Coaster Crazy, or: Woodpecker's trip to America, part 4

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Sora
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Coaster Crazy, or: Woodpecker's trip to America, part 4

Post by Sora » Wed Dec 17, 2014 3:49 am

With Raven and Legend out of the way, there was one more wooden coaster to tackle. At this point, most of the other ACE guests had gone to have their supper. Instead, Kat and I hit the Voyage while the queue was empty. We made our way up to the platform and dumped our stuff, then took the penultimate seat. I looked down at the hollow seat dividers and thought, "This isn't going to end well." Kat said, "Yeah, they're not everyone's favourite." The lap bar came down with enough wriggle room to have me a little worried. Mercifully, the Koch family, who were checking bars, didn't overtighten the seatbelts, but merely checked they were secure. The jingle "Your voyage begins without delay" played for the final time and with a rumble we were off. A slight jerk took the trains to the lift hill and we climbed towards the sky. Now, call me an oddball, but I like to look at the scenery and the view while climbing the lift. It's not the prettiest park, but the woods are great. We pass the massive flags at the top, and the front cars drag the train over the crest of the lift. I raise my arms and..."Geronimo!" :P The train accelerates down the first drop and there is a feeling of butterflies in my stomach all the way down. Wow. Then comes the first hill..not much air (pity) but the drop out of it sends the sweet smell of honeysuckle right up my nose. Ahh! :D Then another hill with better airtime and a drop into the tunnel. Suddenly the pace picks up and the train jerks right as it navigates a hill between tunnels, then another hill and a tunnel and the train curves to the left, slamming me into the seat divider. Ouch. Then it turns right and we slam into the first turn of the spaghetti bowl. The forces pile on and I wonder if I'm going to grey out, then out of nowhere comes the wrong banked turn and the first 90 degree banked curve of the ride. Pulling out of that we plunge into the valley, then come up again and bank right and navigate two more hills into a tunnel and then up into the safety block. The trim brake is off (good!) and there's a short slow down which kills the action a little. Having watched various POVs I know what is coming next...the triple down. "One...two.........three!" and we're at the bottom. The train rises up and over a bunny hop with my bum off the seat all the way over. Wheee! Then the train starts to dive left and right all over the place. At this point my brain stops functioning properly: either I can focus on the sensation or I can focus on where the train is going, but not both at once. It's overload. It would be a few more rides before I got used to it. Another 90 degree banked curve takes us through the lift hill and back, then another curve and we hop over the lift hill. I'm thrown in the air and then slammed sideways before I have time to land - I feel like I'm standing up all the way to the bottom of the subsequent drop. We fly past the station, then up and over another hill, then dive down into a trench that curves to the left. Then up and over a slight hill (with zero airtime) and then the train navigates its final curve up into the brakes. As the brakes bring the train to a gentle stop I find myself laughing - this is a good thing. The more I laugh, the better the ride. My rating? Kat and I agreed: comparable with The Beast. I was a bit disappointed - for all the hype this ride got I was expecting something significantly better. We rode another two or three times, then headed for supper.

Most people were finishing when we arrived but there was enough left at the buffet for us. I snagged some of their fudge. I recognised Corey, who was wandering around, from some of Paul's photographs and awkwardly introduced myself. He greeted me like an old friend. I'd actually been hoping to meet Corey one day and it was an unexpected bonus to see him there. After we were done eating we headed back to Voyage for more ERT. The ride had warmed up considerably by the time we returned and was really starting to mean business in a serious way, and it was throwing me around a lot more, too. It turned out I was injuring Kat. I had to lower my arms because of the tunnels, and this meant that from the spaghetti bowl onwards my elbows were in line with Kat's chest. She came off with bruises not from the ride, but from me! As a joke I nicknamed them "Kiwi bruises" which somehow stuck. (Full disclosure: I'm half Kiwi. My dad's a New Zealander; I was born and brought up in England. I've lived in New Zealand for four years now).

Raven and Legend were increasingly awesome too. Munjo kept asking me which was my favourite of the coasters and I couldn't tell him! I'd say Raven, then Legend then Voyage, then Raven then Voyage then Legend, and every other combination. I was starting to realise that this was like comparing an apple, an orange and a pear. I also began to appreciate that while it would be nice if there was no slow down on Voyage's safety block, it reinforces the fact that the Spaghetti bowl isn't where the ride gets serious. The Spaghetti bowl is a prelude in which you get a taste of the kind of insanity and intensity which dominates the second half of the ride.

Kat and Nick camped out on Raven and while I snagged a few rides on it and then got a zen ride in the front seat of Legend. Jim had warned me it was quite rough - he wasn't wrong. It slammed me about all over the place and was far more violent empty than with a fully loaded train. Interesting. As the park closed for the night, Kat, Nick, Jim, Munjo and I piled off in the car to Andy's hotel where he was just finishing his shift. We headed back to his beautiful home and slept on the floor. Thus ended the first day of HoliWood Nights. Note: for the sake of keeping everything together, I'm using my old username in the title of my trip reports, as I started writing them before I changed it.

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Paul Drabek
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Re: Coaster Crazy, or: Woodpecker's trip to America, part 4

Post by Paul Drabek » Wed Dec 17, 2014 6:31 am

Great TR. I look forward to part 5.
Life is short....have fun!

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