I thought I would be different this time and actually post one of my trip reports over here. So here goes, and we'll see how it goes.
Morning details: Please read, you might miss something.
On July 25, I finally made it to Valleyfair for the first time. Upon awakening in the hotel that morning, I opened the curtains to find a pouring thunderstorm outside. Even though the weather was crappy, I didn't let that get the best of me, though I didn't really expect much in the way of morning ERT for Coaster Craze with this being a Cedar Fair park. The lineup for the morning was Renegade and Wild Thing from 9-10. We arrived at the park a little before ERT was supposed to begin, and were soaked -- dripping, sopping, soaked -- just from going from the parking space in the second row to the gate to buy our way in.
I e-mailed about pre-registration per instructions, but never heard anything back, so it was a true "show up and wing it" experience. I was asked if I preregistered and said no. I was then told it would be $9.00 per person since I had a platinum and my friend had a ticket. I was informed that she was to go to the gate, and I was to go to guest relations to sign in with my platinum pass. This was also true at Michigan's Adventure, and weren't they supposed to have those bugs worked out by now?
Upon entering the park -- soaked -- we found a spot out of the rain under their entryway. The little fountain and the roof to walk under is nothing compared to what I'm used to from KI, but it was a dry place.
The rain let up approximately 15 minutes later, which I seem to remember was about 10 minutes into the ERT schedule. At that point, it wasn't hard to figure out where to go for Renegade, just follow the crowd.
Back at the line for the opening of Renegade, we had a nice conversation with a person by the name of John Vircks, as well as two people he was there with by the names of Harley and Sue, and another member by the name of Eric. I wish I could remember more last names, and the names of some of the others we talked to.
During the discussion, I mentioned to John that I was a fan of classic coasters, and that I was looking forward to High Roller. I was told immediately that I would be dissapointed, but not to miss it. I asked why I would be dissappointed and his reaction was "because they neutered it. It used to really fly on the way back. You'd get great airtime on every hill, always out of your seat." More on just how right he was will follow in a little while.
Upon exercising Cedar Fair's tradition of waiting until the pavement is dry to reopen rides, Renegade opened somewhere between 9:45 and 9:50. I was on the second train, and all those in the station were greeted on the way back in with "Welcome back Renegade riders. When the train comes to a full and complete stop you may push down and pull up on your lap bar and exit to your left and enjoy your stay at Valleyfair. And all riders, just so you know, we are holding for weather now." That weather was nothing more than a little shower. :roll:
So the morning ERT consisted of two trains of Renegade, and I'm told Wild Thing never opened. So much for am ERT.
Compared to the reviews I heard last year...wow. The twisting first drop is very strange, and since it's the only one of its kind, it's already a hit with me. For those that haven't ridden, afterward, the second hill is an air hill that is awesome. It then goes through a turnaround that has a very interesting feeling to it from banking, and what appears to be a funky double down. The first down twists left, and the second to the right. Then up and over another airhill, and from there you can easily loose track of the layout. Curves, turns, airhills, and then a well over 180 degree turnaround. From there, there is kind of a slower moment that is okay, and then after a station flyby on one side, it goes through a fan turn, and flys past the station on the other side--over an airhill, and then over two more airhills, turns around and hits the brakes. There are a few Voyage-ey feeling turns in it, some great airhills, and it was a great coaster overall. It's now sitting at my #9 in wood.
As for the trains. There are many, many enthusiasts just raving about the Millennium Flyer couches on wheels. The only thing that I have against them is the lap bars. They need springs to hold them in place. I'd leave it in a normal spot, and by the end of the ride, the lap bar would be so tight that it had to be shoved down to get it to release. I need lap bars, not staplers. Are they all like this? I don't remember Thunderhead doing this, but I could be wrong.
Very underrated. This is not only one of the smoothest that I've been on, but it was a fun little ride. Not that I would trade it for Vortex, but it was a blast.
Riptide: (Top Spin with fountains)
This ride was very odd. My friend compared it to being thrown through a car wash and then spun dry. While it was a blast, I think they have a refrigerator under the ride that they run the water through right before it sprurts from the fountains. I've discovered, though, that I really like Top Spins.
I was expecting just a hypercoaster, and got much more than what I was looking for. The angle at the top of the lift hill was a little strange--see picture--but it sort of worked for me. It gave the ride a little time to get some speed up before the backseat went over the edge onto the good angled spot. GREAT airtime on this drop, and then there was the big one! Oh, that second hill looks so innocent, and it so is not. It's long, peaceful, blissful, wonderful, raise your hands high in the air to touch the clouds AIRTIME. After which there are some fun little twists and turns that put me in mind of the outermost part of Millennium and then...ugh...the dreaded mid-course. Cedar Fair should be banned from having mid-courses on their rides because they always overkill. This is no exception, but even still there is plenty of air on the return trip. But just to experience it without the brake.
There is a way, actually. I'm told by another member who was there, that he experienced the backseat with no/limited brakes. They did a lift stop for a camera. They sent a park employee to climb halfway up the lift hill, and retrieve the camera. He then proceeded to go through the digital camera that he brought back, and deleted the guy's picture. (insert my opinion here--you know what it is) Anyway, that apparently reset the computer, as since it didn't know the speed of the previous train, it was let through at full speed. WHY WASN'T I ONE SPOT SOONER???
Despite being Mean Streaked, the ride actually has a decent amount of airtime, and it was a fun ride. I asked during evening ERT if it was running with or without the brake. The supervisor, who I didn't even see there, immediately popped up and said "they're always on. We don't turn them off...ever." To which I responded with "I guess I can't bribe you then?" But the answer was "Nope! I kind of wish we could, but maintenance wouldn't like it, and they make more money than you could bribe them with. If it's any consolation, we have Renegade, and it doesn't have any brakes at all." I hope it has them in the brake run, but other than that, let's keep it that way. Trim brake hater that I am, there should be none on any coaster. Just build it to use the extra force.
There is one annoying thing that happened here. Before going to Valleyfair! my friend called and asked about any policies regarding loose articles that would require the removal of my fanny pack (one of my few gripes about Holiday World). They said that to the best of their knowledge, there were no rides on which fanny packs weren't allowed. Apparently Excaliber is the exception. You can take them on Renegade, Wild Thing, High Roller, Mad Mouse, and whatever they call their giant swing set, but not Excaliber. :roll:
I will miss this flume, as some think it will be demolished next year. John didn't think it would be, but there are rumors flying around. Also at the Q+A, the management kind of stalled around a little when asked about it. "I can't tell you that." was the first reaction. Then they just claimed not to have plans to do so. Who knows. It was also pointed out that they have stakes around it, to which they responded with "we are doing a survey...next question." They are up to something. It's a shame too, as this is a nice classic log flume.
This may be the one brake that I can live with. This is an impulse coaster, and like most of them, it has one twisted end and one spike. I've never been on one of these before, just Wicked Twister with its two twisting ends. Therefore, I insisted on riding in the back where we would get the 90 degree drop. The first time up the spike, it runs normally, and the second time there is a brake that stops you at the top. You feel like you will go flying forward out of the seat, and for that reason, it gets high marks for the thrill in my opinion.
This ride was intentionally saved for the last. I have never been on a coaster that breaks my heart more than this ride. I knew it was trimmed, I was told to be disappointed, but I still wasn't properly prepared for just how bad I was to be disappointed.
This ride screams airtime. There is still even airtime to be had that compares with a lot of coasters that run normally. But this coaster has the potential to be in my top 5, rather than at #24. After coming off of this coaster, I really thought I was going to cry over it. While my friend thought it was a blast, and it was fun, she was confused when I told her as we came back into the station "they kill it." She then told me I make too much of the way coasters are run, and maybe that's true, but I can't help it. It's like when you have a friend over and play a game and have a blast. Then your friend leaves and you play the game by yourself, and while it's still the same fun game, it really is missing something, and most of the magic is gone.
From back seat: After released from the station, the ride turns a corner and climbs the lift. Looking left and right, it looks like it hasn't been painted for 20 years. Then, the drop comes, and you have wonderful airtime on the drop, and then climb the second hill to almost stop at the top. Then down the second hill you go with more airtime. You're having such a good time you can't stop laughing, and go up into the turnaround and go around it faster and faster and faster until you are suddenly slowed to a crawl. Then it's all over as the train comes off the turnaround and over several hills that make some half-hearted attempt for air. Then you go up to turn back to the left and are slowed even more. You then come off the hill after the turn and then up and over a hill that obviously would be the best airhill on the ride. You then make a 180 degree turn and into the brake run. Then if you're like me, you go off to some other spot in the park almost in tears. After the first ride, it took me about 15 minutes and two coasters to recover. I never thought they would take that much fun out of a coaster, but they did. Why on earth would anyone do this to such a great ride? And why don't they seem to care about it? All questions that I was to ponder for the rest of the day.
Two days later:
I returned for about 45 minutes on my way back through Minneapolis from dropping off my friend near Grand Forks. I was there just in time to get one ride on Wild Thing, and the last two trains of the night on Renegade.
Incedently, as WT was the only ride I noticed running two trains on either day, it seems Valleyfair also has a problem with running multiple trains. This should be against the law in my opinion, but I'm not paying their maintenance bill. Of course, from what I saw of High Roller, neither are they.
Please excuse my laziness for not loading all of my pictures to image shack. If you want to look at some pictures...
That should do it.