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austin_dern

September 2017

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Apr. 30th, 2017

After the Shock Wave fiasco we were into the saddest and most beautiful part of the night, twilight. And that brought us to the last of their many roller coasters that we could ride: Runaway Mountain. It's built into a rockface facade, so I expected something akin to Great Adventure's Skull Mountain. It's more interesting than that. It's a small indoor ride done completely in the dark. There's no predicting its path and this adds a lot of thrill to it. Plus, you get onto the train on a curved part of the path, a rare choice. Good heavens I've reached the point in roller coaster appreciation that I look for unusual choices in loading platform layout.

Also, now I realize, it was after this ride that I quipped ``Welcome to Alaska''. Not La Vibora. Its ride in total darkness makes it closer to the long-closed Disaster Transport than just being a bobsled coaster does.

With that, though, we'd gotten to riding every major ride. Titan stayed closed as far as we could tell. Wile E Coyote's Grand Canyon Blaster is a roller coaster admitting kids only, saving us the question of whether we'd ride it for the fun of that or just for the credit. We'd gotten on the antique carousel, and on El Sombrero, and we'd made the deliberate choice to pass on the log flume El Aserradero. (Although I wonder if the queue wouldn't have been so bad now that it was dark. Ah, but who wants to dry off from a log flume in the dark?)

So while we only had a little time left, we could also relax and just enjoy being where we were. We went in for a night ride on the carousel before the evening concert shut it. It still ran slower than if they just had the ride operator push.

On the approach to Gotham City is their Hall of Justice, which hosts an interactive dark ride. We'd passed on it earlier in the day when the queue spilled out of the building, but it didn't do that now. And the Hall of Justice had the proper, classic 70s cartoon look to it. So we gave that a try. Inside was an animatronic Cyborg, if that's not redundant, trash-talking Lex Luthor and the Joker on the monitor. [profile] bunny_hugger was nagged by the idea that their Joker looked strangely familiar --- but not placed from any of the DC Animated Universe designs --- and finally recognized him as the same animation as Count Ghostly or whatever from the Ghostly Estates at Kennywood's interactive dark ride.

The video went a good, long time. Its role was informational, teaching people what the interactive element was and what the story was. (Something about Joker and Luthor using some freeze ray or whatever and you have to help Cyborg un-freeze them.) Thing is they did not cheat on the animation; it went on long enough that even a huge line would not see the whole video more than maybe twice. If you have to watch something just forever, it's best if you see as few repeats of it as possible.

Unfortunately as we were in danger of seeing the video repeat, the line came to a complete stop. The ride operator eventually said that the ride was down, and while it might come back before the end of the night they couldn't promise it. We decided not to risk it.

Instead we went back to Judge Roy Scream, taking a night ride on the wooden roller coaster we'd started the day on. At least one of the ride operators was the same one from the morning, so, heck of a shift. We went back for a re-ride and closed out the night on this fine one.

We went to the gift shop just past the park's entrance, looking for something that advertised Judge Roy Scream, preferably on a T-shirt. There wasn't anything --- even the cashier didn't know of anything --- so [profile] bunny_hugger got a Six Flags Over Texas shirt instead, saying she'd probably wear it to the next pinball league night and never again. She's worn it a bit more than that, and I think will again. It's in purple, and she looks good in that. Oh, there was a sign in a (different) shop window proclaiming ``Best Day Ever'', which is the current slogan for Cedar Point's social-media marketing stuff. We're interested in the Twitter war partisans must surely get into over this.

And this closed our day at Six Flags, and our last full day in Texas.

Trivia: Astronaut Walt Cunningham claims to have been the 14th astronaut selected for the 1963 class of astronauts because Manned Spacecraft Center Director of Engineering and Development Maxime Faget objected to having an unlucky thirteen people in the group. Chief Astronaut Deke Slayton was unwilling to drop the 13th candidate, and so invited the next in line, Cunningham. Source: Moon Bound: Choosing and Preparing NASA's Lunar Astronauts, Colin Burgess. Cunningham claims to have found the story in 1977, after learning of his ranking from Chief of Public Affairs Paul Haney.

Currently Reading: Rust: The Longest War, Jonathan Waldman.

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