For the second straight year my wife and I came up for the Run and Ride Race weekend. If you can make the dates work, the price cannot be beat for 3 days in the park with parking included. We also got in at 9 Saturday and Sunday. We got into town Thursday evening and went to Battery Park to take in some views of the park from across the bay. It was beautiful! We stayed at the Seacrest Motel in town as we did last year and it was very nice. It's very basic but the service is wonderful and it was a clean room.
Rather than go through a chronological report of our weekend, I'll hit some highlights...
1) Let's start with the obvious: Steel Vengeance is an incredible roller coaster. We got in 5 total rides over the course of the weekend, including two at night. The bugs were terrible on the night rides, but it was still amazing. We rode in the very back almost every time. The first drop is ridiculous, and then it takes off from there. This ride has so many unexpected moments. It's just a constant feeling of surprise and awe. This ride takes everything I love about MF and Maverick and combines it to make the best coaster I've ever ridden.
2) Maverick is still awesome. I was afraid the intensity of SV would take away from the Maverick experience, but that wasn't the case at all. We rode it several times and I loved every one of them. Row 5 or 6 on the right side are the best.
3) After years of maintaining MF as my favorite coaster, it has been supplanted by both Maverick and SV. The first drop is still incredible, but I've realized the rest of the ride leaves something to be desired. I enjoy the three airtime hills but otherwise, it's lacking compared to Maverick and SV.
4) I really enjoyed Valravn. We started every day off with it b/c it was walk-on coming from the marine entrance. I love the two free-fall drops and the weightless moments you get with a couple of the inversions. Front row is by far the best for the first drop. I wouldn't want to wait any more than 30 minutes for this but it's a lot of fun.
5) Magnum is still so underrated. It's such a fun ride, especially relative to the typical wait time or lack thereof. I love sitting toward the back. You get so much air over the second half. I finally got a night ride on this one and it didn't disappoint. The views of the water were really cool.
6) We got a walk-on to TTD! We tried once on Friday to ride and of course it broke down. On Saturday we left for a couple hours because of rain, then we came back at 9 to get a couple night rides in. We hit Valravn first at dusk, then we were going to head back toward Magnum for a night ride. On the way we saw that TTD was showing a 15 minute wait so we decided to hit that, but we literally went right up to the gate for the very back row on the second train on the platform. This was my first night ride on TTD as well and it was awesome! This is not a ride I'm willing to wait much more than 30-45 minutes for, but main when you don't have to wait at all, it's fantastic!
7) I enjoyed a couple rides on Gemini. It's smoother than I expected for a 40-year old coaster and has some good drops and air time.
I don't know how I'm going to go a full year before coming back. I wish I lived closer so I could enjoy more frequent visits. Hopefully we will be back for the Run and Ride weekend again next year.
In the mean time, my wife surprised me with a trip to Carowinds for my 30th birthday next month. I'm so pumped to ride Fury 325!
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