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Ultimate Rollercoaster > Discussion Forums > Roller Coasters, Parks & Attractions > 10 Day Road Trip - Coasters galore! (Long, but pics!)

10 Day Road Trip - Coasters galore! (Long, but pics!)

mugen828 mugen828 Profile

Posted:
6/16/13 at
11:28:25 AM

TL;DR

10 Days - 3 friends - barely any plans
29 NEW coasters ridden for me
7 Amusement Parks
Cedar Point, Holiday World, Splashin Safari, SFGAm, SFSTL, SFFT, and Schlitterbahn.
12 states
4,485 miles driving
3 games of mini golf
5 go kart races
74+ hours being in the car

Favorite rides of the trip (new to me): Iron Rattler, Top Thrill Dragster, Magnum Xl-200, The Voyage, Mr. Freeze: Reverse Blast, Poltergeist, Mammoth and Wildebeest, X-Flight, American Thunder, and Maverick.

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So last year me and one of my best friends (Jeremy) went on a coaster trip that spanned 10 days of last September. At the time I just bought my new car, and it had like 109 miles on it, then we went off on an adventure that spanned over 3,200 miles.

We ended up hitting SFOG, BGT, Dollywood, and Kings Island. The year before that we finally ventured out of the northeast and hit up Mt. Olympus and Six Flags Great America. We don't really plan much, and we like it that way! Last year we did make two goals for the trip. #1 to see our best friend Kenny in Florida, and #2 skydive. We did both!

So this year, we finally got another friend to tag along (Squid) and we decided to do another 10 day road trip! Jeremy and Squid are both long time friends of mine (13 years?) and we've all been season pass holders at Great Adventure since 2004. I'm the only one who really cares about coaster count though, they can barely remember what they've been on.

So, without further ado, here we go!


Days 1-3 were the only days planned. After that, we went where we felt like it!

Day 1 - Drive from where we live (NJ, just outside Philly) to the Rock and roll hall of fame in Cleveland, which was awesome.

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R&R Hall of Fame

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R&R Hall of Fame

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Me being a dork

Above, is this place called The Arcade. It's a mall/hotel place in downtown Cleveland. Stunning architecture, but it was dead of any activity at the moment. Only a few things were open.

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Day 2 - Cedar Point! We've been waiting as a group (a few others couldn't go) for nearly...10 years? to go to Cedar Point. This was big for me. Ever since I fell in love with coasters, around...2002? I began searching the internet tirelessly for the coolest and MUST rides out there. This place obviously had that "coaster mecca" lore to it, and as a huge fan of everything amusement parks, it was just an amazing experience. I bet I would have been even more blown away if I was 15 again.

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Gatekeeper!

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I played one of the best mini golf games of my LIFE at CP. Shot UNDER par! 4 hole in ones. I think Maggie gave me some luck!

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Gatekeeper going up, and down, and around!

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"Hey take a picture...no one picture...dude what are you doing?! haha"

SOAKED and FREEZING...dammit Ohio!

WE ARE IDIOTS and went on both shoot the rapids and the canyon river rapid ride in 50-55 degree weather. It was HILARIOUSLY PAINFUL. I strongly advise to not ever do that, ever. It was pretty comical though.

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Cedar Point had an awesome arcade with a lot of old pinball machines, and old arcade cabinets. A lot out of order, but still, a great collection. I give the edge to Hershey Park's arcade, but this was cool to see at CP!

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Cedar Point
Weather - Sun in and out - chilly all day
Crowds - Heavy crowds
Time of arrival - Gate opening

Went on - All coasters 1 time, except Wicked Twister, and no kiddie ones. River rapids and Windseeker.

So cedar point was awesome. We has Fast Pass, and boy did we NEED it to have a good time. Without it, I would have seen us getting MAYBE 5 rides? if we were lucky. With it, we hit every coaster in the park besides Wicked Twister, Woodstock Express, and Gemini. We rode 14 coasters in total, if you count Gemini twice, my friends rode the one side, while I rode the other. It was kind of a cold day (in May!) and was Saturday of memorial day weekend (5/25).

Cedar Point wasn't what I thought it'd be, but idk what I really thought it'd be haha. BUT, I did enjoy myself a lot! It was amazing seeing THAT many coasters all around. I mean, Great Adventure has a bunch of coasters, but maybe I was just shocked by how many I could see at once at times at CP, and how close some of them were together.

Now, this may be a shocker, but my favorite ride was Magnum XL-200. Hands down!! The air time and FUN I had on that ride was crazy. Better than any other ride in the park. Top Thrill was awesome with only a lap bar, and really almost kicks KK out of my top 10 because why have both of them in it, but Dragster's slower speed (a whopping 8mph difference) is actually quite noticeable. Millennium was almost a complete letdown, but I enjoyed it. If I could have picked one coaster that I wanted to try, like one new coaster for me in 2013, that was it. So I was expecting an out of this world ride. What I got was almost the same kinda let down I got when I rode I-305 for the first time. It's just a difference experience than a B&M Hyper, and the B&M Hyper experience is hands down more fun in my opinion. MF was fast, (rode back row) and really an enjoyable ride, and the first drop was the best part. I just don't love floater air, and the speed is fun, but I would much rather get the butterfly feeling in my stomach (which is hard to come by now) on more drops, rather than long swooping turns. It was a fun ride, but Magnum beats it by a long shot for me.

Keep in mind, I only got to ride the coasters at CP once, so it is what it is. I didn't get to ride in the front on any I don't think, and I didn't get to experience any at night, or in different seats. So that plays a big part in what you think of a ride.

Gatekeeper was good. I absolutely loved the visuals of the ride itself. Impeccable placement. The ride had almost a 4 hour wait about 20 minutes after the gate opened. With Fast Pass Plus, me and my friends got on in roughly 20-30 minutes, which felt like 20 but was probably longer. The queue stretched out past the flat pendulum ride and probably to the midway. It's hard to say since sometime you ride things so far apart, but I'd place the wingriders of the U.S in this order - 1 being the best

1. X-Flight
2. Gatekeeper
3. Wild Eagle

My favorites go like this for CP:

1. Magnum XL-200
2. TTD
3. Maverick
4. Millennium Force
5. Gatekeeper

I'm shocked I put Maverick above MF, but hey, that ride was fun as hell and really impressed me. I think I didn't give it enough credit going in!

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Day 3 - Holiday World and Indiana Pacers v.s Miami Heat (Game 3 of the NBA Easter Conference Finals)

Well, me and squid are basketball fans and Jeremy doesn't mind it, so we decided to go to a playoff game in a new city. It was an awesome time, and we got to have plenty of time at Holiday World during the day. We met some random guy in the city at a bar who got us in a club box halfway through the first quarter which was awesome! This trip involved a lot of random stuff like that, that's what makes it so much fun! You never know who you're gonna meet!

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Holiday World / Splashin Safari
Weather - Sun in and out
Crowds - non existent
Time of arrival - rope drop

Went On: The Voyage (3), Legend, and Raven. (all back row), every slide, and Africana? (pilgrims plunge)

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Holiday World was an awesome awesome experience. The way they do things is just...so easy! It's SO easy to have a good time there. 1. the ride ops OFFER to take your things, place them in a locker, and give you a key, or you can use a bin on certain rides. My thing is though, despite how awesome and nice that is of the park/ride op, what if I lose the key on the ride? Not sure, but non the less, it makes a type 1 diabetic like myself, more than happy and have some piece of mind that my $400 insulin pump remote, is in a safe place and not falling from the sky on a coaster.

All of the coasters were great. Legend was down the first half of our visit, but as smart park goers, we passed it by, rode other things, did the water park, and on our exit we got to ride it. Raven was really intense, but short, but it kinda fit for the ride. Legend was a reallllly good ride, I really enjoyed it. The Voyage was obviously the best ride, but Legend wasn't far behind. I didn't get to EXPERIENCE these parks like I wanted to, but you sacrifice that for more places to visit on a trip like this. The FREE soda thing blew me away hahaha. Me and squid got it every chance we could, and I APPLAUD HW for somehow having free soda. I didn't even see Pepsi signs everywhere or any mega sponsoring/adverts, it was just free.

As for Splashin Safari, well, that has to be one of the best water parks I've ever been to! Keep in mind it was again, around 60-65, but it was memorial weekend, and we just LUCKED out! With the weather being, not so warm and overcast some of the day, the crowds were non existent!! We got on EVERY water slide, and both Mammoth and Wildebeest were phenomenal rides. I'm really not that hard to please when it comes to rides in general. I enjoy small details in rides, and I take things for what they are. Having been on now 150+ coasters and gone sky diving, not much "thrills" me, but I ENJOY all types of rides. With that said though, I was very impressed with the water park and the water coasters. I would have to say that Wildebeest was my favorite at SS, but Mammoth was a close second. I think Mammoth would be better if we had a group of 6 people that were all friends.

So I feel like I need to talk about The Voyage for a minute. I had heard and read so many things since it was built, "it's the best coaster on the planet", 'it get's faster at the second half of the ride, "it's better than El Toro..." ect, ect,. so I had a lot on my mind when I sat in the last row and got buckled in.

Well...unlike Millennium force, I was not disappointed. It's imo, not better than El Toro, but they are SO different it's hard to even lump them together. If you like the Voyage, then you will love Hades, but they are totally different experiences than El Toro. It's the hectic "am I gonna fly out? like...really?!!?" feeling. The out of control wood coaster feeling. Where El Toro is a "How is this possible? am I going to fly into the sky out of my seat?!" ride. I asked Squid how he felt about The Voyage, and he said it was better than El Toro, which shocked me, but me and Jeremy didn't think so. Nostalgia, or favoritism could play a part, but hey, I like what I like. The Voyage was an AMAZING ride. We rode it 3 times right at opening. Holiday World definitely reached a new level with building that ride, for sure. My top 5 wood coasters now sit like this: 1. El Toro, 2. Hades, 3. The Voyage, 4. Shivering Timbers, and 5. Beast. Thunderhead at Dollywood was my former #5. Also it's true, the ride does somehow gain speed in the second half!

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Six Flags Great America
Weather - Raining and cold
Crowds - Non existent, probly due to the weather
Time of arrival - Gate opening

Went On: Raging Bull (2), X-Flight, Demon, Viper, Batman backwards, Screaming Eagle, and V2. (all last row)

Second time park visit for me and Jeremy, first for squid. This was going to be a speed run for us as we wanted to really enjoy Chicago later, but that plan ended up falling through thanks to Jeremy losing his key fab remote, which is the only way to start his car. Like it has to be present in the car to start his car with the push of a button. We got saved by a friend of mine who luckily was in the area that same weekend. The next day we got a call, after Jeremy went and paid for a new key at a dealer, since they were now open the day after memorial day, and it was six flags saying they found his key hahaha. He wasted $300+ but, at least he now has two keys again. Three good things came out of losing the key though. Me and squid got to go back in the park and ride raging bull again and viper, we got to walk to an awesome wing place down the road, AND I got to see my favorite band the next night in Chicago due to us being there another day. We just had to roll with the punches!

Ok, so now for some pictures! Sorry I got off track. *pun not intended*


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Raging Bull!

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X-Flight was not a disappointment!

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Batman Backwards!

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I wanted to perfect this shot, but I think I passed up on it because it was so cold and I was just wanting to move on.

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First drop!

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RB - X-Flight - Batman backwards - Demon

Raging Bull was great as always. Eagle was NOT backwards this time, but it was still fun. viper was BO-ring. X-Flight really surprised me. I loved the keyhole through the tower, they also had another keyhole but it was just bars, then there was another hole as well. So 3, through something, elements. I thought that added a lot to the ride, as I sat on an end seat. X-Flight felt was faster than WE and Gatekeeper imo, and I give it the edge and pick it as my favorite wingrider in the U.S! The weather was so crappy all day and it kinda impacted the day. I wanted to ride the Whizzer as I really liked it last time, but the wait was 30 minutes from the looks of it. All in all another good visit, albeit a short one, to Six flags Great America.

The next day we finally got some pizza. It takes like 45 minutes to make, but mannn was it WORTH the wait!! This was from a place like, 2-3 miles down the road from SFGAm, called Girodano's, which is a chain, but it's chain isn't out of Illinois, besides one in Florida. AMAZING pizza!

Chicago deep dish. Wow. Best pizza I've ever had! #chicago #pizza #food #giordanos


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Six Flags St. Louis
Weather - Humid - Overcast
Crowds - Non existent, leaving the park
Time of arrival - 6pm (park close at 8)

Went On: American Thunder, Pandemonium, Boss, Ninja, Screaming Eagle, Mr. Freeze Reverse Blast.

Wonder if Nelly would wanna hang out? Yo St. Louis! #arch #stlouis #photography #skyline #city #travel

St. Louis Arch and city skyline

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Sunk some shots for a squid hat!

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Walking into the park.

Not excited. Then EXCITED!! #bestfriends #roadtrip #rollercoaster #dorks #lookhowuglytheyare

Not a before and after, but a "you guys look bored" then they got excited photoset. haha.

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Ninja sucked...

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One of my favorite rides of the trip actually. Mr. Freeze reverse blast. Wish we had one at SFGAdv!

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The Boss.

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Mr. Freeze Reverse Blast was surprisingly good. I sat in the front of the car, thus getting a front view of the drop on the way back on it's circuit. The views that way made the ride a lot of fun.

American Thunder was a fun and airtime machine. Not like, Maggie airtime, or El Toro air time, but it was fun. A small coaster, but it's a lot more fun than it looks.

Boss...was long, and not that great. I thought that would be a highlight, and from it's stats, it kind of got me wanting to stop at SFSTL. We were goign to skip it, as we were driving from Chicago to San Antonio, TX. But we stopped at SFSTL for 2 hours and got everything in. Quick note, their Boomerang is almost done, just the entrance/exit work being done. It's green and orange and the colors look sick!

Screaming Eagle was fun, up and down, the simple stuff. Ninja was god awful, reminded me of anaconda at KD. Slow, barely getting through anything, and on top of that, I barely fit in those arrows so...not much fun at all. Skipped Batman, which is still the faded black. Pandemonium was fun, but never wait for those things if you can avoid it.

SFSTL had a very nice feel to the park, NOLA section, wild west section, and was very very clean. If this place builds a Nitro I would definitely visit again. Part of that being I get in free with a season pass though, haha. Really liked this park. I feel if it didn't have six flags all over it, and different owners, it'd get the proper attention it deserves.


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Six Flags Fiesta Texas
Weather - Hot & Sunny
Crowds - Moderate
Time of arrival - Park opening, a little late

Went On: Iron Rattler (2 or 3), Road Runner Express, Poltergeist, Superman: EFK, and Goliath.

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This is a phenomenal photo spot in the park. Should have gotten a group shot with the guys here but they hate pictures...

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Poltergeist was a pretty fun ride! Launch coasters without the speed of KK or Dragster are weird to me now, but I enjoy them regardless. It's fun going through that tangled ball of steel. Sat in...can you guess? Back row!

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Ok...so this was one HELl of a ride!!! I have never been on anything like it. It's on this seemingly, laminated track, that is so smooth it almost feels like it's not a roller coaster. I at first thought it was TOO strange, but after the ride that old fashioned, or just customary coaster feel, was not a thought in my mind when assessing this coaster.

This is hands down the best ride in the park. No questions asked. It actually does go upside down, and you only have lap bars, so that is A+ in my book. It has speed, INSANE turns, and the setting it's in is awesome too. I love the big canyon walls around it. This ride does things that seem impossible because you're sitting upright with a lap bar, instead of having OTSR and looking at loops and inversions while in line and expecting these things.

If I could go back and ride any ride of this trip again, it'd be this one. We didn't get to Six flags Over Texas unfortunately, so I can't compare to The New Texas Giant, which sucks, but I am so so happy I got to ride the amazing Iron Rattler.

So how much did I like this ride? Well, Iron Rattler is now sitting at #5 overall for me, and I bet if I wasn't so hung up on B&M Hyper's it'd be up another spot.

Six Flags Fiesta Texas!  Not bad. #sixflags #bestfriends #rollercoaster

Didn't get to the boomerang. Which I actually like boomerangs, but it just saved us time.

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Overall SFFT was nice. I felt like it was a bit weird layout wise. Superman: Escape From Krypton was fun and unique in it's own little ways, like the first drop being a small dip to a semi helix, then the drop coming off the top of the cliff. Looking at pictures of that ride I thought it'd be better though. IR, as I just gushed about, was amazing. Poltergeist was fun. OH! Roadrunner express was awesome. It's a "mine ride" by themeing, but it's really a, sort of arrow coaster without inversions. It had good speed and I liked the layout a lot. Overall another nice park, and I guess it helps we parked and walked in for free :)

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All in all this trip was insane! We have so many new stories to tell, and it was just a lot of fun. Tiring, but fun. From roller coasters, to meeting new people, historical places, to drinking way too much, it was just a great time with two of my best friends. I left out that we also went to Schlitterbahn, which was cool, but the main park wasn't open, which didn't look as fun as the one that was open.

The way home was the longest time I have ever been in a car in one shot haha. We stopped for dinner, but then it was just gas stops lol.

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Here is a link to see other photos of the trip. I didn't upload many to flickr, but there are a few in there not posted here.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/oneofthefew/sets/72157633929141035/

If you somehow read through all of this, thank you! It took me days to put this together haha. Hopefully we will somehow top this trip next year!

* This post was modified at 6/18/13 9:06:04 AM *

- mugen828
157 Coasters -- Favorite Coaster -- Nitro (SFGAdv)
117 Steel -- 40 Wood -- Home Park: SFGADv
Re: 10 Day Road Trip - Coasters galore! (Long, but pics!) by frontrow frontrow Profile at 6/16/13 7:37:50 PM
Excellent report and great photos. That's one long coaster trip. I have the same order as my top 3 wooden coasters, #1 El Toro, #2 Hades, and #3 Voyage. It sounds like you had a great time and got to ride some fantastic coasters. I'm planning an 8 or 9 day trip in August myself. Great stuff, thanks for sharing.
Re: 10 Day Road Trip - Coasters galore! (Long, but pics!) by MABrider MABrider Profile at 6/17/13 8:14:16 AM
This is great stuff!
I've said many times I love photo-journalism trip reports.*

I may have missed it (?), but what were the dates of this excellent excursion?


* Not that I am capable of putting together a report such as this, nor would I have the tenacity and patience to do so.

Mike B.
Re: 10 Day Road Trip - Coasters galore! (Long, but pics!) by mugen828 mugen828 Profile at 6/17/13 8:49:59 AM
Haha no problem, this was a project to do. Took me a few days to finally get it done.

We left on Friday 5/25 and got back home on Sunday 6/2.

- mugen828
157 Coasters -- Favorite Coaster -- Nitro (SFGAdv)
117 Steel -- 40 Wood -- Home Park: SFGADv
Re: 10 Day Road Trip - Coasters galore! (Long, but pics!) by Overbanked Overbanked Profile at 6/17/13 10:07:21 PM
I enjoyed the report Mugen. Sounds like yall had a great time. Not only was this a park trip report, but a full fledged roadtrip experience with other nice attractions like at the Pacers game, and the R&R HOF. Well done.
Re: 10 Day Road Trip - Coasters galore! (Long, but pics!) by LoneStar LoneStar Profile at 6/18/13 1:56:55 PM
Great trip and pics! I'm so glad you made it down to SFFT. Most people on this board don't make it to the great Lone Star State.

SFFT has a great coaster selection to offer, and the theming makes the park beautiful. Loved your picture of the waterfalls.

While loved Iron Rattler, I'm not quite as enthused about it. Not sure if it's in my top 10...I'll have to evaluate. But I agree that the rocky mountain experience is unique in the coaster world. I can't quite figure it out, but something about their coasters is sooo different.

I've always been huge fan of Poltergeist, but it seemed a big cumbersome after IR. Compared to IR's open trains and quietness, Poltergeist seemed to lumber through the coarse with heavy-feeling cars. It's still awesome, and one of the most under-rated coasters in the USA...it just seemed to drag and be very rough after IR.

Glad you loved Superman. I agree that the use of the cliff side for the track layout really add to the experience. It doesn't feel as generic as some B&M floorless coasters.

Too bad they've really reduced the theming on Road Runner Express. For example, the queue used to be totally ACME themed with tons of decorations, and after the 2nd lift hill, Wil E Coyote used to try to drop a boulder on the trains as they rolled by. Those little effects make a big difference.

I enjoyed all your pictures and look forward to reading more.

- Pat-O

Re: 10 Day Road Trip - Coasters galore! (Long, but pics!) by chris92se chris92se Profile at 6/18/13 7:49:05 PM
That was an excellent review and a trip that surely makes me jealous.
Re: 10 Day Road Trip - Coasters galore! (Long, but pics!) by mugen828 mugen828 Profile at 6/18/13 10:28:26 PM
Thank you guys! I was fortunate enough to actually be able to do this kinda trip twice. I wonder if we will do another 10 day trip next year.

I'm bummed we missed Six Flags Over Texas, World Of Fun, and Kennywood, but the parks we visited this time around were all really awesome. Six Flags St. Louis was cool, they just need a BIG ride, like a Nitro.

I guess since we missed some, we now have an excuse for another trip next year! haha. Thanks again for checking this Tr out :)

- mugen828
157 Coasters -- Favorite Coaster -- Nitro (SFGAdv)
117 Steel -- 40 Wood -- Home Park: SFGADv

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