May 24, 2009
Myrtle Beach SC
The next morning we woke up, got ready, and headed out to Mammy’s Kitchen for breakfast. After breakfast we headed to Freestyle Music Park, a new park credit for both of us. There was a decent amount of cars there for a slow Sunday morning when almost everyone else was leaving the area. After slathering ourselves up with sunscreen (Matt is very sensitive, and I was burnt from Saturday) we paid for a ticket and headed inside. Only one ride was listed as closed, the Soak’d water coaster.
The park was very nice. I immediately noticed things that were missing from pictures from the previous year by the new owners. We walked thru Myrtle’s Beach first skipping the biggest coaster there, The Time Machine. Both of us were far more interested in Round About. So we headed to the Across The Pond area and got in line for Round About getting a backseat ride.
Round About–This was the coaster that gave the park a lot of problems in it’s inaugural year but we never saw it have any issues all day as it ran very consistently. The Ferris Wheel lift mechanism was novel and kind of unnerving, but in a fun way. Once you’re at the top you head down the first drop, which was rather steep and loads of fun. Sadly, this was mostly a one trick pony roller coaster. The lift and first drop were great, but the rest of the ride, while smooth and gentle, didn’t do very much. Fun, but I’d really like to see what an established park looking for a thrill ride and not a family coaster could do with one of these. Sadly the onboard soundtrack was not working.
We looked around the Underground store for a bit before heading back around to the other side of the park. Our next stop was the dark ride, MonStars of Rock. For those of you who may not know, this ride was themed to Nights in White Satin the previous year, but all of that had to be changed, and very quickly. Nights in White Satin was an amazing looking dark ride that, from all accounts and videos, had great effects and a unique theme. All of the scenes had to be changed and it was announced early on by the park that the dark ride would not likely open with the park. I will give them credit, it was open on opening weekend. And I realize that they didn’t have a lot to work with. But this was a terrible ride.
MonStars of Rock-The ride system was well done. Aside from moving in a linear fashion, the seats spin. But all of the scenes were basically just cardboard cutouts with lights. No scares, no nothing. And you could see empty spaces that hadn’t been filled with anything yet. The music wasn’t very good either. Oh, and the queue was WAY TOO LONG, but again, that’s likely due to the quick re-theme. The last room had a nice projector effect, though. I had hoped that this was just a placeholder for a much better dark ride experience for the park, I really did. The ride could easily have be re-done over a period of seasons to have more stuff with better effects in the off season. But alas, the park is gone and theres no hope of this ever being anything fun again.
Next we walked by one attraction I’d really wanted to try out since I first saw it the previous year, Grunge Station, a brightly colored battlefield of soft foam balls. I LOVED it. There were plenty of air-powered guns and cannons. We spent a good 15 minutes in the two story funhouse shooting soft foam balls at each other and other guests. I wish more parks had this. Everyone in there seemed to be having a great time. I know I’d love to spend more time in here with a larger group of people. We went into the Jump! area (formerly the Punk Pit) to look around. They painted the formerly punk and goth looking buildings in bright colors, and there wasn’t much for adults to do inside. Also, the Lost in the 70’s area was pretty empty, with not much to offer after ripping out much of what had been there.
We walked by the large amphitheater which housed the Flip 5 Live show, which didn’t look appealing, but had a decent amount of people watching. The venue was originally built for large scale concerts. It was a decent venue for the park, and too big for just another park show. Next we headed over to Fantasy Harbor State Park, an area with rock climbing and high in the sky obstacle courses, all included with admission. I’d like to have done the rock climbing but we did do the obstacle course. Another attraction I wish more parks had. We walked by the new kids section. The newer rides looked kind of out of place and thrown in, with no theming. There were quite a few areas all over the park that were rather empty and some even closed off, but work was being done. It was time for another credit, so we headed to Hang Ten the kiddy roller coaster.
Hang Ten–For a roller skater it was actually pretty fun. Matt and I were the only 2 people on the ride and we sat in the back two seats. It seemed like one of the longer roller skater coasters but, honestly, there just wasn’t much to say about it other than it was cute.
We noticed by this point that Soak’d was up and running with people on it so we headed over there next. We didn’t want to get soaked, but we both wanted to ride, so we put our electronics in a plastic bag in my cargo pockets and got in line.
Soak’d–The lift on this thing was rather unnerving. The ride itself was fun, smooth, and rode at a decent pace. The water bomb on the ride wasn’t working. We sat facing backwards, and thankfully didn’t get very wet awith any of the water effects. No one was squirting us when we went by either. It was a fun ride, but definitely not one I’d wait in a long line to ride.
We headed into the Country USA section next to ride Iron Horse. I’d heard good things, but honestly, I just wasn’t really looking forward to the ride with excitement as it looked rather tame and timid. I loved the station’s theming though.
Iron Horse–The soundtrack wasn’t working on this one either, but no huge loss. It was actually a fast paced, enjoyable ride that was solid through out. Not a lot of airtime, but the lateral forces were nice. The theming on this one was decent and it actually had theming in the layout, and the double lift hill was interesting, with the 2nd lift being the taller one. I have to say that the low to the ground parts were fun, and the fireball at the end was cool. I wasn’t expecting that, and it was a nice surprise.
We headed to the restroom quickly and then around to the front of the park once again. Once we got around to Myrtle’s Beach we headed to the last of the 5 coasters we had yet to ride, The Time Machine. It looked very impressive, and I was hoping to check out how a B&M with a soundtrack worked. The queue was massive, but the main part where you are assigned seats was at least air conditioned. They were only running one train, and had very little wait.
The Time Machine–The first ride we got was set to 80s music, which was decent. We sat in the back and the very first drop was amazing. The ride then goes into a smooth loop with just enough force, mixed with hang-time at the top. Then you headed into the ultra-smooth cobra roll, and into the zero G roll, which was great. Next up was another vertical loop and another sideways maneuver. The first half of the ride had great pacing and great elements. After the midcourse brake, however, the ride just meandered around, thru a corkscrew, and ends. Fun, but the 2nd half wasn’t as spectacular as the first.
We ran into Bali Hai Burgers for drinks and a break and pondered what we thought of the park. Next we headed back to Round About for a 2nd ride, and then to CSI: Live. The show was terrible. I’d seen 2 different shows presented by the company responsible for CSI: Live, and they were both awful. Matt actually fell asleep. Once the show was over we headed back for another ride on Round About, then The Time Machine, then to Iron Horse and then hit up Big Ol’ Trucks, a themed Swing-around. We were the only people on the ride. It was fun and I didn’t get sick, which was a bonus. We headed to The Time Machine, but it hiccupped and we didn’t have time to ride or we’d miss the next show we wanted to watch.
We went back to the country section to see Ice Cold Country, the park’s ice skating show. It was fairly well done but of the 2 shows we watched (and what we saw of Flip 5 Live), it looked like the best of the 5 shows in the park by far.
We decided to leave the park for a bit and grab some food at Angelo’s. Then I took Matt to Broadway at the Beach. We went into the Pavilion Nostalgia Park and I showed Matt around before walking all the way around Broadway. We drove back down town and got caught in traffic. Eventually we ate at El Burro Loco that evening for dinner, a great Mexican restaurant out by Broadway at the Beach before heading back to Freestyle Music Park. Once we got back live bands were playing everywhere. I wanted to watch the Adrenaline Rush show, but there wasn’t time. We did get a nite ride on The Time Machine before getting 2 rides on Round About. I wasn’t excited about riding McGillivary Cab Company, a breakdance, but we did anyway. We got a killer ride, and I was glad we we rode as I didn’t get sick.
The last ride was a ride on Iron Horse at nite after walking around a bit. We took a seat on one side of the lagoon for the fireworks show, but ended up moving over to the floating bridge on the other side. The night time show, Kiss The Sky, went off without a hitch and was very well done. We were standing beside one of the techs who talked with us a few minutes about throwing it together. At that point our day at Freestyle Music Park was done so we headed out to the car.
Matt was excited about going to Crocodile Rocks Dueling Piano Bar, so we headed back to Broadway. We ended our nite closing out Crocodile Rocks. My only song request of the evening, Let’s Go Crazy, was saved for last. The four guys they had playing piano were brilliant.
The next morning we got up, rode down town for a last look, then headed out. It took 2 hours to drive 15 miles with all of the traffic. We stopped at a KFC for breakfast, and finally made our way to Charlotte, where we had pondered going to Carowinds, but decided against it. It rained pretty hard after we stopped at Steak & Shake (my first time), so I was kind of glad we didn’t go to Carowinds. In Charlotte I dropped Matt off at the airport and then headed the rest of the way back home.