Hello readers - its been awhile since I last posted. Months actually. As much as I complain about the offseason, it does give me a chance to catch up on everything else that I need to get done between my job, side jobs that I do and lots of other stuff.
This post is meant to outline my park plans starting next month. Not everything is confirmed yet, but I'm pretty sure I'll be getting to most of the parks I'm listing at some point.
So here we go:
March 23 - Dollywood (confirmed)
March 30 - Carowinds (confirmed) - I was going to be attending on this date anyways. The fact that Koasterkids decided to have a KK day that day is just a bonus for me. My 3-year old nephew will be there with my mom as well and I'm planning on taking him on his first couple coasters.
Early May - Cedar Point -- can't confirm a date yet because I'm hoping to get an invite to Media Day, although if that doesn't happen, its totally understandable. If I don't get that invite, I'll probably end up going if they have passholder preview night on Friday or on Sunday. I have a doubleheader to coach on opening day, and I have no desire to wait 4+ hours for SV that day. I'm not one that needs to be one of the first riders on it to be happy.
May 18-19 - Coasterstock at Kings Island (confirmed) - I'll be driving in Thursday after work if any of the enthusiasts in town are around and want to hang out. This by-far was my favorite event last year. The evening ERT on MT, Diamondback, Beast and Flying Ace was awesome, as everything was walk-on. The walk-back tour of Beast was cool. Winning the photo contest last year was also a huge plus for me (and surprise). At the time, I was still kind of unsure of myself as a photographer, but that definitely helped with my confidence and got me to take it more seriously. This year, they've added some more walkback tours (Firehawk, Banshee, etc.) which is awesome. The food was great last year as well. I'm truly looking forward to CS '18 and also to meeting some people I've talked to on social media but haven't actually met yet.
May 29-30 - Busch Gardens Tampa and Seaworld Orlando (basically confirmed) - I will be in Atlanta once again over Memorial Day weekend volunteering at the NAQT High School National Championship quizbowl tournament. They pay for my flight to Atlanta and then back home, so I typically will take a 2-3 day mini vacation before I head back. I'm not sure if I'm going to go over to SFOG real quick to ride Twisted Cyclone on Memorial Day or not yet ("real quick") but I'm planning on flying into Tampa at some point on Memorial Day and then meeting up with my friend BuschPhotographerto take some pictures and ride SheiKra, Cheetah Hunt, Mako and other great coasters. I'm going to fly home early Thursday to get ready for...
June 1- Coastermania! at Cedar Point (confirmed) - Coastermania! is one of those events that I might not attend if I didn't live so close to Cedar Point. Don't get me wrong, its a great event, but its almost become predictable as to what is going to happen. With the ERT on Steel Vengeance all morning though, I wouldn't miss it (despite the fact I still want to attend HoliWood Nights at some point soon). I didn't see much different but I look forward to entering the photo contest again, meeting up with old friends and meeting some new ones and collecting some cool merch. The Q&A session is always fun, making Tony, Jason and the other higher-ups uncomfortable by asking them tough questions. Plus, I don't get to attend many events with my friend Nick due to his work schedule and to my being off in the summer, so another reason I'm looking forward to it.
Some point between June 4-11 - Cedar Point (confirmed) - My friend Jayke (coaster_hunter) and his parents will be in town all week at Cedar Point, so I'm going out there at least one day to hang out with them. Date not set yet however.
June 14-22 - OKC/Texas/St. Louis trip (confirmed) - This will be my big trip for 2018. I am flying into Dallas early on June 14. I'm hoping to get to the JFK assassination site and take a tour of Globe Life Park. I might hit up SFOT for a little while even though I'm going there on Monday. In the evening, I will be driving up to OKC. The rest of the trip looks like:
June 15 - "Ride for a Cure Day" at Frontier City
June 16-17 - Sightseeing, photography and fishing in OKC
June 18 - SFOT
June 19 - ZDTs and Seaworld San Antonio
June 20 - SFFT
June 21 - Sightseeing around San Antonio (going to the Alamo and other sites); drive back to Dallas
June 22 - Fly early AM to St. Louis - go to SFSTL
June 22 (evening) - Fly back to Cleveland
July 13-16 - KK/HW/KI trip (confirmed) - I'm planning on taking senior pictures for my friend Peter in Louisville on July 14th, so heading down a day early and going to Holiday World on July 13 looks like the plan. July 15 is Koasterkids Day at Kentucky Kingdom and July 16 is KK Day at Kings Island, so I'm planning on going to both of those events. After having attended Koasterkids Day at Kentucky Kingdom last year, I would definitely recommend it to everyone - it didn't cost anything extra (unless you wanted the lunch buffet) and it was a lot of fun all around. The ERT was especially awesome.
July 18 - Cedar Point (tentative) - KK day at Cedar Point might be a go depending on how I'm feeling after the weekend.
September (the Sunday after Labor Day Weekend) - GOCC Fall Freak Out at CP - Always a great time with the GOCC crew. I'm hoping by that point that I've won the position I'm running for on their board of directors. I love Richie's scavenger hunt and the ERT and food here are great as well.
Also September - Roller Coasters, Eh? at Canada's Wonderland - GOCC/ACE - Had a wonderful time attending this event with my mom and some of the GOCC members last year as invitees of ACE. Can't wait to head back north of the border again.
Late September - KI/KK weekend trip.
October - KI Haunt
November/December - KI Winterfest
Trips Yet to Be Scheduled:
Busch Gardens Williamsburg/Kings Dominion/maybe SFA - Looking at July 23-26
Darien Lake/Canada's Wonderland - Looking at June 4-5
Michigan's Adventure - Day trip - looking at June 25
Kennywood (1-2 trips) - No dates yet
When all is said and done, I should have about 70-80 new credits as well. Always feel free to contact me on social media if you'll be at a park when I'm there. I always love saying hello to new people and followers.