First, I would like to wish my friends and family who celebrate Easter a belated wish of a meaningful and joyful holy week.
Saturday started with getting ready for a friend of mine to stop by and pick up stuff that we've been storing for her. That ended up being rescheduled for next Saturday (I won't be there since I will be judging the History Fair in Calvert County but Java can be there). We did some stuff around the house then played some WoW.
I WentBarn late in the day (while Java went and did math with his sister) and further stripped Echo's mane. She really does not like having her mane pulled (she got worse every time I worked on it), so I went back to breaking every rule in the 'proper horse grooming' world and used scissors. However, I used them as thinning scissors and cut the longest hairs off at the base of the mane. I hope it is short enough now because if I take much more off, it is going to be standing straight up.
Sunday we went to PKD. Given the early start to the season, the holiday, and the lovely weather, we expected light crowsds and that is what we got. We started the day with getting Java some coffee and wandering to the kiddie section. Warmed up on Scooby Doo. We walked into the station as they were finishing locking down the train (single train) and got the next ride in the front & second seat (it is a little too cozy for both of us to fit comfortably in the same seat). This ride is running well and has some new paint on the structure. Upon our return to the station, there was no one in line so they checked if everyone wanted to stay on, rechecked the restraints and off we went again. Then off to what used to be Yogi's cave. They have changed the pathway a little bit but that attraction needs some more TLC. Then off to the the Scooby's Haunted Mansion where Java whipped me by about 400 points. However, it was fun.
Next stop was the Congo section. Now this area has been slowly being transformed over the last 10 years or so. The new thing this year is Tomb Raider the Ride (more on that later) but by opening the area up to allow the ride to fit, they moved a concession stand and made it much easier to find the Avalanche (when they were building Volcano, you really had to look for that ride). Originally the Congo area had the Safari monorail, an animal nursary, some food places, a place to watch the water show, an animatronic show (something V with Wolfman Jack, a beagle playing drums, a vixen singer and maybe one or two others). The second year they added King Kobra (Schwartzkopf shuttle loop) and not too long after that the mountain which housed Doozy-Land, Haunted River and Mount Killermanjaro. Mount got moved then removed, Doozy became Smurf Mountain then got closed when they lost the rights (you can still see the station for the train from Avalanche) and the Huanted River got closed with some props being reused in Yogi's cave and Volcano).
Anyway, we went to Volcano next ... and had a Literal walk-on ride. As in we came down the ramp, walked through a stantion and onto our train (2 train op). No stopping, no pausing. WOOT! As usual, the ride rocked. Off to Avalanche where the midcourse brake was on full (????) but was still a reasonably nice ride (also 2 train op). Then back to Volcano (had to wait while they brought a train into the station). Granted, neither were front row rides (that would have meant waiting 4 trains) but it is still fun. VVROOM!
Then off to Tomb Raider. We rode a very similar ride at PKI which was inclosed, had fabulous theming in the queue and a lot of stuff shown on the walls to increase the feeling of motion w/out actually having the motion. This one is outdoors and has some cool effects but the theming isn't as thorough, the decor isn't quite finished, some of the effects didn't fire on our cycle (and it went down right before we got on so we watched the 3 test cycles). It was down at least twice while we were in that area. Having the restraint shift on circuit freaked me out in a major way (though the op said they are designed to give a little). I personally don't see a need to ride this one again anytime soon.
Off to lunch via a ride on the carousel. This poor thing needs a LOT of TLC and soon. The stirrups on the outer horses are banging the heck out of the legs (or the riders swinging their feet in the stirrups which is MUCH more likely). Bare wood was visible in several places. The sign said that one of the original horses is in the Smithsonian and that the machine is still using the original drive system (patented in 1909). Looking at some of the horses, I feel better about my little guy. He is NOT up to that standard but he has the right feel.
Then we headed to the Rebel Yell. Watch the train finish getting locked down while we waited and got the next ride in the front seat. They are doing piecemeal re-tracking (you can see sections where it has been done and sections where it has not been done ... but they have wood there next to the ride for more work during the closed weeks). She wintered very well.
Off to the arcade where I won at Air Hockey (though the last point shouldn't have gone the way it did). We played some other games as well (I am really bad at riding motor-cycles apparently). Was amused by the easter eggs around the arcade (esp. since Java had wondered if they were going to hide eggs in the park as incentives to come). Java rattled one and there was something in there ... we suspect a game token or two).
Did some quick windowshopping then went to Riccochet and walked onto that one. I don't know how many cars they were running but several. Good ride.
Then to the Hurler. This poor thing needs MAJOR work. You can hear the roughness of the ride (and see the 'walking' on the tracks if you watch for it). We were 2nd seat (single train op, watched it go out then got the next ride) and I am so glad we were not further back (where the roughness tends to be worse). This ride used to be smooth with major air. Now it is rough and has relatively little air. The new rule about 2 clicks on the restraint does NOT make me happy.
We heard that Grizzly was closed so we didn't go that way at all. Neither of us were that interested in Hypersonic this trip (though I suspect it was near walk-on because I saw it go around with empty seats and at least once an empty 3rd row).
Back to the Yell for a last ride, walk-on to the next to last seat (we could have had the last seat but I know that riding over those wheels can be a little rough). Poor Java forgot the SNAP/WHIP effect of last seat rides. We were chatting going up the lift hill then WHOOF. Giggle.
Did some shopping on our way out and left after about 4.5 hours. Total rides? 2 Scoob, 1 cave, 1 mansion, 2 volcano, 1 avalanche, 1 tomb, 1 carousel, 2 yell, 1 ric, 1 hurl. 13 rides plus lunch plus shopping. Not too shabby (we could probably have done more if we hadn't waited for Tomb to get repaired.
Many shops & food places were closed but enough was open to keep us happy. Found some fairly inexpensive gas on the way home (and did some more window shopping while waiting for traffic to let up). Grabbed dinner, took the Saturn in for tire work, I played WoW (found an easter egg with chocolate & $), he played Heros. Then sleep.