August 12: Adventure World
My sister lived in Washington for 10 years and steadfastly refused to go to
Adventure World. She had heard nothing but bad things about the place, mainly
when the park was known as Wild World. I have spent the last few years assuring
her that it had improved and that it wasn't as bad as she thought. She finally
wore down this year and decided to go for her first time. This would be my
third trip to this park, and I think it improves a little each time I visit.
This was the first time I've visited this park when I didn't have to wait at
least 30 minutes before even getting in the gate. That alone is a big
improvement. It nearing lunchtime when we arrived at the park, so we started by
getting a pretzel in the western section. I just love the pretzels at this
park. They are second only to the pretzels at Dutch Wonderland.
Now it was time to ride my 200th coaster: Roar. Roar certainly looks
impressive. The curves look impossible, even moreso than Wildcat's did when it
opened. The ride is very smooth and fast. I liked approaching various curves
that looked like there was no way you could make it around them safely. The
overall ride, though, didn't impress me very much. It didn't have enough
airtime or *** for my taste. It's a fun ride, but it wasn't very
thrilling. Wildcat is one of my sister's favorite coasters, so she was
expecting a lot from Roar. I got the impression that she left it pretty
disappointed. We both expected more airtime. Perhaps in a few years it will
break in and provide more air than it does currently. Overall, I think it's a
nice addition to AW. It's nice to have a decent twister and an excellent out
and back in the same park.
Our next ride was the Typhoon Sea Coaster. On my visit to this park last year,
I was disappointed that this ride wasn't functioning yet. I had been looking
forward to it since I saw its construction. It was great fun! It's a very long
ride, and is an interesting combination of a log flume and chute-the-chutes
(sp?). I loved being turned backwards! It is a ride that also produces just the
right amount of wet for my tastes.
We then went and looked at the Mind Eraser. It was functioning, but with only
one train. The line was very long, and since we had both ridden this type of
coaster, we decided to pass on it on this trip.
For lunch, I had a cheeseburger and my sister had chicken strips. It was okay,
but nothing terribly memorable. Most park food, to me, is just average. I
rarely even notice what I'm getting. I only really notice if it's unexpectedly
wonderful or far worse than I expected. So, IMHO, the food at this park is on
par with most parks.
After lunch, it was time to hit the Wild One. This is one of my favorite back
seat rides! It's ***, has out of control airtime, and is wickedly fun. It
seems to have been tamed a bit since my first ride on it a few years ago. Has
the turnaround been changed or modified in the last few years? It could be that
we caught it at a bad time or on a bad day. I still enjoyed it, but it didn't
live up to my memories of it. My sister found it to be a bit rough. I don't
think she liked it as much as I did. I wish they could get both trains
functioning at once.
We also rode the Tower of Doom. My sister has avoided riding Giant Drops like
the plague, but she finally decided to brave this one. The idea of falling
really scares her. I'm pretty sure she found that it's not as bad as she
thought it would be. It's not quite tall enough for my taste, but I enjoyed it
just the same.
Next, I went on one of my favorite flat rides, the Iron Eagle. This is an evil,
twisted contraption that I enjoy immensely. When you are upside down and it
sweeps toward the ground, it freaks me out! I wish more parks had one of these.
We also decided to pass on the Python. Kind of a "been there, done that"
phenomenon. While I enjoy these shuttles, it's just too much work to ride it! I
guess we were feeling a little lazy this day.
We rode Roar a few more times and decided we wouldn't mind making a short day
of it for once. So, we bid AW goodbye and headed out toward Allentown, PA,
where our next hotel was.
August 13: Dorney Park
This was our second visit to DP. Our first visit was the year before Steel
Force opened, so we were looking forward to riding this monster. The weather
was very pleasant on the day we visited, which we found to be a great relief,
considering the steepness of this park and the general lack of shade.
Before heading down the hill to the coasters, I wanted to give the top spin a
try. What do they call it? Hangman? Hangtime? I can't remember. This was a
first for me and I enjoyed it, though I would have liked to have been flipped a
few more times. My sister was afraid to try it.
We started heading down the hill, and as we both remembered Hercules to be a
generally unpleasant experience, we decided to skip it. I wish I hadn't now,
but it's done. I would have liked to give it another chance.
We did a couple of flat rides including the ferris wheel, Paratrooper, and whip
before we rode our first coaster of the day: Thunderhawk. I really like this
ride. I would really LOVE this ride if it weren't for the brake on the return
hills. The third seat is spectacular, providing thigh-slamming air heading into
the turns. There was no line for this coaster, so we rode it several times
before moving on.
Walking by the Laser, we saw a terribly long line with only one train running,
so we decided to come back later. We headed up for the coaster we came for,
Steel Force. What can I say that hasn't already been said? It's a great ride.
We liked the back seat the best, as it provided more "***" over the first
drop. The air on the return run is excellent. It's a great ride, and a great
addition to the park. I think I like Mamba better than SF, though. I'm starting
to wonder if the preferences people have between SF and Mamba are the result of
which they rode first. I rode Mamba first and these are the reasons I prefer
it: First, the second drop on Mamba is MUCH better, in my opinion. It produces
a float allllll the way down. I like Mamba's turnaround better than any other
hyper coaster that I've ridden. When I rode Mamba, there were no brakes (and my
opinion may change once I ride it with them on), and the return hills were much
more severe to me than SF's were. I want to make it clear, though, that the
preference is only slight, and I enjoy all hyper coasters a great deal. If I
were ranking the hypers I've ridden, it would go 1. Mamba 2. Magnum 3. SF 4.
Desperado. They're all very close, but this is my preference.
We hit the Laser when two trains started running and the line shortened
considerably. We both really love this ride. I grey-out a little going into the
second loop. It's always a pleasure to ride one of Anton's creations and to be
free of excessive restraints. We rode several times.
After a long day of fun at Dorney, we headed out toward Hazelton, PA where our
next hotel was.
Once settled in the hotel, we decided to try to find a place to eat. We headed
down a mountain (yes, it was in the mountains), and found the coolest drive-in
restaurant I've seen in a long time. It was called Stewart's Root Beer
Drive-in. This brought back a flood of childhood memories. We had several
drive-in restaurants in our hometown that are all gone now. We had to stop
here. We got the typical drive-in fare. Cheeseburgers, onion rings and root
beer were our selections. All were delicious. In the back, there was a little
miniature golf course that we wanted to play, but we got there rather late and
they were getting ready to close. Next to the main food building was an ice
cream stand where we treated ourselves to some soft serve. This was a real
local hang-out, and we were happy that we found it.
August 14: Knoebels
Knoebels is my favorite place on this planet. This was my second trip here this
year, and it won't be my last (PPP here I come!!). In fact, I'm speechless as
to what more I can say about the park that I and others have already said. It's
beautiful, the rides are wonderful, the food is terrific, and it takes a lot to
tear me away from it when the day is done. When I die, have me cremated and
flung from the Phoenix!
We did everything. I had the best Flyer ride of my life, as the wind was
blowing just right. The Haunted House made me scream in at least 4 places. The
Phoenix was phlying! The food was wonderful and we ate far too much of it. Some
of my favorite foods there: pizza, barbecue, pierogies, and ice cream with
krunch kote topping.
It's the perfect place. There is no other park I have visited that makes me
feel so far removed from the real world and the daily grind. It's everything I
could want it to be. 'Nough said.
Unfortunately, the end of the day at Knoebels also meant the end of my
vacation. I was sorry to have to come home. This has been the most amazing
coaster summer I've ever had. I've visited 24 parks, ridden 95 coasters, and
made so many new friends, I hate to see summer ending. I'm glad I have the PPP
and RRR events to look forward to. I'm glad I'll have VL to keep me company
until Nov. 1. Thanks to everybody that I've met this year for making this
summer so special. And thanks for taking the time to read my TR.