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    •  
      CommentAuthorjpaufsc
    • CommentTimeAug 11th 2015 edited
     
    I've never written a trip review before, but I thought I'd give it a shot.

    Darien Lake:

    This one was an unexpected nostalgic visit for me. Darien Lake used to be my home park for 13 years
    before moving to South Carolina. It was nice to get back and refresh all of my credits.

    - Viper:
    Still a good old fashioned Arrow looper. The trains had a new, snake themed,
    wrap on them which looked nice. Lines were light so I only had a one train wait with one train
    ops to ride.

    - Rolling Thunder:
    I don't really know what I was expecting from a Larson Loop, but I figured I'd ride one
    to say I did. Quite plain in my opinion. Just a loop. Also, the wheels that run around
    the circumference made quite a bit of noise when in operation.

    - Motocoaster:
    I used to ignore this coaster since it's small and simple, but the launch was more enjoyable
    than I remembered. The motorcycle cars were slightly annoying, but not horribly uncomfortable.
    The final brakes did stop quite hard though.

    - Boomerang:
    Standard Vekoma boomerang. This one in particular has gotten worse over the years. The cobra
    roll was quite rough and gave me a headache.

    - Predator:
    Holy hell this thing is extremely rough. I remember it being rough when I was a kid, but man,
    it has degraded more. There is a particularly bad kink on the first return hill that horrifying.
    I would even venture to say that it is worse than Gwazi.

    - Ride of Steel:
    I still love this Intamin hyper. Still a great drop and good air. However, the old Intamin
    trains have gotten very rattly. The T bars also have added shin guards and side bars that
    make them painful. Despite this, it is still the best ride in the park. Darien should invest
    in a pair of new fiberglass trains to bring back the goodness of this coaster.

    - Mind Eraser:
    Terrible Vekoma SLC that has gotten worse. Beat the crap out of me and left me with a headache
    for the rest of the day. I honestly should have skipped it. Oh well.
    •  
      CommentAuthorjpaufsc
    • CommentTimeAug 11th 2015 edited
     
    Cedar Point:

    Since I used to live in Buffalo, NY, my dad and made a couple trips to the Point. Unfortunately, since moving, it had
    been 8 years since my trip in 2007. I can still remember riding Maverick in its opening year. This trip was a well
    needed refresh. I went into this trip hoping to re ride everything and get on Gatekeeper and Rougarou. Due to my
    friend's poor planning, we got stuck going on a Saturday. Boy was the park slammed. Hour plus waits on all the big
    ticket coasters. Due to the large crowds, my hopes of re riding everything went out the window. However, I was able
    to ride all the "must ride" coasters.

    - Gatekeeper:
    The new entrance plaza and keyholes look very impressive when entering the park. Definitely a
    good move on CP's part. We got in line and waited for about a half hour before Gatekeeper went
    down. My friend and I toyed with the idea of leaving and coming back, but so many other people
    bailed that the line was still moving, almost continuously, from the time the ride went down
    to when it finally re opened. After about an hour of downtime, we finally got on the left middle.
    Since Gatekeeper opened, I've heard many people say that it is "forceless". After riding (my
    first wing rider) I can say that I don't concur. The first drop has incredible hang time and the
    definitely had force. Wing coasters get my vote of approval, and I look forward to riding more
    in the future.



    - Magnum XL-200:
    I must have forgotten what Magnum was like since my last visit. We rode in the middle of
    the train (despite my request for the back) and still got insane air. During the last
    run of hills, I was getting thrown out of my seat. Very good for an old Arrow, barring the
    awkward transitions into and out of the turnaround. This is definitely a must do for any, CP
    trip.

    - Gemini:
    I always underestimate Gemini. Since it had the shortest wait of the day, we decided to to it.
    In the second to last row, Gemini pack a punch. I was out of my seat most of the ride. If we had more
    time, I definitely would have also rode the blue side.

    - Maverick:
    Amazing, amazing, amazing. With the new soft restraints, Maverick is absolute perfection to me. Great
    ejector on the first drop and stunning quick transitions. The horseshoe roll has to be one of my
    favorite inversions now. Smooth and forceful with no headbanging. Since re riding, Maverick is
    very high in my top ten once again. I would say Maverick is pretty much the best thing in the park
    behind Top Thrill's acceleration. I just wish more parks would buy Intamin blitz coasters. (Take the
    hint Carowinds).

    - Millennium Force:
    By the time we got on Millennium Force, it was just about dusk. I was pleased to get the
    last row. The view up the lift was stunning and the drop equally good. For some reason, the over banks were
    really nice. The hills also provided some great air. I'm glad Cedar Point refurbed the trains with
    new fiberglass shells. Super comfy ride with the standard T bar. Although Millennium is still in my top 10,
    I still think Fury 325 has the edge with the drop. That's just my opinion though.

    (Side note: While watching Millennium Force, I noticed that proximity sensors light up when something is detected.)




    - Rougarou:
    I enjoyed the needed conversion to floorless. I was a pleasure to not have to deal with the standup restraints.
    I don't know if the valley the week prior to my visit prompted the park to put harder wheels on or not, but
    Rougarou was running fast and loud. The transition is the second half of the ride were snappy and fun, despite the
    headbanging on the OTSRs. Cedar Point made a good decision in converting Mantis. It made a painful ride into a fun ride.

    •  
      CommentAuthorjpaufsc
    • CommentTimeAug 11th 2015 edited
     
    - Top Thrill Dragster:
    I feel that riding Dragster requires two things for the optimal ride. Riding in the front row at night.
    we got in line about an hour before closing. Everything was going smoothly throughout the wait.
    We were finally in line for the front row, about four trains from riding, when the ride went down.
    Since it was only 15 minutes from closing, we stuck it out. Interestingly enough, all the op needed to do
    back all the trains up and reset the transfer and launch blocks before the ride was back up. We finally got
    on just after midnight. I must say, the acceleration does not get old. Incredible acceleration paired with the
    massive top hat, makes a knockout coaster. Definitely still in my top ten with a slight edge over Kingda Ka due
    to the T bar.



    Obligatory photo of the coaster fence:

    •  
      CommentAuthorjpaufsc
    • CommentTimeAug 11th 2015 edited
     
    Kings Dominion:

    As soon as it was announced that Shockwave was closing, I started planning an "emergency" trip to KD. You may be
    thinking, "Why in the world would someone run to KD for Shockwave?" Well, even though I had been to the park twice before, both times I neglected to ride
    Shockwave. Since it is (was) the last Togo coaster anywhere near me, I wanted to ride it before it closed. There were also two other credits that I had yet to get. Not to
    mention that I305 is always worth the trip. Fortunately, with my expert trip planning, I made it up to the park on a Wednesday. This was especially nice since the
    crowds were very light. Mostly walk ons except for I305 and Volcano all day.

    - Dominator:
    Probably the one of the best floorless coasters around. Very fun and smooth throughout. I especially enjoy the over bank behind the cobra roll.



    - Volcano:
    Certainly a one of a kind gem. Since my last two visits, the park switched up the queue line configuration. Instead of entering on the left side of the train,
    you now enter from the right side in the back section of the station, not that it matters. Both times I rode it, I was caught off guard by the launch.
    Volcano packs a nice launch in a small space. The rest of the layout is repetitive, but still fun. Lots of hang time on the heartline rolls. Still a worthwhile ride.

    - Avalanche:
    This was another one of the coasters I skipped my previous visits. It was also my first bobsled coaster. I thought it was a neat little ride, but nothing to write home about.

    - Intimidator 305:
    Even with the re profiling, this coaster is still a beast. Incredible drop, incredible transitions. Out of the three times I rode it, I only grayed out once.
    As another indication of light crowds, I305 was only running one train and each wait was 15 minutes or less. Also worth mentioning, the soft restraints make for a very comfy ride.



    -Flight Of Fear:
    I actually enjoyed this indoor Premier spaghetti bowl. The theming is kinda cheesy, but still really immersive (I won't spoil it). The ride op was playing with the scared riders
    by launching the train unexpectedly. As far as the coaster, it has a fun launch into a mess of track in the dark. Pretty good ride, but not without it's kinks.

    - Anaconda:
    Walked on this one and sat in the last row. I was paying so much attention to watching I305, I was pleasantly surprised by the first drop. However, this was instantly replaced by pain.
    Standard Arrow looper pain that is. This is definitely a once a visit ride. I will give it credit for its snazzy fresh paint though.

    - Backlot Stunt Coaster:
    Another Premier launcher. Pretty meh though. Some cool transitions and a fun little launch, but that's about it.

    - Shockwave:
    For my first ever Togo, I though it wasn't nearly as bad as everyone says it is. The complicated stand up restraints actually fit somewhat comfortably. I was apprehensive going into it since I've read that
    people say its bad. However, after actually riding it, there was actually some good, fun air in the ride. The helix got a bit hairy, but not nearly as rough as some of the wood coasters I've ridden. It'll be interesting
    to see what becomes of Shockwave, but I'm more interested to see what will eventually take its place.



    - Rebel Yell:
    I really liked this racing woodie. It was a lot better than I remembered it, and a lot smoother than Thunder Road. Even with one train ops, each ride was either a walk on or a one train wait. My friends and I ended up riding
    both sides multiple times throughout the day.

    - Grizzly:
    This one kind of killed me. In contrast to Rebel Yell, it was a lot rougher than I remembered. I enjoy the ride through the forest, but the ride was too rough for my taste. I felt like I got punched in the chest while riding.
    Definitely a one time per visit ride.

    - Hurler:
    Pretty much the same story as Grizzly. This iteration is worse than the twin at Carowinds.

    - Ricochet:
    I actually liked this version better than the one at Carowinds. The layout has a nice first drop and a smoother set of hairpins than Carowind's Ricochet.



    I hope this trip review was interesting to someone. If not, oh well. If anyone has questions or needs clarification, don't hesitate.
  1.  
    Woo! It's awesome to know that I'm not the only one here who enjoys GateKeeper. Great trip report!
    •  
      CommentAuthorzampano
    • CommentTimeAug 11th 2015
     
    I also think GateKeeper is pretty cool. Best winger I rode. Not my favorite kind of coaster overall, but still fun.
    •  
      CommentAuthorBolt789
    • CommentTimeAug 11th 2015
     
    GateKeeper is indeed a pretty sweet ride, not the most intense or thrilling coaster out there, but definitely exciting and fun.
  2.  
    Nice reveiw!

    Also @toilet: I love Gatekeeper!
  3.  
    Great pics, thanks for sharing!
  4.  
    This makes me want to go to Cedar Point so much more than before o.o
    Kings Dominion looks awesome too. Not sure I'd bother with Darien if I went over there.
    •  
      CommentAuthorintim305
    • CommentTimeAug 11th 2015
     
    Glad to see Kings dominion running as usual, as my home park I visit it surprisingly little. also I was thinking of stopping by darien lake soon and thought that part of the trip report could really help me. Thanks! (I like gatekeeper too, it gets way too much hate)
  5.  
    Hurler was very smooth at Carowinds when I rode it in 2012, not so much at KD. Rebel Yell was also incredibly rough when I rode, and Grizzly was one of my favorites in the park. It's odd how that works out lol. Awesome trip report, and great pictures.
  6.  
    I found riding Predator in the front seat to be rather bearable and quite fun. There is quite a bit of airtime and a huge jolt of air before the second turnaround. I also found ROS to be running near perfect last year. A few seats were a bit rattly, but the front seat was fantastic. S:ROS at SFA definitely runs on the rattly side though. Also if you enjoyed Shockwave, Sky Rider at CW would have been a breeze (well now it's in Italy). That was way smoother and had way more airtime. Great report!
    •  
      CommentAuthorbaadrix
    • CommentTimeAug 12th 2015
     
    Thanks a lot for the trip report, looks like you had a great time. Great pictures as well (although they're missing some trains - right, ride_op?).
    •  
      CommentAuthorjpaufsc
    • CommentTimeAug 13th 2015
     
    Thanks for the likes everyone! I'm glad my review turned out good. I have another one in the works for this fall after I get to Dollywood.

    @zampano and @Bolt789: I totally agree. Not the best thing in the park, but certainly still quite enjoyable and fun.

    @Coasterfan312: In my opinion, Cedar Point is one of, if not the best, Cedar Fair park. I don't think anyone can go there and be disappointed. KD is also very good. Darien Lake isn't a must stop, but if you are in the area and want to ride some decent coasters, it's there.

    @intim305: Also, be sure to check out Darien's new S&S Space Shot. It's a pretty fun little ride.

    @A.S.Coasters: When I had visited KD before, Grizzly was good. Although, I'm probably not helping myself by riding all these old woodies in the last row. I rode Rebel Yell in both the middle and back and still enjoyed the ride. I thought it was going to be rougher, which is why I was pleasantly surprised.

    @devilsrule911: I ended up riding in the middle of the train on Predator. I do remember there being some air on the first hill, but the double down on the back side was disappointing. I rode in the last row on Ride of Steel which was a tad more rattly than I remembered. Noting too aggressive though. My main gripe with the coaster is the added bars on each side of the T bar. Without those, the ride would still be perfect.

    @baadrix: I always forget to have the trains in the shot. I need to remember that for the future.
    •  
      CommentAuthorraptoralex
    • CommentTimeAug 13th 2015
     
    What, no Raptor?
    •  
      CommentAuthorjpaufsc
    • CommentTimeAug 13th 2015
     
    ^Raptor was on my list of things to do, but the park was so busy, I literally couldn't fit it in.