Farewell to the CoasterCritic

If you’ve ever wondered what made me want to start my blog, write about my coaster endeavors, and share my opinions, well I’m gonna tell you.

When I suddenly got passionate towards coasters back in 2008, I read all about them and the site I found myself coming back to over and over was theCoasterCritic.com. I became a consistent reader of Joel Bullock’s masterpiece a few years later. After reading for a few months, I decided I wanted to start my own in similar fashion. I’ve collaborated with Joel on a few articles and he’s really been a great guy to work with.

This month marks the end of the Coaster Critic blog. A few months ago, my friend, Joel, announced his retirement in April, which will be the 8th anniversary of the blog. I appreciate his forefront and honesty regarding his reasons for retirement.

Now I just want to say thanks to Joel and all of his incredible work on such a priceless site. Thanks for inspiring me!

New T-Shirts Up for Sale!

If you remember, I launched a line of T shirts a few months back, and I sold several of them during the Christmas season. Now I’ve gone back, and with the expertise of my very own mother, we’ve put together a new shirt, which can now be purchased for just under $20. In order to sell, at least twenty-five people have to buy it. Here it is:Keep calm and ride

Recognize the picture? I took it back at Carowinds in 2012. Its a shot of a vertical loop on Carolina Cyclone. Here’s the original shot:

Carolina CyclonePretty cool right? Sorry to make this post an advertisement to myself, but you’ve got to pay for your park trips some how :)

If you’d like to purchase the new shirt, click the link right here:  http://teespring.com/keepcalmride

And don’t forget to share it with your other theme park fans!

 

SkyView Atlanta – Review

This past week I got the chance to ride the newest attraction in SkyView 1the downtown Atlanta area. SkyView Atlanta is a huge ferris wheel that was built next to Centennial Olympic Park last summer. I wish I had gone to ride it earlier, I was missing out.

The SkyView ferris wheel stands a staggering 200 feet tall and rotates its enclosed, comfortable, air conditioned cabins 4 full rotations to provide guests with fantastic views of the Atlanta skyline.

It rests in a fantastic part of town. In the distance you can see large skyscrapers such as the Bank of America plaza and the Suntrust plaza. Directly below you is Centennial Olympic Park, CNN Center, Georgia IMG_5212Aquarium, and the World of Coke. This is a great vacation destination with all of these fantastic attractions all in one area.

I thoroughly enjoyed my ride on SkyView. The tickets are a little pricey but I encourage you to suck up the hole in your wallet and ride this beast. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. Stay tuned for the next few days. I shot some video while I was at SkyView and I’ll share it once it’s ready.

Score: 8/10  

 

Special thanks to SkyView for providing me with complimentary tickets. Although they were given to me, all opinions of the ride are completely my own and are not purchased.

The Best of 2013 – Mystery Mine

It’s that time of year again. If you remember last year, I did a post similar to this with several of my colleagues in the amusement park blogging world. Its all about the best experience of the past year. Outside the coaster world, a memorable experience of 2013 was accidentally running a 10K when I meant to run a 5K, but that’s another story…. I really hate running now…

I look back at all my experiences this past year. I visited Dollywood, rode 6 fantastic coasters there, rode 2 massive Sky Coasters, rode the new White Lightning, and attended a great media day event at Six Flags Over Georgia.

 

It took me a while to come to this conclusion but I’ve decided that my most memorable coaster experience of 2013 was the last half on Mystery Mine at Dollywood. Specifically, the theatrical fire effects and the sickly steep 85 foot drop at 95 degrees that follows. The ride of course doesn’t end there. It continues with a barrel roll and a dive loop that serves nicely as the cherry on top.

It was tough to decide out of all of Dollywood’s coasters that I enjoyed the most. Even their seemingly rough Tennessee Tornado proved to be a winner. All of this reminds me that I need to pull out my notes from this past summer and review Mystery Mine and Tennessee Tornado in depth. Stay tuned for that!

And as for the posts written by my fellow bloggers, the links are listed here:

Coaster Critic’s Blog: What Was Your Single Best Ride Experience of 2013?
Coaster 101: Our Favorite Moments from 2013 – Part 1 & Part 2
Arthur from About Theme Parks Guide: Best Ride Experience of 2013
Bobbie from Ups, Downs, and Upside Down: 2013 Best Ride Experience of the Year
Brian from Domain of Death 


 

2014 Looks Like a Good Year for Coastering!

With 2014 approaching very quickly, I’m going to recap over the new additions we have to look forward to. This is my list of additions that I’m most excited about. Several are truly ground breaking.

First of all, a new park is opening. I guess its actually a reopening. Kentucky Kingdom, LLLP will reopen for 2014. Once a Six Flags park, Kentucky Kingdom will relaunch with a new water slide, a drop tower, and a brand new Morgan-built hyper-lite called Lightning Run. It’s going to feature a steep 80 degree first drop and should prove to be an airtime machine. Kentucky isn’t a far drive. I’ll probably make it up there in the next year or so.

Magic Kingdom will be opening the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Let’s face it, in current pop culture, the only dwarfs we care about are the guys from the Hobbit, and Snow White is pretty old, but still. It’s a big deal when Disney World opens a new coaster. I expect this to make for a great experience, not a great ride.

Of course, Banshee will be the long awaited new inverted coaster at Kings Island. Kings Island may have some unkind folk working in their PR department but at least they are adding a nice looking coaster. Full article and video here.

If all works out well, Busch Gardens Tampa should open the most disgustingly terrifying ride of all time, Falcon’s Fury. Just in case you don’t remember, I’ve added a thrill category to my scale in anticipation to this ride. Full article and video here.

Dollywood is building a unique Gerstlauer family coaster which has nice theming, an exciting, yet small layout, and an awful teaser video. The official ride POV video was much better so here it is:

And more of my thoughts and the awful teaser can be seen here.

Six Flags Great America is currently putting up Goliath. Six Flags has only recycled that name about 23 times now but none the less the ride itself looks pretty good. You can’t really ever go wrong with a Rocky Mountain coaster.

And finally, the last really big addition for 2014 is Six Flags Over Georgia’s massive full scale water park addition, Hurricane Harbor. I never shared my thoughts on it but it looks fun. I’m not die hard for water parks but I prefer having this than a worthless (worthless for a theme park enthusiast) music venue in the back of the park.

Overall, 2014 looks very solid. I’ve renewed my Six Flags season pass and I’m looking at a possible Virginia trip. Can’t wait. I hope all of you enjoy coastering in 2014 and of course, Merry Christmas!