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djmcbell last won the day on November 12 2015

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  1. djmcbell

    U.S Trip Advice

    I can't speak for California (there's loads of parks there I'd love to do), nut for Florida September can be hit and miss with crowds. We found some days that were quiet with stuff like Hulk a walk-on and others crowded. A lot of schools seem to do trips to the parks at this time. I can only really speak for Universal parks in this though, although the few times I've been to Disney parks at this time they've been crowded - guess Disney doesn't do quiet (why hello 45 minute wait time for Everest). Also, ensure that you do Busch Gardens too at the very least - you would be doing yourself a disservice otherwise. There's also SeaWorld and Aquatica, if you're bothered. SeaWorld has some good coasters and exhibits, and lots of fun animal rights issues. Rent a car and villa. You'll thank me later. I've always found that villas aren't much more expensive than hotels, and hotels are basically a room with a bed and a bathroom. Also, the shuttles they provide to get to and from the parks can suck. We only got 4 hours at Animal Kingdom because they deemed being dropped off at Disney's transportation hub a successful AK drop-off, so we had to make our own way from there via Disney transport, and get back in time for the return shuttle. Public transport also sucks. Plus, you can go further afield (hint hint Busch Gardens, and do Clearwater Beach too, or Siesta Key - that place was nice). Barring the odd hurricane (which we've had on one trip) you shouldn't go far wrong with the weather, though they can have wet spells. Again though, all this is for Florida only - it's been about 25 years since I did California. Souvenir hunting, or just after a nice bit of shopping or somewhere to relax in the evening? We liked Disney Springs. Huge Disney shop, plus loads of shops and bars and restaurants and a cinema. I think that, if you can buy it in the parks, you're also supposed to be able to buy it there. Common sense applies - do shopping towards the end of your holiday so you know how much cash you have and what you want to get. Both Florida and California will do you easily for 3 weeks. There will be parks you won't be able to cover in a single day, and you'll probably want to go back to some. If you're in California there's a few other parks you may want to check out (Knotts Berry Farm, Six Flags).
  2. djmcbell

    The Off Topic Topic

    The demolition of Blackpool's Wild Mouse is a huge shame. I was born and bred around Blackpool and, whilst the ride wasn't my favourite, you had to give it props for squeezing so much into space the same size as a small cafe. Many was the time my wife and I would be skidding around in the tiny little mouse car as it lurched off, duck under some track which passed over the lift hill (hoping nobody was going over that bit of track at the time as it would bend quite visibly), hold on for dear life around 90 and 180 degree turns which were so severe the car took them on two wheels, and take the drops which had the airtime of a madman and the pain of a very bad chiropractor. Screw all the psychological things Alton Towers tries to build around its rides - on Blackpool's Wild Mouse you always experienced some amount of mortal fear. Letting go to put your arms in the air would result in broken ribs. I haven't been on Sydney's and hope it's a good substitute. Annoyed at Blackpool for not announcing the demolition beforehand (some people think they never intended to announce it yet but leaked pictures forced their hand). They'll have issues finding anything to take its place, such was the tiny amount it took up.
  3. djmcbell

    Government meeting with theme park company

    I wouldn't say never, but it's not likely. If the stories are to be believed though they nearly did a while back (I think before they chose Shanghai). They'll have done their research back then and, for them to have nearly gone through with it, proved that the venture may well have been more viable than people believe. I still think it's enormously unlikely, as let's face it - the only people it would be serving really would be people already in Australia/NZ. They're practically the only people without a Disney park closer already (especially if it's put in the Gold Coast, right on the eastern edge of the country).
  4. djmcbell

    Government meeting with theme park company

    "The concept... has been muted for years" No, I think plenty of people have talked about it for years.
  5. djmcbell

    DC Rivals HyperCoaster Announcement

    This immediately looks like it will be in my top 10 of coasters. Love the paint job, the backwards seats (I'll give it a go just to see what it's like, but imagine it'd be better forwards), the twist on the drop reminds me of the Pepsi Max Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach (one of my top 10)... If I could nitpick (and I definitely can, and will), I would say "another DC ride?" (like many people here). Seriously, this will be the fourth DC coaster at the park (with the remaining two coasters being a kids coaster and Scooby - both still excellent coasters, my son loved the Road Runner Coaster). There are only two major thrill rides at the park which aren't DC-themed (Scooby and Wild West Falls). I would have liked to see this coaster be something else, with some cool theming etc. But that's nitpicking - let's face it, who's going to pay attention to theming on something like this? Yes, we may have to pay a little to ride at the back (like the VR on AA, which I stupidly didn't try last time I was at MW), but I'll give it a go once. I still like the look of Icon at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, simply because it goes in and around so many other rides (which you kinda need to do at BPB). This looks like it uses the space well, looks like it should be an excellent coaster, and should hopefully kick the competition into gear a little bit (hint hint Dreamworld).
  6. djmcbell

    Gumbaya World, the New Kid on the block!

    Can only speak from my experience but I drove past Adventure Park the other day and didn't notice any machinery. That being said, you can't really see that far in from the roadside, especially if the building work is going on that far back. However, I do also think (judging from Google Maps) that there's some land going spare in Adventure Park anyway. Also, a colleague of mine has suggested a water park is being considered for the Torquay area (though that would be a bit more than 1hr 15 from Melbourne).
  7. First of all, obviously a tragic accident, and may our thoughts be with the family, friends, pupils and staff. Both articles I've skimmed through (Guardian and, for my eternal shame, Daily Mail) mention that the girl had stood up and was moving around the raft whilst it was in motion, trying to change seats.
  8. djmcbell

    Tower of Terror 2 - Slow Launch

    And today's news headlines... TERRIFIED passengers TRAPPED on roller coaster as it DOES NOTHING on a flat bit of track!!! "We sat there for a bit" - says victim (coverage on pages 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10 & 11)
  9. Don't spread it or the media will broadcast your story, followed by more calls for the place to be shut down!
  10. djmcbell

    Britain plans "Biggest Theme Park In The WORLD"

    This thing's still going? I'm pretty sure it was doing the rounds a couple of years back, even back to 2012. This wouldn't *just* be a theme park, but would also contain water parks, hotels, conference centres, cinemas, shopping centres... if you're counting all that as being part of your "theme park" at 338 acres (or 136 hectares), Disney World in Orlando knocks you into a tiny hat at 10,360 hectares. Whoever tried to push it as the "world's biggest" deserves a fair bit of ridicule. As for whether this project will actually happen... it's been on the go since 2012 at least, possibly earlier. There are some decent parks in the UK - I would count Alton Towers and Blackpool Pleasure Beach as the best, but that's because I feel a lot of other parks have pretty short and tame coasters. The South does already have a fair few parks - I would have liked to see it more up north, but I get that London is the place for tourists, just as Gold Coast has more parks than anywhere else in Oz. But there's still nothing concrete about the park, it just sounds a bit "hey, these are some plans we've drawn up, wouldn't it be cool?". Plus, I guess if Aardman have signed up, where does that leave the Wallace & Gromit ride at Blackpool?
  11. djmcbell

    Theme Parks in Europe

    Serris and Val d'Europe are right down the road from Disneyland Paris. Can't recall the hotel we stayed at but it was pretty cheap and within walkable distance, and not a Disney hotel. Plus you've got the seriously huge shopping centre there for extra needs, and two train stations (Disney and Val d'Europe) for getting around (you can use the Disney line for CDG and TGV access, and Val d'Europe for RER/Metro to Paris).
  12. djmcbell

    Theme Parks in Europe

    To go a bit further on Adam C's post, Disney Paris does have a train station - which is also serviced by the extremely fast TGV. We flew into Charles de Gaulle airport and the TGV gets you from there to the park gates in 10 minutes.
  13. djmcbell

    Theme Parks in Europe

    Aha! I can answer BOTH those questions! Ferrari World - we went when it opened and found it dire. The Formula Rossa (fastest coaster in the world) wasn't working, and back then they didn't publish which rides were/weren't working. It is supposed to have improved since. If you've got a stopover then definitely check it out, but I don't think it's a park that would keep you entertained for long (though this is from our experience, where out of 4 thrill rides at the time, only one was open). There are other parks in the UAE to do (can't recall which but a new one has just opened), and getting to Ferrari World is an hour's drive from Dubai to Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. PortAventura vs Disneyland Paris... hmm, good question. You say you're already in France. Basically, you should probably know what a Disney park is like. PortAventura is probably more like a mix between Universal and Six Flags, in that they've got nice theming and good, big thrill rides. Can't really help you there as the parks aren't similar enough. Do you want a Disney park, with all that entails (not many big thrill rides, though Aerosmith and SMM2 are pretty mean), or a more extreme park? Both may well have long queues depending on when you go.
  14. djmcbell

    Storm 'Routine Stop'

    Scarred for life...
  15. djmcbell

    Theme Parks in Europe

    I went to PortAventura nearly 10 years ago, and it was a great park - so long as the crowds are right (they do have plenty of school groups going there, which made waits for Dragon Khan very long). Disneyland Paris, I thought, was pretty darn good. I liked a few of the rides there more than their Florida counterparts (Big Thunder Mountain, Phantom Manor, Pirates). Just make sure to check which rides are open and which are down for refurbishment/maintenance (there are a few sites which have calendars for this, as Disneyland Paris announces them in advance - try Googling dlrpmagic). And if you're going to the UK (though it doesn't sound like you are), forget Alton Towers and do Blackpool Pleasure Beach! Blackpool itself is completely awful, full of tat shops and capsule vending machines selling edible underwear (I used to live there), but the Pleasure Beach is completely brilliant. AND - it has a monorail (which I don't think is going any more).