Evening, lads and ladies. If tonight's recaps seem a bit dull and lifeless, it's just because I haven't quite recovered from my weekend minivacation. I was down in Los Angeles Friday and Saturday, the same time several Dtoiders were celebrating the end of E3 by visiting the area's plentiful amusement parks. Due primarily to poor planning (or coincidence, I suppose) I missed meeting up with the E3 revelers by one day, since they went to Magic Mountain the day after my friends and I did. Ah well, ships passing in the night. Magic Mountain may be the best single park in the world for roller coaster enthusiasts, and they'd opened up some doozies since the last time I'd been. If you ever get the chance to go, my top three are as follows:
1.) Tatsu. Though the tagline "Ride the Dragon" may give rise to thoughts of needles and opiates, this coaster is a high of an entirely different sort. You're strapped into a chair that restrains your entire body, including your ankles. Just before the train launches, you are spun 90 degrees so that you are facing the ground, and it is in this position that the ride takes you WAAAAY the hell up in the air and does some seriously acrobatic crap, all with a beautiful panoramic view of the rest of the park. The sensation of flight is not to be missed, especially during the giant inverted loop near the end. This one is definitely best experienced in the daylight... we went back to ride it again at night, and it loses something when you can't see just exactly where you are in relation to the track, the trees, and the ground. The best part is that it's butter smooth, not yet having succumbed to the clankiness that older coasters often fall prey to.
2.)Terminator Salvation: The Ride. I found the movie that inspired this coaster to be quite forgettable, but this ride was my surprise of the day. My group avoided it due to the lines for most of the day, figuring it was just another wooden coaster. When we walked by an hour from the close of the park and saw that there was no line, we figured "what the hell" and queued up. Friends, I never thought that a wooden coaster could make me flip my shit in such a way, but this mother is FAST. I'm not sure what kind of technology they used to make the ride, but it felt like a modern steel coaster, lacking only loops and corkscrews in that respect. At one point, your train screams through the queue area, likely scaring the hell out of the next set of riders. The "story" tying the ride to the movie is OK, if unnecessary. In any case, I have a new favorite wooden roller coaster, and I now know why so many people were lined up for this one. It's worth it, but if you go at night, the lines are much more manageable, plus you have the added thrill of not being able to see exactly what's ahead... not that you need it, as the train moves so fast you won't see much in front of you anyway.
3.)Goliath. This was the only ride in my top three that was there the last time I visited the park. It's a steel coaster, and at the time it was built it had the largest vertical drop of any coaster in the world. It's since lost that title, but it's still one of the best rides in the park in my opinion. The best part is that the lines are never too long, probably because the train never goes upside-down. We started our day out by riding this one twice in a row, and we'd have done it again later if time had permitted.
A couple of other notes-- We avoided Superman: The Escape based on my past experience with it. It's loud as hell, uncomfortable to ride, very short, and not much fun. I'd recommend avoiding it altogether, as my group did. X2 is a great thrill ride, but not worth waiting 2 hours in line for. I'd have much rather ridden the Batman-themed rides or Tatsu a few more times than waiting for this beast. Viper and Revolution are showing their age, and rattled my head bones as though I had done something wrong. Revolution's restraint bar also opened like a gunshot, catching my fingertip quickly enough to cause a blister. Ninja is good fun, though the Karate Kid branding on all the cars seemed a little gauche. I think that's pretty much everything, and I thank you for the opportunity to ramble about my vacation for a bit.
Or, perhaps you have ignored everything up to this point, for which I would not blame you in the slightest.
Anyway. Lots of good blogs today. Lots of bad ones too, but what're ya gonna do? You're gonna leave the sorting to me, if you're clever. Let's get to it.