Family Trip to Wild Adventures

Last week my family and I got to visit Wild Adventures in Valdosta, Georgia. Luckily for us, the weather for our visit was nice. The sun was always shinning and no rain could be found. Because of this, the heat was our number one enemy. My dad joked the whole time and said, ” we were just south of the surface of the sun.” And he was right! On our first day (thursday), we entered the park shortly after two in the afternoon. To our surprise, most of the rides had no wait at all. For us this was a blessing. My brother and I rode almost everything in that one day! IMAG2195.jpg

After riding rides and being out in the scorching heat, we needed a break. We decided to go look at some of the parks animal exhibits. Here we not only saw some cool animals, but learned about them too. Some rides in the park even incorporate animals, like the train. One ride, Rattler, uses animals in the que line. My favorite animal at the park was Twister, the alligator (below). My brother and I just had to take a picture with him.IMAG2178.jpg

After that, I had to ride a water ride before heading back to the hotel. My brother suggested the Tasmanian River Rapids. Of course, I was game for anything, so I agreed. I loved the unique “whirlpool” effect. It sure made for a great spot to get wet. Well, for me to get wet anyway.IMAG2215.jpg

The next day, we attended the park once again, but this time with my grandparents, aunt, uncle, and my two young cousins. The park offers a lot of rides for families and small children. This came in handy for us, as my cousins and brother could not get enough rides.IMAG2163.jpg

The Georgia heat continued to test us. We needed to cool off, so we headed to Splash Island (included in park admission), the water park at Wild Adventures. The water park has slides and play areas for kids of all ages, as well as a wave pool and lazy river. It was a great way to end the day, as well as have a lot of fun!IMAG2229.jpg

Overall, the trip to Wild Adventures was great! The staff was incredibly friendly and really seemed to enjoy their job. I really hope to visit again sometime soon. Thank you Wild Adventures, for great times and great memories!

-Lexie
For more information on Wild Adventures

The Family Behind F.A. Adventures

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We are the Lang family! Scott and I have been married since July 10, 2010. We have since had two kids, Lucy (4) and Espn (2).

Our first “outing” together was at Cedar Point. And one summer, before we got married we went to Cedar Point 37 times using our Platinum passes.

For the first time in 6 years, we bought Platinum passes again. We have already visited Kings Island, Carowinds, Kings Dominion, and our home park Cedar Point this year. In a week, we will be heading to Dorney Park and Idlewild. In the past, we have been to Disney World, SeaWorld, Busch Gardens (Virginia), and Universal Studios Orlando.

Some of our favorite rides are the Magnum (Cedar Point), Diamond Back (Kings Island), The Griffon (Busch Gardens), and The Hulk (Islands of Adventures).

On the milder side of things, with our kids, we enjoy rides like the Big Wheel, monster trucks, Cadillac cars, Carousels, log flume rides, and trains.

We are passing along our passion for amusement parks to our own kids, and we would like to share our family amusement adventures with you!

F.A. Adventures
Scott, Jenn, Lucy, and Espn

Meet Lexie Austin

Screenshot_2016-06-14-00-27-54-1Hi! My name is Lexie Austin. I am seventeen years old, and I live in Knoxville, Tennessee. My two favorite things to do are cruising and going to amusement parks. My love for cruising, similar to my love for amusement parks, started very young. So far I have been on 13 cruises. (14 on June 18th and 15 on October 8th) Cruise ships now offer “amusement park like” rides and attractions, which is just another reason why I like them so much. For example, the Disney Dream and the Disney Fantasy have a water coaster, the AquaDuck. Carnival Cruise Lines ships have Carnival’s Waterworks, ropes courses at sea, and the all new SkyRide. Royal Caribbean also contributes; They plan to have bumper cars aboard their next vessel. As ships continue to evolve and the lines continue to grow I am sure more elements like these will appear.DSCF0333.JPG

 

As for amusement parks though, I have a more unique love and cherishment for them. For many people, going to an amusement park to spend a day or long weekend is the highlight of the month, season, or even year. As for me, being the blessed ACE ( American Coaster Enthusiast) brat that I am, I have gotten to experience many parks as well as events and various visits to my home park, Dollywood. That being said, most people would ask, ” Does going to the same park and riding the same rides ever get boring?” My answer, “NO!” The truth is, each trip to an amusement park is different. Parks are constantly changing with new rides, food, and scenery. Even when riding the same ride, the ride can become a different experience by the people you share the ride with. The park can even change from season to season. My favorite season to go to Dollywood is Christmas time. I love seeing the lights, riding rides, and hearing Dolly sing every step of the way. To me there is nothing more magical than a winter evening at Dollywood.IMAG1434.jpg

 

Even though Dollywood has had a big part in my life, the fun doesn’t end there. Holiday World in Santa Claus, Indiana, has also had a big impact on me and my childhood. Every summer, for as long as I can remember, we have visited for the Holiwood Nights events. Each time brought more memories along with it.IMG_7701.JPG

 

After growing up being apart of ACE and growing my love for amusement parks and the amusement park industry, the opportunity became available to become a staff member of BPARCS. I was overjoyed when I was asked to be apart of the team and to take my love for coasters and parks to an all new level.DSCF4066.JPG

 

To me, amusement parks have become such a big part of my life because, above all, they bring precious family time, time that can never be forgotten. So, to me, visiting a park is full of laughter, love, thrills, memories, and new experiences. That is why I love them so much.

Winter Chill Out Presentation 2016

Every year at the Winter Chill Out event. We get a glimpse of some of the new and exciting things happening at America’s Rockin Roller Coast. Here’s what’s new in 2016:

Valravn- Of course

Sun Rise Thrills VIP tour- Speaking of Valravn. There will be a new, and exciting VIP tour that gives you a behind the scenes look of how they prepare the ride that morning, teaching you safety procedures to make sure it’s ride ready each, and everyday. There may also be a chance to some some photos at the top of Valravn’s lift hill. No word yet on pricing, or details on how or when you can register for the amazing opportunity, but we will keep you posted.
Ride Warriors club- A Cedar Point only club. Limited availibilty of 1,000 Members. It will cost $120 a year. No age restrictions. Access to the CoasterMania! event, which is always the first Friday in June, filled with exclusive ride time in the morning, and night. Included in the club Membership you’ll receive: a one time Fast Lane pass, exclusive ride time on your favorite coasters, unique photo ops, on-video ops, and some offseason stuff. More details on how you can join the club coming soon.

Ride Removals- In park: Shoot the Rapids(due to mechanical issues, and low ridership) Challenge Park: Challenge Racing(Go Karts), and Skyscraper(these two rides are being removed to make room for something hmmm….)

Park and Ride Improvements/changes- Park: At the front of the park Hurricane Hannah’s will be replaced with Coca-Cola Oasis. As you enter the park, Coca-Cola Oasis will be the first place you can go to buy a souvenir bottle, and the first Freestyle station you will see upon entering. Staying on the main midway, the building where you can get fresh cut fries, and the mercy shop Attitude is, is getting completely redone. Attitude will be removed, and replaced with a Coca-Cola freestyle station. You can still get fresh cut fries there, but will be renamed Hot Potato. At the back of the park, Chick-Fil-A will be removed, and Frontier Inn will take its place. Frontier Inn will serve fresh battered buttermilk crispy chicken tenders(say that three times fast), fresh salads, chicken sandwiches, fries, tater tots, and more. Ride: Dodgem will get new and improved Nija bumper cars. Ninja is a company from Italy. The cars come complete with a two-tone gel-coat fiberglass finish. They can seat two adults. When power is supplied, headlights and taillights remain on.

Winter Chill Out Tour 2016

Winter Chill Out is an offseason tour at Cedar Point. Cedar Point fans who attend this event pay $50 a piece, and all proceeds go to A Kid Again. A Kid Again is a nonprofit organization that helps children with a life threatening illness, and their families have a vacation of a lifetime! This year, Cedar Point, and those who attended the event raised $40,000 for this great organization.

We started the tour at the construction site of the new 223 foot dive coaster Valravn. When we arrived they told us they were working on the gift shop, and told us, at the time, they were 80% finished with Valravn’s construction.

We also took a special tour of the engine room where they stored their most iconic locomotives.

Our tour continued to a Storage facility, and in there we were able to sit in one of Valravn’s unique eight seated trains, which will use over the shoulder restraints much like Gatekeeper.

We also toured one of Cedar Points on-site maintenance shops, where they were working on, Millennium Force, Maverick, and Top Thrill Dragster cars/trains. Stripping them down to t heir chassis’s to inspect every aspect, lap bars, shoulder restraints, wheels, and all, in preparation for the upcoming 2016 operating season.

Then, we were treated to lunch, and after lunch, a presentation of things to come this season.

See Winter Chill Out Presentation blog

After the presentation our tour concluded with a visit to the renewed and recently Renovated Hotel Breakers, and a tour of what was once the dance hall at the top of the arcade, and is now used to practice the live show Luminosity and a dressing area for Halloweekends scare-actors, mascots, dancers, and singers for the live shows.

This is always a fun and exciting tour year after year. For a small fee you get some great behind the scenes looks of one of the best parks in the world, and they money goes to a great cause. I highly recommend attending this event next year.

Drink Cups Are Taking Over The House!!

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Is this what your kitchen looks like after several years of going to Amusement Park after Amusement Park year after year?  Mine does……… and this is it!  Believe me there are several more I have that are not pictured , but you get my point.  These days most parks want you to purchase the cup and either get refills for that day and return trips for free or deeply discounted rates.  But, what do we do with these cups after the season is over?  Do you use them as pencil holders?  Maybe flower planters in your garden?  Or get a matching set and when the family sits down for dinner drink out of them?  Well, if your my family you throw them in the back of a cabinet and forget about them until you start looking for that long lost pot or pan and find 30 refillable drink cups that you have accumulated over the years.  Most of them end up sticking around for a few years and as the newer years cup makes it home and you have to make room for it you need to get rid of the oldest.

 

Luckily this year some parks have started experimenting with different levels of refill status in their parks.  Cedar Fair parks, for example, have cups that you purchase for $15.00 and get unlimited refills for that day for free.  If you were to bring that cup back and use it for refills it would only cost .99 cents to fill.  They are able to track the cup usage with the barcode on the side.   These cups are actually usable at other cedar fair parks as well.  We took or Kings Island cup to Worlds of Fun and used the .99 refills.  We had also hear that Carowinds was doing a test on an all season refillable cup for somewhere in the $25.00 range.  So, it sounds like the parks are tring to help us out so we don’t have to get 5 cups a year, right?  Ideally the industry will hear our cries for a cup that you purchase 1 year and then you have the capability to return the following year and (using the same cup) pay a said price to renew the refills on that cup and eliminate the need for another cup.  Sounds good to me.  Well…… One can only hope.  If this doesn’t happen soon you might find them hanging in our yard as decorations.  Then you would say ” They need to come up with a new use for those drink cups” 😉

 

 

Why Yes……Yes They Do!

 

 Reporting for BPARCS.com Jason Slone

Dollywood Announces “Lightning Rod” for 2016 Season

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Dollywood this morning announced a major addition to their already awesome coaster line up for the 2016 season.  “Lightning Rod” will be the first ever launched wooden coaster as well as the fastest coming in at 73MPH.  The launch will pull the train up the 20 story lift hill at 45mph.   It will have 3,800ft of track with 12 airtime moments, including the first ever quadruple down on any coaster.  Look for more information to come on this coaster in the near future.  Start planning your trip now to the Smoky Mountains to ride this amazing coaster.

Pictures via Dollywood

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For information on Dollywood and other parks be sure to check out our facebook page.

Reporting for Bparcs.com Jason Slone