Saturday, March 18, 2017

Nickelodeon Universe Trip Report - 3/14/17

Nickelodeon Universe - 3/14/17 - Photo Trip Report
Flashback to last year when Lightning Rod was having troubles. I wrote a very professional letter to them saying how disappointed I was that their new ride was never open. Good ol' Dollywood wrote write back and gave us free tickets. Perfect, now we had something to do on our spring break! Well, Dollywood announced their 2017 hours and they aren't open for our dumb, early break. Of course they aren't. Now what do we do with a week of no school. You go to the only amusement park in the Midwest that's open! That is how I ended up at MOA for spring break. It seems like quite the jump in parks, but I was honestly quite excited to go. I have visited the park in both 2011 and 2006 and it was time to get back.

Let’s start with the bad. TMNT Shell Shock was closed and it was not supposed to be down according to the refurb schedule. Not only was it down, it was in about 100,000 pieces.

Yeah, that was a bummer as it looks to be the best flat there, but I made the best of it and rode more coasters. I would say my only other complaint was the awfully slow dispatch times, especially those on flats. The coasters weren't too bad for not running at full capacity. On to what you actually care about...


Avatar Airbender

Overall was a fun ride. After riding V2 so many times, it was a little odd to spin so much while doing the same thing. The best part of this ride was honestly looking like you were going to go straight through the roof on either end. I ended up getting one really spiny ride and the others were meh. 6.5/10

Back At The Barnyard Hayride

We ended up going on "Toddler Tuesday" and this thing had way too long of a line for me to ride. There were constantly little kids and their parents riding and I did not want to be that guy. Oh well, maybe another time!

Fairly Odd Coaster

The fact that they fit this thing in the space they were given is quite amazing. The brake run and transfer tracks were all basically on top of each other. The layout was pretty solid for a spinning coaster although it was a little jerky in the odd transitions it has to accommodate the space. Even though it was my least favorite coaster of the trip, it is still a really nice coaster for the park. 6/10

Fairly Odd Coaster wraps around everything!

A tangled mess of track and supports.

Odd Coaster's control panel. The screen doesn't show up very well, but it was cool to watch the different block sections change color from red to green or vice versa.

The chain comes up a crazy amount when there is no train/car on the lift. It is probably a good 1.5-2 feet above the track.

This is my favorite coaster at MOA. It pretty much acts as a thrilling monorail and gives a quite nice tour of the amusement park, as well as an inside look at the log ride. Now whoever designed this thing was genius as the transfer track is not by the station, but instead in the log ride facade, right before the second lift. That way it takes up zero extra space. This thing would be really awesome if they could somehow eliminate the vibration. Overall, it is a really solid coaster and is very rerideable. 7/10

Highly suggest the front car as it has a ton more leg room.

Orange Streak control panel. See how the extra train is off in the middle of the ride according to the lights?

It is kind of funny how close you get to the giant pineapple bounce house while going up the lift.

Orange Streak literally goes all over the park.

SBSP Rock Bottom Plunge

By far the most thrilling coaster at Nick U, this is a decent Eurofighter. It is pretty amazing how they fit that thing in there, especially the lift between the roof supports. Even though it isn't as good as Mystery Mine, it was really fun! The best part about this thing is tied between the grown adults practically peeing their pants in line and the speed hill coming out of the vertical loop. The first drop was also pretty good. The restraints weren't the best as there was quite a bit of head bashing in the second half of the ride. Overall, it is a good ride when you don't have to wait in a 20 min line with one train (thank goodness they put a second one on around noon). 6.5/10

This whole tower shook like crazy.

At night, it is really awesome looking at your reflection in the roof.

Me trying to be artsy.

This loop provided some pretty good hang time.

Other Rides

Backyardigans Swing-Along

I did not ride this one, but it appeared to be a pretty good swing ride. The only reason I am including it is because of this...

Yes, some of the seats are on backwards. Cool idea, but not cool enough to get me to ride.

Brain Surge

I believe this is a Chance Unicoaster (could be wrong). This ride was really fun. The only problem was the awful wait time. The joystick was very easy to use and you could hold yourself in any direction. I honestly kind of wish Great America got one as part of a flat package.

Crazy Cars

Did not ride this either, but thought it was interesting that there is still no Nick theme. Last time I was there, I believe they were themed to Naked Brothers Band, but now they are just gratified bumper cars. I also think they are brand new bumper cars (or at least they look new).

Ghost Blasters

All the guns worked! That's something you can't say about too many shooter dark rides. I was honestly surprised by how good this ride was. I really like Sally Shooters and it is probably my number 4 after JL, Gobbler Getaway, and Den of Lost Thieves. It is better than the ones at the old Paramount parks by far even if they have the same generic theme. One other thing to note is that they have a plaque next to the operator booth that gives some stats including that it was built for Knott's Camp Snoopy which is pretty cool.

Jimmy Neutron's Atomic Collider

I have no idea why I like this ride so much. It is very unique and I wish more were built. I think the only other one was at Knott's but got removed. It provides a nice amount of airtime and has a crazy long ride cycle. I can totally see bigger parks these as it has a really good capacity as well. I wonder why no one else has them.

Log Chute

Holy Chute! See what I did there?  :lol: I always try to ride a park's log ride and this thing is fantastic. It is probably tied with Daredevil Falls at Dollywood for my favorite non-Disney water ride. Lots of animatronics and some nice theming. I bet it would be a lot easier to preserve that kind of stuff when it is inside a mall. Anyway, I am really glad they didn't destroy this thing and put some Nick garbage theme on it. We say Whizzer is the heart and soul of Great America, this is the heart and soul of Nick Universe. Great ride and definitely resembles the Knott's days.

It takes up a pretty large area on one side of the park.

The second drop.

You surprisingly get wetter on the smaller, hidden first drop.

Mutant Masher

Fun frisbee ride with some decent theming and smoke. I would say Revolution is better, but I still want a Discovery.

This thing doesn't look like much, but it runs a kick butt ride program. I would probably rather ride this than most S&S drop towers.

Other Stuff

Dutchman's Deck Ropes Course

Did not do due to it costing quite a bit extra and I can do the one at the Wilderness next month.

Fly Over America

This I actually really wanted to experience, but will wait until they realize that $18 is too expensive for an adult ticket. I really like Soarin' and would like to do this in the future.

I think it is pretty cool that they have a plaque for where home plate was way back when the mall was a baseball stadium.

I don't know the exact story behind this as I am not a huge baseball fan (unless it is the Cubbies!) but it is cool that they pay homage to what was here before the mall.

Bought this shirt. I wish they had some other Nick U specific merch, but this will do.

It ended up being an awesome day! I got on everything I wanted to. I'm glad I got my amusement park fix and can't wait for SFGAm to open back up!

Avatar Airbender - 4
Brain Surge - 1
Fairly Odd Coaster - 3
Ghost Blasters - 2
Jimmy Neutron's Atomic Collider - 1
Log Chute - 2
Pepsi Orange Streak - 7
Shredder's Mutant Masher - 2
Splat-O-Sphere - 1
SpongeBob SquarePants Rock Bottom Plunge - 7
Total - 30

I'll ketchup with you later!

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Friday, March 17, 2017

Angelo's Renamed Falcone's?

Village of Gurnee
According to Gurnee files, on March 15th, Six Flags Great America applied to remodel two restaurants. One for Falcone's and one for Macho Taco. It is thought that Falcone's will bring in the DC character of Carmine "The Roman" Falcone to the Joker/Batman area. I can't wait to see what new food options they offer.
One other note is that the other application is for Macho Taco, not Macho Nacho which is which was announced at ACE's No Coaster Con. We should find out the official name and menus once the website is updated or the Dining Pass Guide is released.

I'll ketchup with you later!

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Sneak Preview Weekend!

"Your favorite place is opening for a Sneak Preview Weekend!

Join us for a thrilling weekend preview of the park Friday, April 14 - Sunday, April 16!  This is a weekend you won't want to miss. Be the first to ride all of your favorite coasters and get a taste of what this summer will have in store for you.

Something for everyone!
From thrillseeking coaster lovers to folks that like to keep their feet planted on the ground we have something for everyone. Thrillseekers can take a ride on the record breaking Goliath or take in the sights on Sky Trek Tower.

Visit all season!
With season just starting, it’s a great idea to pick up a Season Pass for unlimited park visits, free entry to Hurricane Harbor, and tons of discounts in the park!"

 - Six Flags Great America

Friday - 10:30-6:00
Saturday - 10:30-6:00
Sunday - 12:00-6:00

I'll ketchup with you later!

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Friday, March 10, 2017

A Look At 2017 Food Changes!

So far, the biggest food changes include the addition of Macho Nacho in Cold Stone Creamery's location in the County Fair Food Court, Cold Stone being relocated, and Angelo's getting a revamp including a possible name change.
Macho Nacho
With locations at parks such as Great Adventure, Six Flags Over Georgia, and Six Flags St. Louis, these Mexican restaurants offer a variety of options that are included on the Season Dining Pass. In St. Louis, you can get burritos, quesadillas, taco salads, and nachos. For your snack, they offer a pudding cup. Great Adventure offers burritos, nachos, rice bowls, taco salad, soft tacos, and quesadillas. Takis, chips and salsa, and chips and queso are options for a snack. Finally, you can get nachos, burritos, and taco salads at Six Flags Great Adventure. With all of these options at these sister parks, Great America should have some solid choices. Some things that I am hoping for is the Nacho Grande which was available at Demon Snacks and JB's Sports Bar as well as quesadillas. Overall, this is a very solid addition and I am very excited to try these new options!
Cold Stone Creamery
We know that this will be moving somewhere else in the park, but where? I believe that some possible locations include Totally Kickin Chicken by Demon, Jack's Snacks in Yankee Harbor, or Six Flags Outfitters in Mardi Gras. Now all we can do is hope and pray that Cold Stone will be on the Season Dining Pass in 2017!
I am going to bet that the outcome of the Angelo's revamp will be similar to what they did for Strutters last year, just maybe not as extreme. By gutting Aunt Martha's, they were able to refresh the area and offer a new and exciting place to eat. They added a whole bunch of TVs and a bar. As for new food options, I think that what they serve is perfect. Maybe they will add a few more menu items just for diversity. Finally, I really can't see a name change coming. It is classic and anything else would take some serious time to get used to.
With so many great additions already announced and a few I'm sure they still have up their sleeve, 2017 is turning out to be a fantastic year!

I'll ketchup with you later!

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Thursday, March 2, 2017

What We Know So Far For 2017

With the 2017 season getting closer and closer, here are some things that have already been announced to look forward to!
First up is attractions...
 - The Joker is a 4-D FreeSpin built by S&S which will be located in Yankee Harbor next to Batman: The Ride. More information can be found HERE.
 - VR will be returning. The attraction it will be going on is still unknown.
Next are some important dates...
 - April 28th is the Superhero Glow Run
 - April 29th is Opening Day
 - May 25 is The Joker's T-shirt Event
 - May 26th is The Joker's Season Passholder Preview Day
 - May 27th is The Joker's Grand Opening
 - June 16th is Coasters After Dark
 - July 4th is July 4th Fest
 - August 18th is Coasters After Dark
 - September 27th is the Coaster Challenge
General Park Upgrades...
 - The park is in initial phases of getting WiFi
 - Lots of new entertainment with 15-19 shows daily
 - General paint upgrades depending on the weather
Food Updates!
 - Macho Nacho will replace Cold Stone Creamery in the County Fair Food Court.
 - Cold Stone Creamery will move to an new location (not announced yet)
 - ICEE is replacing Slurpee
 - Beverage based events are currently being explored
 - Angelo's revamp and possible name change

As soon as more information is known, I will be sure to post it. Happy offseason!

I'll ketchup with you later!

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