Each year Memorial Day Weekend (or at least for the past several years), I've volunteered at the NAQT High School National Championship Tournament, which crowns the national champion in high school quizbowl. Being someone who participated in high school, coached 4 state championship teams and continues to write questions, its always a great event to be a part of. Its also great to see many of my quizbowl colleagues for the only time I get to see them throughout the year.
Along with that, I try to tie on a couple days' vacation after the event ends on Sunday. This year, I arrived very early on Friday, so I did a quick jump over to Six Flags Over Georgia to get a ride on Twisted Cyclone. They were only allowing season passholders to ride that day. I could have gotten multiple rides, but being in a big hurry to get to the hotel and get checked in, I went to the park and got my ride in. Didn't even take my camera. Walked on the ride after only about a ten minute wait. Ended up in the back row with a local coaster enthusiast and truly enjoyed my ride. Having ridden Georgia Cyclone last year, which was absolutely terrible, this is a great addition for the park. I loved the wave turn more than anything else. That said, its probably the weakest RMC I've been on so far (of SV, LR, SC, OR, NTG, Goliath, WC and this). I'll have to compare it to Joker next summer if I'm able to get to Cali.
All weekend however, they were talking about the tropical storm coming up the gulf, which I must admit, scared me that my flight would get cancelled let alone my days at the parks being a wash. I lucked out on Tuesday however.
On Monday, I flew down to Tampa. I knew I would hit Busch Gardens on Tuesday and Universal on Wednesday. Busch Gardens was great as I met up with my friend Jayden @jaydensokolski @buschphotographer and his friend Freddy @fgphotographs. The park was pretty dead for the most part. We didn't really wait for more than one or two trains on anything we rode. That said, we didn't ride Scorpion, Sand Serpent or Cobra's Curse. We spent a lot of time taking pictures like we had planned and I FINALLY got my ride on Falcons Fury, which I must say, was AWESOME.
Wednesday, I made the drive in pouring rain from Tampa over to Universal. I immediately headed back to Diagon Alley to get a second ride on Gringotts because I was completely underwhelmed last summer. I LOVE the fact Uni has single rider lines, which never having gone there alone, I didn't really pay attention to in the past. I walked right on Gringotts and it broke down mid-ride. I didn't get an evac, but the ride did reset itself. They did give me a one-ride front of the line pass thing, so I saved that for later. I spent a lot of the day dodging massive downpours. Because of the rain RRR and Hulk were down almost all day until late afternoon. I used the pass from earlier in the day on Kong, since I hadn't gotten the chance to ride that the previous summer. Also rode Mummy and a couple indoor rides trying to stay dry. I had my poncho but walking through flooded streets sucked. Around 4pm, I got frustrated and decided to leave. I wasn't going to wait for the outdoor rides to open (Hulk did right as I was leaving) and as much as I love Spiderman and Transformers and Forbidden Journey, I had been on them all before and didn't feel like waiting around.
I had a great time down there however, and it was great to see Jayden again. Hoping to be able to meet his family and show them a good time when they come up to Cedar Point in the fall. I've found taking people on their first Steel Vengeance ride is an awesome treat.