Dear Coaster Friends,
The 2019 season has come to a close for most seasonal parks, and I already have the off-season blues. So many great memories and thrills are in the books and lots of fun to look forward to soon. I had a great 2019 and was able to fit in a few new parks and revisit some of my old favorites. I wanted to take a quick look back especially of the three new for 2019 rides I managed to visit.
The first new stop of the year for me was an early season trip to Carowinds with my wife. We both absolutely loved Fury 325 as that was the main reason for the trip. The park as a whole was good, but the gap in quality after their three B&Ms and Mach multi-launch was wide. We both agreed when we left that Fury was worth the trip, and that a return trip would be welcome just to have another shot at Fury.
The next new park for me was Six Flags Great America with Coaster-net. This was more than the draw of the rides; there was also pizza, and of course the great community from Coaster-net. I had an absolute blast and despite going into the park having gone on clones of five of their coasters, six if you count Viper, the park offered tons of new experiences for me. Great America offers a great mix of classic and modern rides. To me Goliath, Raging Bull, and Maxx Force were all standouts that kept calling me back for more laps. While still offering up unique surprises on X-Flight, my first B&M wing coaster & Whizzer a surprisingly fun Schwarzkopf classic.
The final new stop for me in 2019, probably, was Kennywood. This park was on my radar because of Phantom’s Revenge, and it didn’t disappoint. However it was Steel Curtain that moved my wife and I to head over across Pennsylvania for the visit. Steel Curtain and Phantom’s Revenge were both awesome and had two very unique ride experiences. They are both rides I want to revisit and hold up as special. The three classic wooden coasters each offered something fun and special too, they really added variety to the day and gave the park something that could not be offered anywhere else because of the terrain.
There is one more place I may be able to visit before the end of the year and that is the newly opened Nickelodeon Universe at the American Dream Mall. It just opened last week and it is certainly in my area. The fact that it is indoors gives me a lot of flexibility to check it out during the winter months. I am very much interested in the Takabisha clone that I can ride without having to travel all the way to Japan, and the compact Intamin multi launch coaster that has yet to open. They may become my last rides of 2019 or the first on 2020 depending on when I can make time to head out there.
The three new for 2019 rides I was able to try were at my three new parks. I would have to say that Steel Curtain was the hit, it really exceeded expectations. I was concerned that the record breaking inversions would leave me dizzy and kill the re-ride ability. I was wrong, it was exciting, comfortable, and we took many laps on Steel Curtain, I loved every one. Maxx Force was a really fun ride and I would say it met expectations. I really love hydraulic launch coasters, and was looking forward to checking out the pneumatic launch to see if it was comparable. I would say that it was, and the inversions all had a good feel to them. I think between Steel Curtain and Maxx Force S&S really deserves praise, because I was very skeptical of them going in. The last new ride was Copperhead Strike, and while I think it is a pretty good ride, this is the one that left me underwhelmed. I was underwhelmed with the preshow, the launch, and the pacing. It did have great hang time in the inversions and a well designed layout, but I got off the ride unimpressed. It did break down for the rest of the day, so I didn’t get to give it another try, but I plan to give it another chance in the future. Now that the off-season has officially begun it is time to get my rankings sorted out for the RWCA and Thrilling 32. I of course I now have plenty of time to daydream about where I will be heading in 2020.