This weekend was the first open weekend of the season at both parks. The weather was okay: occasional rain, but we weren’t forced to leave the park and we were able to time indoor meals (covered areas of counter service) to when it was raining. We were able to go on all of the rides we wanted to, most of them more than once. StoryLand was having computer problems (actually, printer problems) associated with their Season Passes (new systems). Other than that, there were no particular technical difficulties beyond the inevitable interactions with people who were in training.
They’ve changed the pulled pork sandwich at the Oasis at StoryLand from what I remember; I think it’s a little better. According to online sources, the Pineapple Dole Whip is now completely, for real, dairy free, so I got to have that a couple times at the Whistle Stop. The kiddie-size cone is the right speed for me.
StoryLand has a new-for-2014 wooden coaster called Roar-a-saurus. There are some dinosaurs near it, a couple of which move. Otherwise, theming is minimal (chain link fencing like you might see at a dig — or to keep you out of the under-ride infrastructure), including signs with names and descriptions of a bunch of dinosaurs that seem to be real but I’d never heard of, because dinosaurs are not one of my areas of Interest.
It’s a _great_ coaster. We’re a little surprised it is at StoryLand; it is their first ride with a more than 36 inch minimum to ride (42 inches) and it is Quite Exciting, if brief. No upside down or turn on one’s side, but the drops are pretty amazing and given that it never gets going that fast, or goes that high, it sure feels intense.
CNN mentioned it last on a roundup of new coasters. I feel pretty good that I rode it on the second day after it was available to ride to the general public.
I’m still a little bummed the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train wasn’t open for our April trip; I should be able to go on it in August and definitely in November.
Neither park has wifi yet, however, Santa’s Village offers a 6 pix for $30 thumb drive option on their ride and/or Santa photos (I have no idea how long they’ve been doing this, and I didn’t take advantage of it altho given I bought 4 pictures I clearly should have). StoryLand is not offering digital photos yet.
Both parks are Way More Fun when the kids you bring with you are verbal, no longer breastfeeding and potty trained. I speak from experience.
Thai Nakonping in North Conway continues to please us (altho the Yelp reviews are sliding, so I cannot speak to what would happen if you went, especially if you ate there in person vs. takeout), altho R. needs to remember not to pronounce satay as if it rhymes with phad thai. He meant to order chicken satay, and we wound up with chicken pad thai (along with bamboo shoot chicken, tofu and veg pad thai and a kids meal with chicken fingers and fries).
We had breakfasts in our room (we had a kitchen) and dinner also (R. had leftovers; I made an omelette and salads and the kids snacked).
As always, the worst traffic was the main strip through North Conway, altho we did hit some slow downs on Friday night heading up. The busiest park day was Sunday — Monday was quite light even at StoryLand and of course Saturday at Santa’s Village was really enjoyable low crowds. We left around 1:30 on Monday and the worst slowdown going home was in Concord, NH.
I’d been wanting to get better at shorter trips, planned closer to when they happened and this definitely qualified. We had a good time, and will be trying to do it again later this summer, altho, as noted, at the Residence Inn rather than elsewhere.