June 20, 2010

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   I left work Saturday night and drove all night to Lawrence, Kan., where I met a college friend, Carrie. From there, we went to Kansas City to our destination of Worlds of Fun. We got there about 9 a.m. The parking lot wasn't open yet. But they opened it shortly, we bought our tickets ($8 off with a can of Pepsi) and waited for the park to open at 10. It wasn't crowded at all, so we knew this would be a good day.

    Once the gates opened, we walked toward Spinning Dragons but decided to ride Patriot. We walked right up to the station and got in line for the back seat. Only one train was operating, and we waited a train before getting on. I thought this would be forceless like Silver Bullet, but it wasn't. The loop, Immelmann and helix at the end all have pretty high forces, and there are two moments of slight airtime. The zero-G roll is quick and fun. It has a little bit of that B&M rattle, but it was hardly noticeable. It's not as good as Talon, even though the two are so similar, but it's a good ride anyway. We liked it. 7/10.

    Timber Wolf was closed, so we wandered back toward Mamba. We stopped at Detonator because it was on the way. It's a two-tower Space Shot. We got on after one cycle. This ride operates strangely. It has the normal launch up, but the way down is cut short. Instead of dropping down and slowing down, it drops down a little and feels like it hits a wall. There's a stop, and then it continues to drop. But the launch and airtime are good. 6/10.

    Then we went to Mamba. There was no one in line except for the back. We went to the next to last seat. Mamba would be my second Morgan hyper; Steel Force at Dorney Park was my first. It slows down at the top of the lift, but the ride was fun. There's airtime on the first and second drops. The bottom of the second drop slams you down in the back seat. The helix turnaround is really cool. I got a little bit of tunnel vision toward the end of it, and the headchopper supports are fun. The ride tossed Carrie forward in the helix, and the G's kept her pressed down, so she missed the headchoppers. There's some nice, sustained floater air entering the block brake. The return run has some funky airtime. In the back, the airtime throws you up as you exit the bunny hops, and then you're slammed down in the bottom of the hills. But it's still a fun ride. 7/10.

    Then we went to Prowler, the ride I'd really been looking forward to. The last GCI I rode was Kentucky Rumbler at Beech Bend in 2007, so I was really happy to get to ride another. We went to the back seat. The ride starts off pretty good. There's a slight turn to the right out of the station, then it makes a quick turnaround to the left to the lift hill. There are laterals in that turn. The first drop curves steeply to the left and then rises into a turn under the lift. The second drop has some airtime, and then the ride just goes crazy. The second hill is really the only high hill. The rest are a series of low turns and a few short hills. There are some quick transitions and airtime hills. There's a double-down on the return run and a nice headchopper as the train passes the lift. Two quick, lateral-filled turns finish the ride. During the whole ride, Carrie was tossed around. Up and down, left and right, into me, into the side of the train. This coaster throws you all over the place. We rode twice in a row.

    Prowler surprised me. I love GCI coasters. The trains are super comfortable, and the layouts are fast paced and extremely twisted. But I've always felt they lacked airtime and laterals. Prowler's got them. It's got lots of pops of air scattered about, and a few turns, especially the last one, press you to the side of the train. It looks like GCI's really starting to get it right. I loved it. It's definitely the best coaster in the park. 10/10.

    We went to Spinning Dragons. A bird made a nest on a support right next to the track. I've been on the Tony Hawk coasters at Six Flags Over Texas and Six Flags Fiesta Texas, so I knew what to expect. This is a mirror of those. The wait was about 10 minutes. We got in a car with two other people. We were facing downward as we climbed the lift, which is a little uncomfortable. We got a little bit of spinning in the first part of the ride, but it really spins after the helix. The swooping turn was crazy because we were spinning, so we got flung around in it. What an odd sensation. I liked it. We spun through the bunny hop before the helix finale. 7/10.

    We were hungry, so we ate some Panda Express, which is right next to Spinning Dragons. I got mine for $14. Ouch. But I'm used to high prices at amusement parks. I asked for Pepsi, but they didn't have any left. How weird. The park had only been open a few hours, but this stand was out of Pepsi. I got a lemonade.

    Since Patriot was right there, we rode again. Then we went to Timber Wolf, which was open this time. We originally went to the back, but only the back seat of the last car was open. We moved up a car and sat in the front seat of the next to last car. The smoothest part of the ride is the little drop before the lift hill. The rest of the ride shakes and bangs around. I told Carrie to hold herself forward so the ride wasn't so bad. If you keep your back off the seat back, the ride won't beat you up so badly. The layout's pretty boring, and the coaster loses a lot of speed by the end. It's not good. 4/10.

    We went to Mamba and rode in the very back seat. The airtime's pretty good back there. This time, Carrie was able to keep herself sitting upright. I do like the floater air leading to the block brake, but the airtime on the bunny hops is really weird.

    Boomerang had been closed the first time we rode Mamba, but we saw that it was operating, so we went to it. We waited a couple of trains to ride in the back seat. As far as Boomerangs go, this wasn't too bad, though that's not saying much. The pink cars are ugly, and so is the roof of the station. 3/10.

    We wanted to ride the train, but it was down as they refueled it. It looks and sounds like a steam engine, but it looks like it runs on propane. We rode Detonator again. Then we went back to Prowler. We headed back to the Worlds of Fun Railroad, which was open this time. The train only has one station, so it runs a full loop. It passes by Prowler and through areas with lots of trees. I've got to say this park does a good job with tree coverage. 5/10.

    We went to Le Taxitour, the car ride. Carrie drove, and I relaxed in the back seat. It was a good relaxing ride. 5/10.

    We rode Patriot again, this time in the front seat. The G's are high enough in some places that made my feet tingle a little. Then we went to Mamba and got in line for the front seat. The airtime's pretty good there. The first drop isn't that great because the front car really hangs over the drop when the chain slows down. But the rest of the ride is good and has nice air.

    Then I rode Bench: The Ride.

    We went to Prowler and rode in the front seat. The airtime there is out of control. Every single hill throws you from the seat. We went to Spinning Dragons and this time rode across from each other. We got some good spinning this time. We rode Worlds of Fun Railroad again.

    We went to try Timber Wolf again. It's still pretty bad. We went to Patriot and rode in the back seat again. It's a darn good coaster. Then we went to Detonator again. I can't get over the unusual stop on the drop. We went to Mamba and rode in the back again. There's a giant fan near Mamba, so I stood in front of it.

    Then we went to Prowler and rode it twice. We rode Mamba again. The sun was going down, so Snoopy's Hot Summer Lights were on. The park put millions of lights around some paths. There were some bubbles too. We wandered around and took in the sights on our way to Prowler. Prowler had really come alive. We got two rides, which were the best of the day. It speeds up and is more intense after the sun sets. Prowler's definitely the best coaster in the park. It became my No. 4 wooden coaster.

    We called it a day. We'd been there 11 hours, and I had been up all night after my drive. We were beat. On our way out, I stopped at guest relations and wrote a compliment.

    Worlds of Fun is a really good park with a good collection of rides. It was definitely worth the long drive. Prowler is amazing, and Patriot and Mamba also are really good rides. The park is fun and has lots of trees and a good atmosphere. And a cow. It's got some hills, but most are used by the rides and not the paths. Carrie and I had a really good time. 9/10.

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