Throwback Thursday–Sierra Twist and Yosemite Sam’s Sierra Falls

For this weeks flat ride edition of Throwback Thursday, we chose to focus on 2 of the more modern flat rides that were removed from the park rather recently.

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In the area where Wonderful Pistachios Park sits today, stood a ride called Sierra Twist.  The ride opened with the park in 1973 as Swiss Twist.  Continue reading “Throwback Thursday–Sierra Twist and Yosemite Sam’s Sierra Falls”

Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye

In this Ride Review we are looking at one of the most popular rides at the Disneyland Resort….

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Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye at the Adventureland section of Disneyland, has been a crowd pleaser since it opened in 1995.  It is also a quite controversial rides, due to the fact that is is one of the first thrilling dark rides, meaning an indoor, non roller coaster ride that submerses riders into a story.  The story of this ride takes place in 1936, and is shown through a series of news reels throughout the line.  The Temple of the Forbidden eye has been excavated after almost 2000 year of being covered by the earth.  The idol that guards the temple, named Mara, offers anyone who excavated it one of 3 gifts, riches, eternal life, or the ability to see the future.  The only catch is that you cannot gaze into the eyes of Mara, due to the fact that it will kill you.  It is explained that even though everyone is very excited about this, he has lost much of his funding, so a returning character from the Indy films named Sallah, has been giving guided tours for money.  Many tourists return with great gifts, but other don’t return at all.  About 1 week ago, Indy ventured into the temple to find them and has yet to return.  Sallah continues to conduct tours to find Dr. Jones.  Continue reading “Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye”

Xcelerator @ Knott’s Berry Farm

This Ride Review is reviewing the first ever Intamin Accelerator Coaster, XCELERATOR at Knott’s Berry Farm. Xcelerator opened in 2002 and replaced Windjammer Surf Racers.

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Riders will approach the ride as they made their way around the park to the fifties themed area next to the boardwalk. Excelerator stands out with it’s 205 ft. hill. Once you think you’re there, you are not yet, as the ride entrance is located under the hill, on the other side of the themed area. There will be a large sign indicating that the Xcelerator entrance is to be found over there. Once you’re about to enter the line there is a test seat for larger guests to see if they fit in. We advise tall, and guests of an larger body sizes to sit in the test seat to make sure they can ride. Once you decided to enter the line, you’ll pass under the track, pass by lots of (never filled) switchbacks to a little path that will turn in to a ramp to the station. Once in the station you get to choose your row, and you’re ready to board!

The station
The station

Riders board the train, painted and modeled after a 1957 Chevrolet Bel Air’s with flames painted on the hood, buckle their lap belt, and pull down the lap t bar.  After a series of red and yellow traffic lights, the bottom light flashes green, the train is pulled back by a catch car and the ride launches riders to 82 mph in 2.3 seconds. After only 157 ft of straight track, the ride heads up a 90 degree, 205 ft tall hill.  At the top of the hill, the ride switches from the side of the track to the top due to a twist in the track.  At the top, it slows enough to see the surrounding Orange County, then plunges back down the other side of the 90 degree, 205 ft hill while twisting back to its original position.  Once down, the track hits two over banked turns that make a figure eight.  The over banked turns are 110 ft and 95 ft tall respectively, and slow the vehicle down to 67 mph before being stopped by the brake run.  The ride only lasts about thirty seconds, but it is sure to leave all riders breathless.

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Once the train has returned to the station, riders will pick up their belongings, and leave the station to go see their on-ride photos. The photo-booth is located next to the launch track, and riders will have a sense of the speed as the launched trains fly by!

Figure eight!
Figure eight!

The lines for Xcelerator tend to be short ’til about noon, but can get pretty long from that point on, especially if they only operate 1 of the 2 trains. This can form a line that may seem short, but takes a while before you get to the actual boarding platform. After 6/7 PM the lines will lessen again, and because of Xcelerator’s popularity at night, it might have short periods of extended waits after that. If the lines are backed up somewhere in the area of the switchbacks, we advise you to come back later in the day, as the lines will most likely be shorter!

The exit of Xcelerator!
The exit of Xcelerator!

Xcelerator is definitely a must-do at the park, and is, together with Silver Bullet, the most popular ride there. Without a wait this is an amazing ride, but with wait it might disappoint, therefore try avoiding lines and have a blast!

SCREAM! @ Six Flags Magic Mountain

Please watch in HD or 1080p!
Scream! is located in the Colossus County Fair section of the park, and opened in 2003. It has;
Length: 3,985 ft
Height: 150 ft
Drop: 141 ft
Inversions: 7
Speed: 63 mph
Duration: 3:00

2014 CA Season Pass prices.

For today’s Tomorrow Tuesday we are looking ahead, and we are showing you all the Season Pass prices for the major CA Theme Parks. Please note that these are the regular passes! For more detailed info go to our Quick Links page, or our Current Ticket Prices page, or click on the name of the park below.

Viper Ride Review

In this Ride Review we’re looking at one of the most underrated coasters around, Viper. Viper is located in Six Flags Magic Mountain and opened in 1990 with the record of world’s tallest loop, and world’s longest and fastest looping-coaster.

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Riders will approach the line after walking up the hill of Baja Ridge, where Revolution, X2 and Viper are located. Once the riders passed under the X2 bridge, they will see an arch with the Viper logo. This is where the line begins. Riders will walk up the curved ramp and arrive in the Mexican themed building. The first thing riders will see are the switchbacks where screens are located. (Switchbacks never get filled). Riders will then take the stairs up to the actual boarding area of the ride, the riders will quickly board, and the ride is about to start.

 

Riders have now boarded the green arrow-dynamics trains, and are about to leave for a crazy, non-stop action, adventure. The train will be brought to a height of 188 ft, to be dropped sideways 171 ft. After the powerful drop, the train will shoot up 144 ft, to go through the first loop, it will then be slowed down a little and curve to the left. The train now approaches the 2nd and then 3rd loop. The second loop is 90 ft tall, and the third is 62 ft tall. A little warning, there’s a little bump between the 2 loops that can cause pain in your neck, so please keep your head back in the loopings. After the 3rd loop, riders will have 3 seconds to breath before they get released from the brake-run on their way to the batwing. After an S-curve descending down, the train will spiral through a batwing, which is an element that starts off halfway, will go through a half corkscrew to the right, which is followed by a half loop, which is then followed by a (Sidewinder) half loop up, and a half corkscrew turning to the side you originally came from. The train will then be slowed down by a set of trim-brakes before it passes under the first drop to slowly pull through the 40 ft tall double corkscrew. After the double corkscrew the train will roll over a straight segment for a few seconds before the last. sudden, drop that passes under the begin of the lift-hill to hit the final brake run. The train will then turn back to the station.

First loop!
First loop!

Riders are able to purchase an on-ride photo, which is taken when the train rolls through the batwing. The ride may be a little rough but it is definitely not as bad as advertised. The ride has 7 inversions and doesn’t get boring at any point. The best seats are all the way in the front or the back 2 rows.

Second and third loop!
Second and third loop!

The lines for Viper seriously never get long, and Six Flags mostly operates it with 2 trains. So you will often end up walking on immediately. If the lines get longer, or there is only 1 train running, lines will still not exceed 15-20 minutes, and therefore the switchbacks on the lower level of the station are almost never used anymore. Please keep in mind that this doesn’t mean that the ride isn’t good, it is probably the smoothest and best arrow-looper still operating, and has won many of our polls.

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Batwing! Also, notice that it is located next to the X2 queue, and notice the first drop!

We advise you to ride it, since it never has a line anyways, why not do a Viper marathon, when you have time. It’s definitely not the most popular ride of the park, but it is one of the most extreme rides!

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SFMM Park Update 9/22/13

We went to SFMM today, and kind of forgot that it was a “free-friend’ day. So it ended up being really crowded! Also, X2 was still closed, and is not expected to re-open any time soon, and Goliath closed in the middle of the day for some reason. We expect that they were testing the refurbished train as we saw empty trains running, but an empty line on a crowded day. 

Other than that, this is what else we saw;

Scream, running 2 trains, and seriously fast operations, had this line. When we got back later it started forming uphill towards Colossus’ entrance.

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Speaking of Colossus; the entire line, including those switchbacks all the way in the back were full.

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And of course, the over flow parking lot was used, and we decided to take a stroll and explore it a little… yeah, other than the view (which is spectacular, honestly), there wasn’t much to see.

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Chupacabra is ready to go!

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The Full Throttle dancers were there all day, so was Velocity, the band that performs every weekend. Notice the Fright Fest props that were placed.

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The props that usually reside under Superman yearly, have been placed for Fright Fest.

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Look at that crowded parking lot around 1 PM

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Maybe not the best decorations in town, but FLAGS is ready for Fright Fest too!

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Some red carpet was rolled out, seems to happen a lot with “bring-a-friend” tickets.

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Also, the decorations for FF are up at the entrance, where Demon’s Door will be located!

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Special Saturday–Belmont Park

Belmont Park in San Diego, California is a state landmark.  Even though it only has one coaster, and at its maximum only held three, it remains to be one of California’s most famous boardwalks.  The park houses a wide variety of rides and many other attractions, including a flow rider, a miniature golf course, and a laser tag complex.  The ride formerly held both a wooden kiddie coaster and a wooden wild mouse coaster, but both closed in the late 70’s.  The following is a list of the multiple thrill rides they have in the park.  The park also features a bumper car ride, a kiddie bouncing tower, a tilt a whirl, and a carrousel.

Big Dipper: The parks iconic attraction that is one of California’s original coasters alongside Big Dipper in Santa Cruz, that was restored in 1990 so riders could enjoy all of the rides drops, turns, and straightaways at optimum performance.

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Beach Blaster: A ride similar to Knott’s Berry Farm’s La Revalucion, which swings riders up 60 ft in the air at a 120 degree angle in both directions.

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Control Freak: A ride in which the rider controls when his car goes up, down, and upside down.

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Octotron: Another rider controlled ride in which the ride goes along a track as the rider controls how fast and which way their car goes which is the first and only of its kind in California.

 

 

Throwback Thursday–Adventure Through Inner Space

Although Adventure Though Inner Space closed almost 30 years ago, it continues to be regarded as fan favorite for anyone who go to ride it.  The ride opened in 1967 and closed in 1985, and stood where Star Tours stands today.  The rides basis was that you were being shrunk down to a size smaller than an atom, known as the inner space.  From the line, riders could be viewed entering the Monsanto  Mighty Microscope on one side, and could be viewed through a tube exiting in miniature form.  Riders enter their “atom mobiles” and are greeted by the voice of a scientist who claims to be the first to take the adventure into inner space, and that due to how small riders would be shrinking, they could only communicate through his thought waves (the voice).  Riders entered the microscope and began to shake back and forth.  Once their vision returns, they see giant snowflakes, which continue to grow as the riders “shrink”, until they can see the entire crystalline structure of it completely covering their frame of vision.  Riders then head straight for the snowflake, but instead of crashing into it, they go right through the lattice structure.  As riders continue to shrink, the water molecules begin to appear, vibrating in a fixed position.  They appear to look like mickey mouse ears, which are believed to be the idea behind hidden mickeys.  Next riders approach to enter one of the oxygen atoms in the water molecule, to be greeted by a strobe effect that are described by the scientist as the electrons of the atom.  The riders finally see the nucleus of the atom, discovering what the scientist calls the center of the infinite universe inside a snowflake.  Upon exiting the atom, riders see the mickey shaped molecules swirling rapidly, and are told by the panicked voice of the scientist that tells them that the snowflake is melting.  Luckily, the atoms get smaller and smaller, and the scientists informs you that you are returning to normal size, as you can see his eye examining you from the other end of the microscope, thus marking the completion of the ride.  Although this ride may seem like a snoozer by today’s standards, it still remains a favorite of many Disneyland veterans.  We would love to hear if one of you ever got to experience this ride and what you thought, so please leave us a comment.

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GhostRider Ride Review

For this ride review, we’re looking at the longest woodie in CA, and one of the longest woodies in the world. GHOSTRIDER

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When riders approach GhostRider, they will enter an engraved rock, saying ‘Ghostrider’, and will walk through a small ‘mine’. Riders will then walk up to the station, and will pass by the beginning of the ride. Right before entering the station riders will pass by a medium set of switchbacks. This is very most likely not used too often, because when you enter the building there is another big set of switchbacks, which hardly ever gets touched too. Riders will go up the stairs, and figure out why these first two switchbacks weren’t filled. There is an enormous set of switchbacks on the top level/ station as well. This might get filled up entirely at times, but the other 2 switchbacks + line are a little too much. X2’s 3-4 hour line will hardly fill up those switchbacks! 

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Once you are up in the station and you’ve waited through the switchbacks, you’ll get split up in 3; the front cars, middle cars, and back cars. We advise you to ride in the middle for the most comfortable ride. Once you’ve buckled your seat-belt and closed your restraint the ride ops will do a safety check and the train leaves the station.

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The train with riders will have a ‘drop’ ride out of the station and will turn to approach the lift-hill. The lift-hill is 118 ft tall, and is followed by a covered drop of 108 ft. From this point on the ride is pretty much non-stop racing over the 4,533 ft track. There is a little brake halfway through the ride that is followed by another drop that offers some nice airtime and has a nice speed all the way back to the station. The ride offers lots of airtime, and different mixes of G’s but it is no longer smooth. It opened as a smooth, ‘must-do’, but the ride leaves riders soar nowadays. It’s still a nice and lengthy ride, which is really nice, but we’d understand that people wouldn’t wait long for it.

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Therefore the lines are never too long anymore, and the first and second switchbacks aren’t needed The lines get about 20 minutes long, and maybe more or less depending on what time of the day you decide to ride. Lines are hard to estimate for Ghost Rider, since it is close to the entrance, doesn’t have many other rides close to it, and is very popular at night, because all the handrails are lit up gold.

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It is definitely a ride that you’d want to have ridden, but when lines are long, consider coming back later on in the day. The ride is good because it’s so lengthy, reaches speeds of 56 MPH, and has a maximum drop-angle of 51′ degrees. The entire ride takes about 2 minutes and 40 seconds!

Uncreated Disney

Disneyland has been the place where dreams come true since it opened in 1955.  Although the park has changed since it opened more than fifty years ago, it remains to be one of California’s family favorite parks.  Although Walt Disney passed away his wonderful ideas lived on and were created by the Disney Imagineers.  Although Disney could be claimed to be perfect by many, many people don’t know how many of those wonderful ideas were though up and never created.  The following is a list of Disneyland attractions never created, and we’d love to hear your feedback of your favorites. Continue reading “Uncreated Disney”

Universal Studios Hollywood Future Plans

USH is planning on demolishing half of the park, and flattening out the top lot for Harry Potter expansion. The Simpsons-Springfield area will be enlarged and will be a deluxe version of the one in Florida. For more future info please check out the clip below explaining it all. *These plans are not confirmed and are considered rumors.

ROAR Ride Review

Roar is a very interesting woodie located in Six Flags Discovery Kingdom. It may be called revolutionary, because it was the first ride to use Millennium Flyer Trains, and could thus make sudden and quick turns!

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When riders approach the giant looking woodie, they enter the Roar Plaza. Roar Plaza has a flat-ride, Superman Ultimate Flight, V2, and an interactive dolphin pool. When riders come closer to the ride, they get reminded why it’s called the Roar Plaza, as all buildings seen have the same roofing and style as Roar does. Once you’ll get even closer to the ride, the rickety sound of the woodie make you want to ride, and the sign ‘Roar- You’ll never hear the end of it’ matches every thing going on.

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Riders will now enter the line which is out on the plaza, and is a little alternative due to the space available. The lines for Roar may seem long, but are relatively short when the park operates 2 trains. The line is being held under the station, and a Flash-Pass employee will let little groups walk up to the station. Once in the station, it won’t take long before you’ll get to board the Millennium Flyer trains, and be on your way. Just like almost every other ride at SFDK you are not allowed to put any loose articles on the side besides your souvenir cup. Once you buckled your seat-belt, and the restraints have been checked, the operators will do their quadruple ‘visual scan’ and you’re off!

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Roar will leave the station and slither a little from side to side before reaching the lift-hill. Once the train has climbed the 95 ft. lift-hill, it will drop riders 85 ft, while twisting to the right. The train will then fly up, and deliver some nice airtime to the front few cars. It will then dive down again, towards the left this time. Riders will then experience a little airtime when the train goes over a hill, this hill is followed by a banked turn that then dives down into the lumber. The train will make some wild turns, and enter a tunnel, the tunnel is open from the sides, but seems like real head-choppers and riders will hesitate to raise their hands. After that you’ll spiral around the outside of the banked turn. You’ll then experience some little hops before running into the final brake run. You’ll then return to the station. Once you’ve exited you can see, and of course, purchase your on-ride photo.

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Roar is getting a little rougher over the years, but if you ride Roar in the summer, or spring this shouldn’t be a problem. Roar is only operating one train in the winter and gets pretty rough. Lines for Roar are really not too bad, but this counts for all roller coasters at SFDK. As long as each ride operates to it’s full capacity, lines at SFDK to do not really exceed 30-40 minutes. Roar is the perfect example of lines, the line normally doesn’t get much longer than 20 minutes. The lines are short in the morning, from opening ’til about noon. From then on, ’til about 5 lines can get the longest, and after that it’s almost a hop-on.

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Check this ride out when you love woodies! There are better ones out there, but also ones that are way worse. Due to the millennium flyer trains, the ride has lots of elements, has a nice length of 3,291 ft, and reaches speeds of 51 MPH.

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