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 Post subject: 03-15-2015 Trip report w/photos
PostPosted: March 16th, 2015, 4:01 pm 

Joined: June 18th, 2012, 11:31 pm
Posts: 46
Hi all,

I wasn't able to hit opening day, but I made it yesterday. I got to the park just before noon and the old parking lot was starting to fill up. I parked over by the Batman ride and decided to walk towards where the old back gate used to be and take some photos. They had some of the Thunder River boats out in the parking lot. I must have looked lost because one of the security guards came out in her car to ask if I needed help. I told her I was just taking some pictures and she left me alone. I took a few more pictures, getting over towards the abandoned part of Whistle Stop. There is a wood fence blocking the view so I lifted the camera above my head and shot into the area and captured a few images. Afterwards, I headed towards the front gate.

I had my season and dining pass activated at the end of last year, so was very happy to skip all of the issues I had at the beginning of last season. This will be my plan from here on out. Since it was lunch time, I wandered through some of the stores making my way towards Big Mo's for my first turkey leg of the season, only problem was that they didn't have any, but they told me that there was some in the Lickskillet section, so off to the Hickory Chip I went. On the way I stopped into Under 10 to browse and found where it looks like someone must have been doing some cleaning in the warehouse because I found a lone SFOG 40th anniversary Notebook/Photo album. It is missing the pen that is supposed to go with it, but I bought it just the same. On to Lickskillet and the turkey leg; once retrieved, no up charge on this item via the meal plan this year, which was nice. Also Picked up my green sports bottle...free refills every time I hit the park without paying a dollar a trip or the $5 and change for the day...nice addition to the menu. Another great addition to the diners pass is the snack section. This year you can get one snack during the day on top of the meal. Later in the day, I had a pretzel at Miss Dixie's, but there are plenty of other options.

I sat under cover and watched the remainder of Shenanigans whilst I ate. Afterwards, I walked around and took some more pictures noticing element of the park as I went. They have repainted lots of things during the break so most everything looked great; still couldn't spare some coin to paint Cyclone, but unless I am mistaken, there was some re-tracking there. They have re-paved the Georgia section. Stopping by the train station I noticed that Texas was on the tracks. Looks like it has been painted, and at first I thought that the funnel had been repaired, you know, that dent knocked out of it, but it unfortunately was still there, and please for the love of Pete, someone please polish the brass!!!

Coming up the hill near Panda Express, the Balloon pop game is gone. Also gone is the first game as you come into lickskillet from monster the one that was on the right as you turned the corner. In it's place are claw machine games. There may be other instances where manned games are missing, but because I didn't really pay attention to those kinds of games, and never played them, I could be missing some. Gone is the M&M's store. I knew this was going away, but I was surprised the planned Coca-Cola store had not be set up before the park opened. Also gone is the Monstore, but I also knew it was going away at the end of last season...it was almost gone even last year. Jelly Belly has taken over the entire store. As much as I will miss the Monstore (I wish they had actually put some new, different, merch in there and saved the store but they didn't) I am kind of ok with it because they are putting a candy store in it's place. Historically, Sweet Tooth was there on that spot before Monstore was built, so it has come full circle.

I noticed that some of the Christmas light strands are still up on some of the structures, but the bulbs have been removed. Most places you wouldn't even notice they are still there. There are places where I felt that leaving the bulbs would have been appropriate for the whole season, the 2 big USA signs is one of those locations.

Gotham is starting to be prepped for the 2 new rides. Joker "Ring of Fire" Chaos Coaster will be headed for the corral section for the Axis Arena, and some of the parts are already there waiting to be assembles, I took a few pictures which are included within the pictures linked below. Harley Quinn's Spinsanity will be placed in front of the Batman merch store. I took pictures of that area, as it has been cordoned off.

Rides I made it to:
I rode the train first. Like I said, the engine was Texas. I don't know if they have done something or if it is because I was sitting further back instead of near the front, but it seemed quieter and the fumes weren't as bad. General is in the shed and Elizabeth is still sitting where she was last season with that primer coat of paint only...still not sure what they are doing there. At the Rabun Gap station, they have left the Holiday engine (which was originally the Whistle Stop engine) at the front as it was for Holiday in the Park, but they have changed out the signage on it to the new logo for Rabun Gap station.

After I rode the train and had started to take a few more pictures, I got a call from Mr. Six and we met up (along with some of his usual entourage) to enjoy the rest of the day together.

Monster Mansion. Mansion was in pretty good shape. it seemed that the animation and audio triggers were a little off. Some things triggered as we were right on top of them so we were passed the character before it could finish it's part of the script. Some of the lights were off in the marsh, but it was better that way.

Sky Screamer. Screamer was nice, though it was on it's short cycle as the park was fairly busy.

Great American Scream Machine. both trains running. I think a good bit of retracking has been done to this ride, but since I didn't ride it last season, some of that may have been done last year.

Goliath. When I rode it both cars were running

Batman...Backwards. Batman was not operational when I first got in the park, but opened a bit later on. Only one train was running when I rode it, but the other train has been turned around and according to teh ride attendant it should start running next weekend. Riding it backwards was fun, but it took a lot out of me. Luckily the park was closing as I was making my way off of it, as I was done. :-).

A few rides seemed to be breaking down during the day. The Sky Buckets stopped twice that I saw, and as I previously mentioned, Batman wasn't going when I first arrived. I think Monster Mansion broke down during the day as well. Those were the ones I noticed, but there could have been others. Thunder River & Splash Water Falls are not up yet, and I don't think I saw Ninja running at all during the day. Log Flume was running, but only loading on one side so a lot of empty boats were being dispatched whilst the line was decently long.

Overall a good Trip especially considering the bad experiences that I had last year at this time. I did want to mention the hard working people at the pizza store on the way out. People, including me, were standing in line after the park had officially closed and it was a mad house. They stayed and served everyone that was standing in line before closing up shop. They were really working hard and frantic to keep pace and they deserve recognition for doing a great job!!!

That's all for this time, enjoy the picture through the link below!!


http://s397.photobucket.com/user/scifit ... 2003-15-15


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 Post subject: Re: 03-15-2015 Trip report w/photos
PostPosted: March 17th, 2015, 12:18 am 
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Joined: May 19th, 2011, 11:07 am
Posts: 351
Location: Monster Mansion
LOL

I think they thought Sci was a terrorist at first.
Great report there. Glad ya had a nice time.

I thought about another Batman ride for you, but I knew that would finish you off. And me too!
Only thought? For those of you that rode De Ja Vue? A lucky few, right?

Batman backwards? Will remind you of those backwards elements.
Thought Batman was intense forwards? Lol. Ride it backwards. LOL

And wait times? About 1- 2 hours. At closing? The line still was all the way back through the building. For those who need to know.
6


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 Post subject: Re: 03-15-2015 Trip report w/photos
PostPosted: March 17th, 2015, 3:39 pm 

Joined: February 10th, 2012, 6:55 pm
Posts: 25
Wonderful report. I saw that 40th Anniversary notebook too!

-Andy


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 Post subject: Re: 03-15-2015 Trip report w/photos
PostPosted: March 17th, 2015, 11:30 pm 

Joined: July 9th, 2011, 4:30 pm
Posts: 27
Location: Kennesaw
Thanks. Really appreciate the detailed trip report and good pictures. We plan to make it out there for a first visit in 2 or 3 weeks.

Did you notice if Mindbender was running 1 or 2 trains ?? During the last few months of 2014 season, they were down to 1 train operation. I assume there was an equipment issue that would hopefully be resolved in the off season. Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: 03-15-2015 Trip report w/photos
PostPosted: March 18th, 2015, 2:07 pm 

Joined: February 10th, 2012, 6:55 pm
Posts: 25
I know you weren't asking me, Goliath, but Mindbender was only running one train last weekend. The other train was sitting on the paved area next to the storage shed.

-Andy


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 Post subject: Re: 03-15-2015 Trip report w/photos
PostPosted: March 18th, 2015, 7:02 pm 
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Joined: April 30th, 2013, 5:07 pm
Posts: 57
Great report, I enjoyed it! Can't wait to visit soon!

From your photos, it looks like the Texas has a new whistle. I noticed when I was there last season that the old whistle had fouled and I wondered if they would replace it. The new one looks like it would have a deeper tone due to look of it but I can't really tell. The Texas actually looked pretty clean on the wheels and driving rods as opposed to last season when she had all of that grease on the wheels, and like you said, the brass polished would make her look 100 times better!


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 Post subject: Re: 03-15-2015 Trip report w/photos
PostPosted: March 19th, 2015, 12:26 am 

Joined: June 18th, 2012, 11:31 pm
Posts: 46
Steam,

Yes, I meant to mention that Texas has a new whistle, but forgot. You are correct, and it is indeed a deeper whistle. Good call.


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 Post subject: Re: 03-15-2015 Trip report w/photos
PostPosted: March 20th, 2015, 7:12 pm 
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Joined: June 6th, 2011, 12:40 pm
Posts: 57
Location: Marietta, Georgia
Great trip report and pictures! Thanks for sharing.


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 Post subject: Re: 03-15-2015 Trip report w/photos
PostPosted: March 22nd, 2015, 10:50 pm 

Joined: May 18th, 2011, 10:40 pm
Posts: 173
Location: Covington, GA
Great trip report scifitoy!

I was not able to make it opening weekend but I was there yesterday (3/21) and here are a few things I noticed. There is a good bit of new paint and new colors, particularly in the Peachtree Square and British sections. Of note the Georgia Cyclone building looks good with blue and cream, and the green looks good on big Mo's. They repainted the Rabun Gap station before Holiday in the Park last year, but the new paint on quite a few buildings really looks nice. In the Spanish section/Bugs Bunny World inside the Spanish fort, they removed the stump of the tree that was cut down several years ago and built a new deck so you can walk straight through, which greatly improves traffic flow.

The Hot Dog stand in Lickskillet next to Thunder River is now Totally Kickin' Chicken. The General was running on Saturday, so that is good that they have both engines in working order as scifitoy reported the Texas was running last weekend. They only had 2 cars attached and it was full with not everyone at the station getting to board. The new snack that was added to the dinning pass is nice and everything worked smoothly for my dining pass for both meals and the snack.

It was a beautiful day, although a little cloudy and cool early. The park started off seemingly emptier than usual but got pretty crowded by afternoon. Edir eht Namtab was extremely intense and I enjoyed getting 2 rides on it early before the lines got long. This is a good way to create excitement about a rides that has been around for a while. Its too bad it only lasts to 5/10 and will be gone by the time they get the 2 new rides up and running.

Operations were somewhat slow as is usual this soon after opening, but I have to say that the Georgia Scorcher crew shortly before park closing were doing an amazing job in loading and dispatching trains, especially when you consider that stand ups are notorious for slow loading. Great job Scorcher crew!

All in all I had a good day at the park and it was good to be back, although the off season seemed really short since I was last there on 1/1.


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 Post subject: Re: 03-15-2015 Trip report w/photos
PostPosted: March 23rd, 2015, 11:32 pm 

Joined: July 9th, 2011, 4:30 pm
Posts: 27
Location: Kennesaw
Regarding my question about mindbender from my earlier post...

Thanks Andy for the feedback on that. Sorry to hear Mindbender is still one train. Rather disappointing when you consider the limited capacity of 2 per row seating. And I have become more fond of Mindbender since my 6 year old grandson started riding it 2 seasons ago.

Maybe we can get ACE to threaten removal of the historic marker...until it returns to 2 train operation ;) Just a thought

Ronny, thanks for the trip report from this past weekend. Makes me want to get there sooner than later for a first visit. At least to experience Batman before May 10th. Right now, we are planning for a 1st visit Spring Break week.


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