the ride ops were insisting on filling the train to at least quarter capacity before dispatch. Luckily, it didn’t take too long.

Boomerang was nothing special, just another boomerang. Not really any better or worse than other boomerangs. I mostly liked it because it was familiar. After our ride, we headed over to some other rides.

The park has this big tent set up with a lot of rides under it, which keeps out the sun but at the same time, all the heat gets trapped inside. Not a good idea for a park that’s somewhere as hot as Bangkok. We started out with a bathroom break, which was disgusting. DO NOT USE THE BATHROOMS HERE! If you think park bathrooms are bad in the U.S., you won’t believe this. They were actually charging  iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiioooooooiii money for paper towels.

After that bad experience, we tried a few of these rides. The Tagada Disco was a nightmare - it was kind of cool, but all the spinning and bouncing made it feel like the thing could fall apart. We also tried what I will call the Hamster Ball - I think there’s a name for these, but I can’t seem to remember it. Basically, the seats were enclosed in a wheel-like cart, which spun upside-down as you went around the track. One ride on that was enough for me as well.

While my sisters proceeded to reride everything twice, I decided to go take a look around the back of the park. Loop de Loop, the park’s third coaster, had been looming over us the entire time, but it didn’t seem like it was running. I went over to check it out, and found it abandoned. Plants were growing through the track, the station, nothing had been touched in months. The strangest part was that it was not closed off to the public at all. I made sure to get plenty of pictures.

I headed back to the rest of the vomit-inducing rides after that, which had a bit of a junk pile behind it. The funniest part was the giant Santa Claus statue, which is very scary. Junkyards like these were common around the park, and more than once I saw ride cars just sitting out in the open.

After we dragged my sisters away from their third re-ride on the Tagada Disco, we headed over to Vortex, the SLC. I had picked Siam Park City over other local parks because this was supposed to be a smooth SLC, which I knew we didn’t have in the US. This SLC was far from smooth - it was no better than any other SLC. The only good part was that there was no line for it. Somehow, I got roped into riding twice.

We decided that we should head into the water park now, as it was getting hotter and we all wanted to see the “World’s Largest Wave Pool.” There was no separate admission, which was nice as well. They only had a few slides, but they were fun and, like the rest of the park, had no lines. The wave pool itself turned out to be a disappointment. Yes, it was huge, but it was so big that you couldn’t even feel the waves. A bit annoying, so we didn’t spend much time
here and we headed back into the park instead.

Once we headed back into the main park, we tried a few rides that were on this side of the park. From the top of Vortex we had seen what looked like a new coaster, and it was actually on the park map as well. Unfortunately, when we got to the coaster, it was far from open. Why put it on the map to lead people to it if it isn’t open? There was some sort of dinosaur museum here, which we gladly skipped. The remains of what looked to be a train ride were also present. The tracks simply stopped a few feet away from the midway. The park definitely had a few things to work on.

Despite going to the waterpark, we still needed to get wet and it was only getting hotter. We headed to “Log Flume,” which was the newest ride and the longest line we saw all day - 15 minutes. The ride itself was a lot of fun. It was well themed, and was my first reversing log flume. Regardless, I think I like going forward better. The double down was a lot of fun, and while we didn’t get very wet, it was
                                                     one of the most enjoyable rides of        iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii                the day.

While my sisters headed straight for the Tagada Disco again, I took my life into my own hands and rode the Intamin Drop Tower. This wasn’t just any Intamin Tower, it was an Intamin Drop Tower in Thailand. I made sure to keep my legs almost completely horizontal during the ride - I was a bit nervous, to be honest. It was actually a lot of fun, so I did it twice more. I don’t know what I was thinking.

We all met back up to ride their observation tower, where I managed to get some great overview pictures of the park. The cabin itself was due for a bit of cleaning, but the ride was over soon enough. When we got off, we noticed that we only had about a half hour until the park would close. We decided that we would take one last ride on Boomerang before heading out.

Of course, with their ride policy, we had no line and instantly took the front row, but they didn’t start it until at least 6 more people got on. Because of this, we waited about 15 minutes anyway. The ride was still fun - probably the least jarring experience of the day. We headed out of the park after that.

Overall, the park was fun, but had a few things to improve on. First of all, what park leaves their junk out where the public can mess with it? Secondly, half of the rides on the park map weren’t running or built yet. While these issues should be dealt with, the fact that they weren’t made this one of the most memorable park visits I’ve had in a long time.

Overall Rating: 6/10 Stars

Note: All additional pictures will be posted here shortly. This week's HodgePodge will be postponed until tomorrow. Thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Interview with RIT is approved!

Hey Park Impressions Followers!

I just got the email back from the mysterious RIT that I will be allowed to submit three questions in an interview. Due to the top secret nature of everything, Park Impressions was one of 12 media outlets out of 600 that applied. Pretty exciting!

I have to submit the questions via email tomorrow, so if you have any questions that you'd like answered, submit them as a comment to this post and I'll look over them.

On another note, the Siam Park City Park Impression is almost ready, and will hopefully be up tomorrow. Don't forget to vote in our important poll either!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Park Impressions is 1 Month Old!

Park Impressions turned one month old today! I want to personally thanks all of the visitors we've had so far. We're just under 1000 total, so I'd say we've done pretty well! Thank you for your support.

Of course, Park Impressions aims to continually improve our website. To help us with this effort, please vote in our poll to the right. We're looking into adding features such as forums, a possible park database, or even a section for coaster games like Roller Coaster Tycoon and NoLimits. We'll extend the voting if necessary, as we'd really like to hear your opinion. It only takes a few seconds to vote, so please help us out. If you have any other suggestions, just comment on this post. It's that simple, and we'd love to hear what you think.

Thank you again for supporting Park Impressions!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Poll Results and Progress Update

First off, last week's poll ended last nights and the results are in. Cedar Point beat Six Flags Magic Mountain 6-0!

Also, I finished the Siam Park City Park Impression this morning. I just have to upload it now and add pictures. This means that it will hopefully be up later this week, so keep an eye on our home page!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Quick Update: SFGAdv and Cedar Point

Just a few news updates I came across:

Green Lantern at Six Flags Great Adventure has been testing, and will open on May 25. Coaster Force got a good video of it testing with employees a few days ago:

Cedar Point also opened yesterday to fog, rain, and fussy rides. Neither Windseeker nor Ocean Motion were open, and other rides were going up and down all day due to the weather. PointBuzz has a sort of community thread going, where members are posting all of their opening day reports. Doesn't sound like it was a great opening weekend for the point. Check out the thread: PointBuzz: Opening Day 2011.

Friday, May 13, 2011

HodgePodge: Week of May 8, 2011

We're back with our second HodgePodge! Be sure to check out all of this weeks top stories below:

Busch Gardens Tampa:
With just a quick update, BGT has continued to finish up work on Cheetah Hunt. Testing is still underway and the ride sign has been installed. You can check it all out at BGTNation, with lots of great photos.

Courtesy of BGTNation
The latest Ride Institute Study is another puzzle, but since its release on Monday, coaster fans have managed to crack the code. Apparently each node in the image at the bottom of the page contains a letter, which comes out to DOCTOR_INTERVIEW. When you put this into the Ride Institute search bar, it leads to a press page. I have submitted a request for an interview, as the page recommends. We'll let you know what happens!

Knott's Berry Farm:
Westcoaster was out at the park recently, where they managed to get pictures of the (lack of) progress on WindSeeker. Oh yeah, and there's some pics from Disneyland.

Courtesy of Westcoaster
Six Flags Magic Mountain:
Green Lantern construction is now moving right along, according to a the Six Flags Magic Mountain Facebook page. Much of the track has been placed, and the park has posted a nice video of them installing one of the pieces:

Steel Coaster Poll (Mitch Hawker):
Mitch Hawker has released the results of the 2010 Steel Coater Poll! Bizarro at SFNE takes the top spot, with Expedition GeForce, Intimidator 305, Kawasemi, and Nemesis rounding out the top five, in that order. You can view the full results here.

Park Impressions News:
We're a little over half-done with our Siam Park City review, which should hopefully be up sometime next week. Also, Park Impressions is turning one month old on Tuesday! We know it's only a month, but we're still pretty excited. Help us celebrate by following us on Facebook and Twitter ;) Also, don't forget to vote in our poll, which ends at midnight on Sunday!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

More Details Revealed on Kinzel v. Falfas

The Sandusky Register has a great article on the fued between Dick Kinzel and Jack Falfas of Cedar Fair. It looks like the entire argument started with a disagreement over one of their shows last year, Rock Band Live. According to newly released court documents, Kinzel sent out a memo to the company's board that mentioned plans for Falfas to become the next CEO just days before the argument.

According to the article, Falfas had just landed at the Cleveland Airport when he returned a call to Kinzel. Falfas supposedly told Kinzel that he didn't like "the way you're coming after me about 'Rock Band.'" Apparently, after Falfas said he didn't think there was anything else to talk about on the issue, Kinzel told him to "leave."

Kinzel's account differs. According to him, Falfas called to tell him that he would be in Sandusky to "clean out his desk."

There's more over at the Sandusky Register, including interviews with Falfas's wife and more from Kinzel. It's a very interesting article, so be sure to check it out!

Don't forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and updates:

Friday, May 6, 2011

HodgePodge: Week of May 1, 2011

Park Impressions is pleased to announce HodgePodge! HodgePodge is intended to be a new feature, replacing the General News Updates but differing in several aspects. Instead, a HodgePodge will focus on just a few key news updates from the previous week, and will report in more detail than the General News Updates did. Without further adieu, check out our first HodgePodge!

The mysterious Ride Institute of Technology is back with their study on Gravity Manipulation. The study itself is unimportant in comparison to the hidden code on the first page. You can easily notice an alphanumeric key near the bottom of the page, which doesn't seem to do much for us at first. However, if you highlight the large blank area, and then copy it into a document, you get this:

4 17 14 1 6 / 0 16 15 / 15 0 / 
19 17 , / 13 / 21 13 9 9 / 6 14 
22 17 / 13 8 18 0 4 19 14 15 13 
0 8 / 15 0 / 5 6 14 4 17 / 5 6 0

The alphanumeric key comes in handy for translating this, which comes out to "Reach out to me, I will have information to share shortly. Dr. M. Coupone."
Hopefully we'll see more soon, and of course the next study will be released on Monday. Keep an eye on the RIT website for more tricks!

Busch Gardens Tampa:

Courtesy of Busch Gardens Tampa
Cheetah Hunt is still undergoing the testing process, as well as adding finishing touches to the surrounding area. At least one train is now testing without water dummies, and another train has not had its additional designs (decals, etc.) added yet. Either way, the area is beginning to look fantastic; the park has really created a great atmosphere and theme for the ride! Check out more photos at Behind the Thrills.

Morey's Piers:

Photo from NJ.com
Morey's Piers seems to have something up their sleeve, according to an article at NJ.com. The park seems to be planning a massive GCI Woodie for 2013, at a cost of $10 million, the park's most expensive addition to date. Unfortunately, the park will be forced to remove their original ride, the Wipe Out slide. The coaster will dive under the midway, and will span the length of two piers, forming a bridge between them. 
Unfortunately, it will not open in 2012 due to its sheer "size and intricacy", according to the article. For starters, look at those lift hill supports! Regardless, this coaster looks to be on the scale of GCI's Mountain Flyer at Knight Valley. If that's the case, I'm sure it won't disappoint!


- According to the Sandusky Register, Cedar Point's Windseeker will not open on time due to the extreme rain we've seen in Ohio this year. According to Kinzel, the delay will be brief.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Upcoming Plans

Hey guys-

I hope you've had a chance to check out my Ocean Park Park Impression (see it below). This weekend, I'll try to get another news update up (maybe a bit of a general recap). I'm also working on the next Park Impression, Siam Park City. Definitely one of the weirdest parks I've ever been to, so be sure to check it out. A new poll will also be posted this Sunday. Last but not least, I'm planning on moving all of last year's trip reports over here. They won't be full Park Impressions, just normal Photo Trip Reports. Regardless, we've got a lot in the works!

Don't forget to help us out by following us on Facebook and Twitter!

Thanks for your continued support,

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Impression: Ocean Park

Whether I like Ocean Park or not, I can’t decide. The sheer ingenuity of the park’s architecture was amazing, but the rides and the atmosphere left something to be desired. Overall, the feeling that best sums up my reaction is “mildly impressed.”

When we first got to the park, I was arriving with the idea of a surprisingly fun park, with rides that were by no means amazing, but still fun. The reviews I had read regarded it as a surprise hit. What I did not did not remember was that the entranceway that I was seeing was their just-opened Aqua City renovation project.

That said, the entrance was amazing, modern, beautiful. The aquarium was of spectacular design, and it was just as well done. Naturally, this is where we headed first. The aquarium was interesting, of course, but definitely not a thrill seeker’s first stop at an amusement park. Before we hit the rides, though, we checked out the panda exhibit, which was honestly very cute.

Here comes my first park rant: why do they insist on making you exit through the gift shop!? In the U.S., some parks do this for their big rides, and understandably so as those are the types of attractions you might want souvenirs from. But we were actually forced to exit the panda exhibit through the gift shop. They actually had a guard standing by the exit to make sure you went through - I got yelled at for trying to escape.

Regardless, we headed to the Cable Car Station after that to ride over to the other side. The ride was definitely worth the long line, and the view was amazing. As we got nearer to the other side of the park, I managed to take a few pictures of the new Hair Raiser, where it seems that all track was in place. Before we knew it, we were back in the station after the fastest ten minutes of my life.

The first thing we did was stop for a bit of lunch at the Terrace Café, where I had spaghetti Bolognese for what was the umpteenth time during my week in Hong Kong. For some reason, every restaurant we went to in Hong Kong served spaghetti Bolognese, and a hot fudge brownie sundae for dessert. Just a cultural tidbit. Despite that, the spaghetti was the best I had had that week. It was uniquely Asian, with a bit of a tangy flavor. It was very good, overall.

After that quick lunch, we decided to head down to Mine Train. Leaving the restaurant, the park was very nice, with beautiful gardens and well-maintained paths. As we started to head down to Mine Train, we were sidetracked for a ride on Flash. The ride itself was a lot of fun, but the line was not. It wasn’t bad because of its length, but the people in it were some of the pushiest I’ve ever seen. I’m used to Cedar Point lines, which can get bad with line jumping and such, but these people barely stood three inches from you. Somehow, we managed to deal with it.

We did walk down to Mine Train after that, which was a bit secluded from the rest of the park. The ride itself was a bit underwhelming, but this was made up for by the amazing view it gave. Built on the side of a mountain, right above the water, the view was amazing. After we finished on Mine Town, we skipped the other two rides in the area and headed back up to the rest of the park.

We knew the park would close at seven, and despite all of the bad things I’d heard about it, I knew I wanted to ride Dragon. I mostly wanted the credit, but the ride didn’t turn out to be that bad. I think all of the reviews made it seem worse than it was, or maybe because of them I had low expectations? Either way, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.

This area of the park was definitely the nicest area on this side of the cable car. It was busy, brightly lit, and colorful, while the area around Mine Town was more run down and empty. It was good to see that the whole park was not like that. This side of the park had a fun old-style carnival feel, with traditional rides like a ferris wheel and a swinging ship. After Dragon, we headed over to Eagle, their Condor ride.

Eagle was fun as well, and we all loved it. It was more than a bit scary to be swinging out like that on the side of the mountain though. What was a bit scarier was that we were the only ones on the ride. Regardless, it was fun. We didn’t get a chance to go on the S&S Towers, which would have been awesome for the view and the thrill. We would have ridden it, but the park was closing and we would have missed the tram back.

The train itself was well themed and fun, definitely a lot faster than the cable car. Unfortunately, the view from the cable car just couldn’t be matched by the virtual windows on this ocean-themed tram. It did get us back in time for the start of the new Symbio show, which I stupidly did not realize was new or special until I got back to the states. It was still cool to watch though, but I wish I would have known or I would have recorded it.

After the day at the park, I was pleased overall. However, Ocean Park didn’t quite live up to the expectations I had had for it. Many areas were nice, such as the new Aqua City entrance pavilion, and the area around Dragon. However, the rest of the park was more run down, a bit dingy, and not as fun. Additionally, while it’s cool that it’s built on the side of a mountain, the park layout is very difficult to navigate as a result, and trying to walk uphill in the dark on them is not a good way to end the day. Right now, the park seems like its stuck in limbo between the 80s and now, which all of their construction and renovation should hopefully fix.

Overall Impression: Pretty good, 7/10 stars.
For more pictures, visit the thread at Theme Park Review: Gci2011's Theme Park Adventures