Author Topic: Your Travels Thread (2018)  (Read 9241 times)

Gilligan

  • Craftsman
  • Posts: 1771
    • View Profile
Re: Your Travels Thread (2018)
« Reply #45 on: February 09, 2018, 02:52:14 PM »
My next trip will be from Branson area to Washington DC.  Based on another thread, you guys suggested KC or Tulsa.  Thinking of Tulsa next time - is that still a good plan?


chittlins

  • Craftsman
  • Posts: 2041
  • I want a watermelon stand
    • View Profile
Re: Your Travels Thread (2018)
« Reply #46 on: February 09, 2018, 04:21:01 PM »
I need suggestions....

I'm traveling to Ontario,CA (LA, Inland Empire) in a couple of weeks for work.  I may actually have an afternoon/evening off for a change on this work trip. 

I want to get some coaster credits and I'm heavily leaning toward trying to hit Magic Mountain.  Any tips for that park?  or reasons I should do KBF instead?  It's about the same drive to both from where I'm staying.

It might look the same distance, but it's not.  From Ontario SFMM is 90 minutes or more, depending on traffic, while Knott's should still be under an hour.  That adds up in a hurry.  And LA traffic can quickly and easily turn those much worse.  With Knott's you'd have the options of taking some other major streets instead of the LA freeways if need be, but that won't happen with SFMM.  And it's not unusual for the 210 and 5 to get gridlocked bad (those are the main routes you'd take to SFMM)

I think that SFMM has the better collection of coasters, but if you're shooting for just an afternoon/ evening, you're going to be a lot more out of a trip to Knott's than you would trying to get up to SFMM

(plus there's the whole deal with schedules and what time the parks close on the days you're there)

Thanks for the advice - It will be me first experience on a LA freeway for this ks boy.  I figured MM would be the tougher trip.  I get in late morning and hope to have the afternoon/evening available.  Both parks are open till 8 that day!  I'm still waiting to see if I have to meet a coworker flying in the afternoon (to share a car rental).  That might kill the whole plan.  I have meetings all day the next day and then fly out for a quick trip.

Practice by going to Memphis and hitting I-240 an hour before the overnight Fed Ex sort and the natives getting to work. Hold on tight. You master that, LA will be a breeze.

HumphreyHawk

  • Cave Guide
  • Posts: 437
  • I do not think it means what you think it means
    • View Profile
Re: Your Travels Thread (2018)
« Reply #47 on: February 09, 2018, 06:05:51 PM »
I need suggestions....

I'm traveling to Ontario,CA (LA, Inland Empire) in a couple of weeks for work.  I may actually have an afternoon/evening off for a change on this work trip. 

I want to get some coaster credits and I'm heavily leaning toward trying to hit Magic Mountain.  Any tips for that park?  or reasons I should do KBF instead?  It's about the same drive to both from where I'm staying.

It might look the same distance, but it's not.  From Ontario SFMM is 90 minutes or more, depending on traffic, while Knott's should still be under an hour.  That adds up in a hurry.  And LA traffic can quickly and easily turn those much worse.  With Knott's you'd have the options of taking some other major streets instead of the LA freeways if need be, but that won't happen with SFMM.  And it's not unusual for the 210 and 5 to get gridlocked bad (those are the main routes you'd take to SFMM)

I think that SFMM has the better collection of coasters, but if you're shooting for just an afternoon/ evening, you're going to be a lot more out of a trip to Knott's than you would trying to get up to SFMM

(plus there's the whole deal with schedules and what time the parks close on the days you're there)

Thanks for the advice - It will be me first experience on a LA freeway for this ks boy.  I figured MM would be the tougher trip.  I get in late morning and hope to have the afternoon/evening available.  Both parks are open till 8 that day!  I'm still waiting to see if I have to meet a coworker flying in the afternoon (to share a car rental).  That might kill the whole plan.  I have meetings all day the next day and then fly out for a quick trip.

Practice by going to Memphis and hitting I-240 an hour before the overnight Fed Ex sort and the natives getting to work. Hold on tight. You master that, LA will be a breeze.

Wow....funny you said that...I was literal there on my last on-site visit.  Working on a project there by the airport.  I got in town and out pretty quickly.  Co-worker stayed a couple of days and came back with some stories.  Apparently theres a local BBQ place that is so amazing it had armed parking lot security...lol
"If with women don't find you handsome....maybe they'll find you handy"

chittlins

  • Craftsman
  • Posts: 2041
  • I want a watermelon stand
    • View Profile
Re: Your Travels Thread (2018)
« Reply #48 on: February 09, 2018, 07:00:09 PM »
That would be Panye's up Lamar in Orange Mound. Very, very good. Go in daytime only.

chittlins

  • Craftsman
  • Posts: 2041
  • I want a watermelon stand
    • View Profile
Re: Your Travels Thread (2018)
« Reply #49 on: February 09, 2018, 07:19:43 PM »
My next trip will be from Branson area to Washington DC.  Based on another thread, you guys suggested KC or Tulsa.  Thinking of Tulsa next time - is that still a good plan?

Frontier is offering flights to Dulles from Tulsa real cheap right now. Allegiant flies to Baltimore from Tulsa. I haven't checked to see if they are seasonal.

At BWI you either rent a car and drive into DC or take a shuttle bus to the train station nearby and go by rail to Union Station and use the Metro from there.

Dulles is still at least a year away from having a metro station right there. So it's renting a car, uber, or taking a bus to the nearest station on the Arlington Line.

I'd rent a car at Dulles ( get the toll pass). Depending on time,  you can do the Air and Space Museum there, Manassas/Bull Run, Arlington Old Town and Arlington Cemetary going into town.

When they get the Metro Line to Dulles done, I think you'll see somewhat of a shift from BWI to there from lower cost carriers. I can see WN and Frontier offering more from there. Frontier has tried serveral times to build it up. That metro is the key.

You can check KC as American may be pretty close Southwest but flying into DCA/Regan, the ideal DC airport. I have no idea if American flies nonstop to DCA from MCI, it does from XNA and LIT but they are EXPENSIVE.

If I was flying from Memphis, that would be a no brainer. The small difference in price would be well worth it.

Fly midweek(Tue,Wed), it's always cheaper than the weekend (Thurs-Sun) Sometimes, Sat is forgiving.

Gilligan

  • Craftsman
  • Posts: 1771
    • View Profile
Re: Your Travels Thread (2018)
« Reply #50 on: February 11, 2018, 03:29:06 PM »
Chittlins, once I get near DC I'm gold!  Our son can pick us up.  During Christmas, we drove out there but don't want to do it again anytime soon.  We did spend a day at the Air and Space Museum at Dulles and that was awesome! Seeing the space shuttle and the Enola Gay in person and thinking about the historical aspect of just those two pieces of history was incredible.

chittlins

  • Craftsman
  • Posts: 2041
  • I want a watermelon stand
    • View Profile
Re: Your Travels Thread (2018)
« Reply #51 on: February 11, 2018, 07:44:30 PM »
Chittlins, once I get near DC I'm gold!  Our son can pick us up.  During Christmas, we drove out there but don't want to do it again anytime soon.  We did spend a day at the Air and Space Museum at Dulles and that was awesome! Seeing the space shuttle and the Enola Gay in person and thinking about the historical aspect of just those two pieces of history was incredible.

That view of the SR with the Shuttle behind it is air and space porn. We spent the afternoon there, watched an A380 and 747 take off in the tower and caught Wonder Woman in the Imax while the traffic died down before heading into DC Proper.

sirwillow

  • Cave Guide
  • Posts: 456
  • Ralph, you remember that talk we had in the cabin?
    • View Profile
    • Confessions of a Theme Park Worker
Re: Your Travels Thread (2018)
« Reply #52 on: February 19, 2018, 04:07:57 PM »
Getting this caught up a bit and taking a hint from Swoosh and turning some of it into links to the vlogs of each that I've posted so far, as well as an update on trips.

This year is starting to shape up to be a big one, and it's very early in the planning stages still.

I leave Friday for a week in Florida:
Sat 1/13 Disney Springshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdCs_W-oMjU
Sun 1/14 Animal Kingdom  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C43tfgUWxjQ
Pandora-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnVtW67CDiE
Mon 1/15 Epcot  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPyVj46jT1E
    Wrap up of Animal Kingdom and Epcot https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNyDvcL6uLA
Tues 1/16 Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-xLTC8olYQ
    Wizarding World of Harry Potter https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XR6bpbCoWiw
Weds 1/17 Disney Hollywood Studios coming soon
Thurs 1/18 Magic Kingdom coming soon

And it was confirmed this last week that I'm going to Paris, France at the end of March.  Will be spending 4 or 5 days at Disneyland Paris in addition to going into the city. So extremely excited about the trip!
This is a stick up!  Get it? Stick.... Nevermind, it's a train robbery.  I want everyone to get your hands up and act scared.

Gilligan

  • Craftsman
  • Posts: 1771
    • View Profile
Re: Your Travels Thread (2018)
« Reply #53 on: February 19, 2018, 04:10:24 PM »
Getting this caught up a bit and taking a hint from Swoosh and turning some of it into links to the vlogs of each that I've posted so far, as well as an update on trips.

This year is starting to shape up to be a big one, and it's very early in the planning stages still.

I leave Friday for a week in Florida:
Sat 1/13 Disney Springshttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QdCs_W-oMjU
Sun 1/14 Animal Kingdom  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C43tfgUWxjQ
Pandora-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JnVtW67CDiE
Mon 1/15 Epcot  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nPyVj46jT1E
    Wrap up of Animal Kingdom and Epcot https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QNyDvcL6uLA
Tues 1/16 Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-xLTC8olYQ
    Wizarding World of Harry Potter https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XR6bpbCoWiw
Weds 1/17 Disney Hollywood Studios coming soon
Thurs 1/18 Magic Kingdom coming soon

And it was confirmed this last week that I'm going to Paris, France at the end of March.  Will be spending 4 or 5 days at Disneyland Paris in addition to going into the city. So extremely excited about the trip!

Hope you have a wonderful time!

chittlins

  • Craftsman
  • Posts: 2041
  • I want a watermelon stand
    • View Profile
Re: Your Travels Thread (2018)
« Reply #54 on: February 20, 2018, 07:39:52 AM »
Can't wait for the Paris rewind.

Anyhoo... while deciding on what to do at Castaway Cay, I think  the Son and I will do a bit of sea fishing and the Daughter and I will parasail. When I sent her a youtube of parasailing at Castaway, this was her response text:


Parasailing, no problem but sharks.............  ;D

Since my last update, Disney finally updated their operating hours during the Spring Break period and I was able to adjust our day at Animal Kingdom. They added a second Rivers of Light  at 10pm. This basically added a whole hr for more night rides. I was able to adjust our Flight of Passage fast pass to right before sunset, so when we come out it should be dark and that leads right into a nighttime Kilimanjaro Safari then on to Everest in the dark. I'm hoping the new retheme to UP bird show is up and running by then as well.

The new world's tallest Star Flyer doean't look like it's going to be open yet :(

Both BGT and SeaWorld are havin their respective food and wine feast and concerts. BGT has the GooGooDolls on Sun and a Latin act on Sat. I'm still waiting to see who is playing at SeaWorld that Sat to see if we switch some dates. My DF and DW are all about the 15 to 60 option at SeaWorld for the chocolate covered pretzels on at stick, lobster rolls and crab cakes.so I know we will hit Seaworld for at least at couple of hours that weekend before the cruise.

If this Disney cruise is at hit, I will wait patiently for their european 2019 intenaries and possibly incorporate one of those in our planned big Europe 2019 trip. Anyway I can get barcelona and Port Aventura in.

I find it Ironic Universal is opening an Aventura hotel in Orlando. Kinda wished they had keep Port Aventura. Their lack of a European base is now showing a bit as they grow.

The Vegas trip has been booked. April 28th to 30th. Three day/2 night trip to Celebrate my DD's Sweet 16. Since she's getting a hand me down 2002 Accord with 260k that's been in the family it's whole life while Daddy takes over Momma's ride and Momma sports a new SUV., a nice trip was in order :)

So, AdventureDome and Stratosphere attractions.  Night one Chris Angel' Mindfreak, night two Love or Mystere by Cirque. A sunrise Hot Air balloon ride. Daytime Strip time(NYNY, Paris, Casears, Venetian ), and a Hoover Dam trip in the convertible I rented, I'd also love to sneak off to Buffalo Bill's if the coaster is running for that credit before it bites the dust for good.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2018, 07:57:33 AM by chittlins »

HumphreyHawk

  • Cave Guide
  • Posts: 437
  • I do not think it means what you think it means
    • View Profile
Re: Your Travels Thread (2018)
« Reply #55 on: February 22, 2018, 04:43:13 PM »
Feel free to move this to a more appropriate thread if needed.  Quick SFMM park visit report.

I did it....finally got some time during one of my work trips to visit a park.  I've had multiple trips the past couple of years in theme park towns with no time off  to enjoy any.  The Allentown/Tampa/Orlando trips where always the toughest since I literally sometimes drove pasted the parks on the way and to work and the hotel.

I spent Monday - Wednesday in the LA area for work.  It worked it out so I could fly in extra early on Monday (Prez day) and get the afternoon/evening off as vacation.  I landed in ONT around 10:45, jumped in a rental and headed to SFMM.  About an 1.5 hr drive with just a couple of slow downs I was at front gate by 12:30 on a day the park was open till 8.

I couldn't tell how busy the park was.  I assume it was a pretty average day....most of the major rides where 20min to 1.5wait.  It was cold for LA (50s) with a pretty heavy breeze that make it feel colder....was hoping that kept the crowds down but I don't think it did.  Felt a little weird to be going to be park by myself but exciting too cause I wasn't going to be held up by anyone on what to do.

My goal was the hit up all the unique ride types I'd never gotten to ride before.  I was going to hit X2 first but it has a 1.5 hr wait!  So I walked up the hill and got on Tatsu with a 40min wait.  It was great....i really loved the experience....probably my favorite ride in the park.  That last dive loop is intense.  Next I hit the classic Ninja....it's a really really fun ride.  Great starter coaster.  I'm worried about it's future though....the station looks horrible....roof is falling apart....the ride and theme just looks like no one cares to take care of it anymore.  Also noticed from the ride that the land lots (mountain) behind the park is getting leveled for development.  Really a big eye sore....because it's so large I'm guessing it's not for the park but probably housing developments.  I'd imagine it was much nicer before.

I jumped in the line for Superman next...only one side open for a 40min wait....but I had a work call to be on in 30mins so I kept moving....back down the hill.  Used the single rider line for Riddler.  Was able to walk right on the front row (love single rider lines).  My first standup....it was ok....seemed really long....I was ready to get off at the brake run....it actually head banged me pretty hard.  Took my work call and grabbed some food near twisted colossus.  Pretty good Italian sandwich.  Waited 45 mins for Twisted....another fun ride.  Not as fast or intense as outlaw run but fun and very popular.  Went over the Scream next....about a 15min wait I got to the gate.  I had just been thinking the operations wasn't as bad as I was expecting and that the floorless loading that Scream uses is a lot more complex than Wildfire when.....bang....Scream goes down.  The moving loading floor got stuck under the station.  I baled after seeing the maintenance guys under that station scratching there heads and the operations staff asking about how to get riders off.  It ended up closed the rest of the day.  I jumped on Goliath and go a cold and windy ride in.  The train after mind ended up stalling at the mid-break run.  I stopped and watched in amazement when a maintenance worker climbed up and literally pushed the coaster forward to get is going.  Even got a pic of the full coaster stalled. 

At this point I was almost completely exhausted.  I'm not a young buck anymore and I'd started that day at 4am in arkansas.  I still wanted to do the Drop, superman, X2,viper, and full throttle but it was past 5, I had a nearly 2 hour drive back to the hotel and needed to be 'fresh' for work.  X2 ended up closing for the day:(  I stopped by full throttle and it had a 1.5 hr wait:(  I regret now not trying to go for it but I decided just to hit up revolution and viper on the way out.  Viper really surprised me...I read about how rough it is but it seemed ok to me.  I was really looking forward to it since Orient Express at WoF used to be my favorite coaster growing up and except for Loch Ness BG....this is probably the closest coaster that exists like it.  It was really fun...I rode it twice since it had no line and had no head banging.  Actually a great coaster for me the end on.  I thought about going for the drop and superman but I was near the park exit, it was cold, and I was ready to get back to the hotel.  Spent about 5 hours in the park and got 6-7 rides in.

Random Thoughts/Notes on SFMM:
Full of teenagers - just a few families - not surprising being on a weekday with school being out and this park has a reputation as a local teen hangout spot more that a tourist destination and I saw it - felt very out of place at times but everyone was nice and well behaved...lol  A ridiculous amount of teenage and 20some "boys" wearing some type of oncse/pajama animal outfits....weird.
The front ticket gate was extremely inefficient/slow....40mins wait to get my ticket scanned and they even had most of the gates open - the season pass holders took forever with a fingerprint ID check....very frustrating.  Wish they had separate gates for season ticket holders than one day passes that was just a scan and go.
Wish I had splurged for the flash pass.  By 5....I was too tired to deal with the crowds.  I'm sure I could have probable hit all the rides in 4-5 hours if I had got one.  I could have got them all if I stayed still without one.
Welk Resorts was advertising commercials throughout the park - even mentioned having resorts in the most sought after locations like Branson Missouri!
Parking is just plain terrible - both the $25 charge, the ridiculously out of the way location from the main gate and the buses.  I kept thinking its like if an Applebees put the front door by the main road but only had parking behind the building making all it's customers walk around the building to enter.  It's just not customer friendly.

Random LA Thoughts:
Followed a 100k Tesla car into the parking lot with who ended up having two teenage girls jump out of it....apparently just hanging out for the day....very Cali.  Saw two Lambo's, a Bently, dozens of Porsches, and hundreds of beamers on the drive...lol...SoCal loves there cars...probably because the have to live in them.
Had to change airports for the flight home: 35mile drive from ONT to John Wayne Airport took 2.5hrs in LA traffic!!!  I don't understand how anyone can keep there sanity there.  Everywhere you go takes at least an 1/2 hr in traffic....even when going out for a biz lunch that was only 2 miles away!
"If with women don't find you handsome....maybe they'll find you handy"

chittlins

  • Craftsman
  • Posts: 2041
  • I want a watermelon stand
    • View Profile
Re: Your Travels Thread (2018)
« Reply #56 on: February 22, 2018, 08:12:22 PM »
Feel free to move this to a more appropriate thread if needed.  Quick SFMM park visit report.

I did it....finally got some time during one of my work trips to visit a park.  I've had multiple trips the past couple of years in theme park towns with no time off  to enjoy any.  The Allentown/Tampa/Orlando trips where always the toughest since I literally sometimes drove pasted the parks on the way and to work and the hotel.

I spent Monday - Wednesday in the LA area for work.  It worked it out so I could fly in extra early on Monday (Prez day) and get the afternoon/evening off as vacation.  I landed in ONT around 10:45, jumped in a rental and headed to SFMM.  About an 1.5 hr drive with just a couple of slow downs I was at front gate by 12:30 on a day the park was open till 8.

I couldn't tell how busy the park was.  I assume it was a pretty average day....most of the major rides where 20min to 1.5wait.  It was cold for LA (50s) with a pretty heavy breeze that make it feel colder....was hoping that kept the crowds down but I don't think it did.  Felt a little weird to be going to be park by myself but exciting too cause I wasn't going to be held up by anyone on what to do.

My goal was the hit up all the unique ride types I'd never gotten to ride before.  I was going to hit X2 first but it has a 1.5 hr wait!  So I walked up the hill and got on Tatsu with a 40min wait.  It was great....i really loved the experience....probably my favorite ride in the park.  That last dive loop is intense.  Next I hit the classic Ninja....it's a really really fun ride.  Great starter coaster.  I'm worried about it's future though....the station looks horrible....roof is falling apart....the ride and theme just looks like no one cares to take care of it anymore.  Also noticed from the ride that the land lots (mountain) behind the park is getting leveled for development.  Really a big eye sore....because it's so large I'm guessing it's not for the park but probably housing developments.  I'd imagine it was much nicer before.

I jumped in the line for Superman next...only one side open for a 40min wait....but I had a work call to be on in 30mins so I kept moving....back down the hill.  Used the single rider line for Riddler.  Was able to walk right on the front row (love single rider lines).  My first standup....it was ok....seemed really long....I was ready to get off at the brake run....it actually head banged me pretty hard.  Took my work call and grabbed some food near twisted colossus.  Pretty good Italian sandwich.  Waited 45 mins for Twisted....another fun ride.  Not as fast or intense as outlaw run but fun and very popular.  Went over the Scream next....about a 15min wait I got to the gate.  I had just been thinking the operations wasn't as bad as I was expecting and that the floorless loading that Scream uses is a lot more complex than Wildfire when.....bang....Scream goes down.  The moving loading floor got stuck under the station.  I baled after seeing the maintenance guys under that station scratching there heads and the operations staff asking about how to get riders off.  It ended up closed the rest of the day.  I jumped on Goliath and go a cold and windy ride in.  The train after mind ended up stalling at the mid-break run.  I stopped and watched in amazement when a maintenance worker climbed up and literally pushed the coaster forward to get is going.  Even got a pic of the full coaster stalled. 

At this point I was almost completely exhausted.  I'm not a young buck anymore and I'd started that day at 4am in arkansas.  I still wanted to do the Drop, superman, X2,viper, and full throttle but it was past 5, I had a nearly 2 hour drive back to the hotel and needed to be 'fresh' for work.  X2 ended up closing for the day:(  I stopped by full throttle and it had a 1.5 hr wait:(  I regret now not trying to go for it but I decided just to hit up revolution and viper on the way out.  Viper really surprised me...I read about how rough it is but it seemed ok to me.  I was really looking forward to it since Orient Express at WoF used to be my favorite coaster growing up and except for Loch Ness BG....this is probably the closest coaster that exists like it.  It was really fun...I rode it twice since it had no line and had no head banging.  Actually a great coaster for me the end on.  I thought about going for the drop and superman but I was near the park exit, it was cold, and I was ready to get back to the hotel.  Spent about 5 hours in the park and got 6-7 rides in.

Random Thoughts/Notes on SFMM:
Full of teenagers - just a few families - not surprising being on a weekday with school being out and this park has a reputation as a local teen hangout spot more that a tourist destination and I saw it - felt very out of place at times but everyone was nice and well behaved...lol  A ridiculous amount of teenage and 20some "boys" wearing some type of oncse/pajama animal outfits....weird.
The front ticket gate was extremely inefficient/slow....40mins wait to get my ticket scanned and they even had most of the gates open - the season pass holders took forever with a fingerprint ID check....very frustrating.  Wish they had separate gates for season ticket holders than one day passes that was just a scan and go.
Wish I had splurged for the flash pass.  By 5....I was too tired to deal with the crowds.  I'm sure I could have probable hit all the rides in 4-5 hours if I had got one.  I could have got them all if I stayed still without one.
Welk Resorts was advertising commercials throughout the park - even mentioned having resorts in the most sought after locations like Branson Missouri!
Parking is just plain terrible - both the $25 charge, the ridiculously out of the way location from the main gate and the buses.  I kept thinking its like if an Applebees put the front door by the main road but only had parking behind the building making all it's customers walk around the building to enter.  It's just not customer friendly.

Random LA Thoughts:
Followed a 100k Tesla car into the parking lot with who ended up having two teenage girls jump out of it....apparently just hanging out for the day....very Cali.  Saw two Lambo's, a Bently, dozens of Porsches, and hundreds of beamers on the drive...lol...SoCal loves there cars...probably because the have to live in them.
Had to change airports for the flight home: 35mile drive from ONT to John Wayne Airport took 2.5hrs in LA traffic!!!  I don't understand how anyone can keep there sanity there.  Everywhere you go takes at least an 1/2 hr in traffic....even when going out for a biz lunch that was only 2 miles away!

Naw, this fits in. Especially useful for those of us that has SFMM on the radar. I now know, get the quick queue for a quick visit.

HumphreyHawk

  • Cave Guide
  • Posts: 437
  • I do not think it means what you think it means
    • View Profile
Re: Your Travels Thread (2018)
« Reply #57 on: February 23, 2018, 12:25:15 AM »
Feel free to move this to a more appropriate thread if needed.  Quick SFMM park visit report.

I did it....finally got some time during one of my work trips to visit a park.  I've had multiple trips the past couple of years in theme park towns with no time off  to enjoy any.  The Allentown/Tampa/Orlando trips where always the toughest since I literally sometimes drove pasted the parks on the way and to work and the hotel.

I spent Monday - Wednesday in the LA area for work.  It worked it out so I could fly in extra early on Monday (Prez day) and get the afternoon/evening off as vacation.  I landed in ONT around 10:45, jumped in a rental and headed to SFMM.  About an 1.5 hr drive with just a couple of slow downs I was at front gate by 12:30 on a day the park was open till 8.

I couldn't tell how busy the park was.  I assume it was a pretty average day....most of the major rides where 20min to 1.5wait.  It was cold for LA (50s) with a pretty heavy breeze that make it feel colder....was hoping that kept the crowds down but I don't think it did.  Felt a little weird to be going to be park by myself but exciting too cause I wasn't going to be held up by anyone on what to do.

My goal was the hit up all the unique ride types I'd never gotten to ride before.  I was going to hit X2 first but it has a 1.5 hr wait!  So I walked up the hill and got on Tatsu with a 40min wait.  It was great....i really loved the experience....probably my favorite ride in the park.  That last dive loop is intense.  Next I hit the classic Ninja....it's a really really fun ride.  Great starter coaster.  I'm worried about it's future though....the station looks horrible....roof is falling apart....the ride and theme just looks like no one cares to take care of it anymore.  Also noticed from the ride that the land lots (mountain) behind the park is getting leveled for development.  Really a big eye sore....because it's so large I'm guessing it's not for the park but probably housing developments.  I'd imagine it was much nicer before.

I jumped in the line for Superman next...only one side open for a 40min wait....but I had a work call to be on in 30mins so I kept moving....back down the hill.  Used the single rider line for Riddler.  Was able to walk right on the front row (love single rider lines).  My first standup....it was ok....seemed really long....I was ready to get off at the brake run....it actually head banged me pretty hard.  Took my work call and grabbed some food near twisted colossus.  Pretty good Italian sandwich.  Waited 45 mins for Twisted....another fun ride.  Not as fast or intense as outlaw run but fun and very popular.  Went over the Scream next....about a 15min wait I got to the gate.  I had just been thinking the operations wasn't as bad as I was expecting and that the floorless loading that Scream uses is a lot more complex than Wildfire when.....bang....Scream goes down.  The moving loading floor got stuck under the station.  I baled after seeing the maintenance guys under that station scratching there heads and the operations staff asking about how to get riders off.  It ended up closed the rest of the day.  I jumped on Goliath and go a cold and windy ride in.  The train after mind ended up stalling at the mid-break run.  I stopped and watched in amazement when a maintenance worker climbed up and literally pushed the coaster forward to get is going.  Even got a pic of the full coaster stalled. 

At this point I was almost completely exhausted.  I'm not a young buck anymore and I'd started that day at 4am in arkansas.  I still wanted to do the Drop, superman, X2,viper, and full throttle but it was past 5, I had a nearly 2 hour drive back to the hotel and needed to be 'fresh' for work.  X2 ended up closing for the day:(  I stopped by full throttle and it had a 1.5 hr wait:(  I regret now not trying to go for it but I decided just to hit up revolution and viper on the way out.  Viper really surprised me...I read about how rough it is but it seemed ok to me.  I was really looking forward to it since Orient Express at WoF used to be my favorite coaster growing up and except for Loch Ness BG....this is probably the closest coaster that exists like it.  It was really fun...I rode it twice since it had no line and had no head banging.  Actually a great coaster for me the end on.  I thought about going for the drop and superman but I was near the park exit, it was cold, and I was ready to get back to the hotel.  Spent about 5 hours in the park and got 6-7 rides in.

Random Thoughts/Notes on SFMM:
Full of teenagers - just a few families - not surprising being on a weekday with school being out and this park has a reputation as a local teen hangout spot more that a tourist destination and I saw it - felt very out of place at times but everyone was nice and well behaved...lol  A ridiculous amount of teenage and 20some "boys" wearing some type of oncse/pajama animal outfits....weird.
The front ticket gate was extremely inefficient/slow....40mins wait to get my ticket scanned and they even had most of the gates open - the season pass holders took forever with a fingerprint ID check....very frustrating.  Wish they had separate gates for season ticket holders than one day passes that was just a scan and go.
Wish I had splurged for the flash pass.  By 5....I was too tired to deal with the crowds.  I'm sure I could have probable hit all the rides in 4-5 hours if I had got one.  I could have got them all if I stayed still without one.
Welk Resorts was advertising commercials throughout the park - even mentioned having resorts in the most sought after locations like Branson Missouri!
Parking is just plain terrible - both the $25 charge, the ridiculously out of the way location from the main gate and the buses.  I kept thinking its like if an Applebees put the front door by the main road but only had parking behind the building making all it's customers walk around the building to enter.  It's just not customer friendly.

Random LA Thoughts:
Followed a 100k Tesla car into the parking lot with who ended up having two teenage girls jump out of it....apparently just hanging out for the day....very Cali.  Saw two Lambo's, a Bently, dozens of Porsches, and hundreds of beamers on the drive...lol...SoCal loves there cars...probably because the have to live in them.
Had to change airports for the flight home: 35mile drive from ONT to John Wayne Airport took 2.5hrs in LA traffic!!!  I don't understand how anyone can keep there sanity there.  Everywhere you go takes at least an 1/2 hr in traffic....even when going out for a biz lunch that was only 2 miles away!

Naw, this fits in. Especially useful for those of us that has SFMM on the radar. I now know, get the quick queue for a quick visit.

Tatsu, X2, TC, Full Throttle, and Superman had 45min to 1.5hr waits the whole time there.  Batman, Goliath, SCREAM, D Drop, Wood coaster, gold miner, all where 20-40 mins.  Ninja and viper where walk-ons all day.  If I could have got there at rope drop I would head straight up the hill to Tatsu and Superman...then work back to the front.  Really regret not getting on X2 and Full Throttle....but still got some great rides in.  Even with the parks huge amount of thrill rides....I left with an appreciation for SDC.  SDC is just plain in simple a better theme park.
"If with women don't find you handsome....maybe they'll find you handy"

shavethewhales

  • Administrator
  • Master Craftsman
  • *****
  • Posts: 3622
    • View Profile
    • SDCFans.com
Re: Your Travels Thread (2018)
« Reply #58 on: February 23, 2018, 01:55:36 PM »
Very interesting report HumphreyHawk. SFMM is on my short list, but while I lust after the coasters the park itself is daunting. It sucks that it was so busy on a cold day in February for you, but I guess it was President's day so maybe that was part of it.

Typical Six Flags, get your money as fast as they can and stick you in long lines. Nothing fun about the experience except the brief moments on the rides... unless you get stuck.  ;D

There are so many famous coasters in SF parks that I want to ride, but as I get older and more finicky about the park experience it's harder and harder for me to step foot in a SF park.

sirwillow

  • Cave Guide
  • Posts: 456
  • Ralph, you remember that talk we had in the cabin?
    • View Profile
    • Confessions of a Theme Park Worker
Re: Your Travels Thread (2018)
« Reply #59 on: February 23, 2018, 03:19:50 PM »
Great TR.  SFMM used to be my home park years ago (before Tatsu), and I do miss it.


Naw, this fits in. Especially useful for those of us that has SFMM on the radar. I now know, get the quick queue for a quick visit.

Greatly depends on the day you are there.  I'm not surprised at the lines he encountered with it being a school holiday.  However if you're there during the week when school is in session you'll find most of the coasters will be walk ons or close to it.. Weekend, summer or holiday, the express pass is worth it. Weekday with school in session probably not needed.

which is why I used to love to go when the kids were in school.  :-)
This is a stick up!  Get it? Stick.... Nevermind, it's a train robbery.  I want everyone to get your hands up and act scared.