Thursday, November 28, 2019

Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Happy Thanksgiving!
 Busch Gardens Williamsburg, opened in 1975, has been called the world's most beautiful theme park, and this picture certainly illustrates that fact. Themed around European countries (the park's original subtitle was "The Old Country"), the mock Rhine River seen here includes a riverboat ride.
 Escape From Pompeii is one of the best "Shoot-the-Chutes" rides out there, and it features fire and other special effects illustrating the city's destruction.

 The Loch Ness Monster is one of the country's most legendary roller coasters, and although the ride is over 40 years old, I still very much enjoyed it. The intertwining loops featured on the ride could once be found in a few places across the country, but this is the last example of the element remaining. The park's Sky Ride, which travels in a triangle shape, can also be seen in this picture.
Griffon, a modern dive coaster, has a commanding presence over most of the park.
The feeling of being held at the top of the ride's 200-foot drop is an experience that needs to be felt to be believed!
One of the things I was surprised by at Busch Gardens Williamsburg was the heavy theming inside the Festhaus restaurant, which is in part of the German section. It has a huge capacity and a large stage, but I guess such a venue makes sense given that the park was built by Anheuser-Busch. (You can still see the factory from the top of Griffon; there was a monorail for brewery tours for many years.)

Like all good classic theme parks, a multiple-stop train line circles the park and includes multiple trestles.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, November 14, 2019

Cedar Point

To people across America, Cedar Point is an amusement park that is synonymous with one thing: roller coasters! I had the chance to visit this park this past summer, and it was a truly amazing experience for a roller coaster lover like me.
Millennium Force (blue track) and Rougarou
 Although coasters are the park's specialty, (there are 17!) there are a few other attractions of historical note. One of these is the unique Derby Racer carousel, relocated from Euclid Beach Park.
 For those who don't know, a Derby Racer is basically a super-charged carousel. The platform spins around at an alarming rate, and the horses "jockey" forwards and backward. There are only three of these rides left in the world, and it's great that Cedar Point has one!
 Steel Vengeance is the world's tallest hybrid (wood structure, steel track) roller coaster in the world, and it gets this park a huge amount of attention. On my visit, I was able to ride three times, and it is incredibly intense and fast-paced.
 The park only has one all-wooden coaster, the 1964 Blue Streak, which is a shame for a park with such a sheer amount of roller coasters, in my opinion. The Blue Streak is also the park's oldest coaster (but the park opened in 1870!).  I found Blue Streak to be a fun ride, but nothing more than that.
A Sky Ride typifies a classic theme park, and the Cedar Point version travels directly over the main midway, providing nice views of the park's coasters and Lake Erie, which is the body of water that surrounds the Cedar Point peninsula.
 We'll close with this shot of Corkscrew, which was the first-ever roller coaster to go upside down three times when it opened in 1976.
Thanks for visiting Cedar Point!