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  1. #1

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    Elitch Gardens / Denver and Colorado Suggestions?

    Hello, in a few weeks Yoyo and I are going to Colorado to visit my parents. We are thinking of going to Elitch Gardens, since he's never been, and I haven't been in MANY years (and i went for a concert so I didn't ride many rides).

    So, any tips, hints... how long will it take us to do the park (on a weekend, since it will be clsoed weekdays - is Sat or Sun better?)? We are planning on riding most everything I think. How intense are the coasters? And are there any less intense rides a pregnant person can ride? (I think she will be a month or two along??? Not very far) And any shows worth seeing? Thanks.

    Good morning, son
    In twenty years from now
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  2. #2

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    Re: Elitch Gardens - Any tips or tricks?

    Denver native here. Elitches can be done in a day pretty easily depending on lines and how crowded it is. With school starting up again soon things could swing either way.

    As far as coasters, Mind Eraser is a steelie with 5 inversions. It is pretty smooth and not super fast. Some people find inversions intimidating and intense.

    Twister II is the big woodie at the park. It is an awesome coaster but can be kinda rough as many big woodies can be.

    I can't recall the raft ride at the moment but it's a really good one. Shipwreck Falls is the simple boat-up-a-hill-and-back-down-with-huge-splash ride and it's pretty good. They have a Flying Coaster which is a lot of fun. You are laying down face down under the track to feel like you are flying.

    Other than that, your typical amusement park fare.

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  3. #3

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    Re: Elitch Gardens - Any tips or tricks?

    Sure NOW you go to Colorado as I've left the territory.

    Twister II is one of the best woodies I've ever been on, however, it is something of a tooth chipper and can really slam you around. Mind Eraser is actually pretty smooth and quite good--but it's off the shelf and visible at several other parks.

    There's a small waterpark shoehorned into a corner of the park to compete with the, quite possibly the best, Water World of north Denver. Don't go to the one at Elitch's. Head up north if you want an excellent water park. No, not Disney, but still, very, very good.

    A standard 'boomberrang' coaster is actually okay, but it's so tightly fitted into this already small park, it can give you whiplash.

    Danger Canyon is the raft ride. You will get wet, but it isn't very exciting, frankly. Think of a concrete ditch where you slosh around and they throw buckets of water on you.

    A new dark ride did open there. Something about hunting ghosts and it's supposed to be a lot of fun.

    I know you are into parks and stuff, but frankly, the last few years has since this tiny little park fall into disrepair. I'd almost recommend saving your money and, instead, go to the Tattered Cover Bookstore in LoDo or take in Pikes Peak down in my old neck of the woods--Colorado Springs. There's also the Air Force Academy. Let me know if you decide to go that way--I'll let you know of some excellent food options.

    Boulder also is alot of fun--a college town if ever there is--filled to the brim with hippies. The Celestial Seasonings factory has a free tour and free samples. If you continue driving up the hills, head to Estes Park and see the Shining's Stanly Hotel. Maybe rent the movie before you head up, makes it even more fun. We tended to rent a cabin at the YMCA, visit the town all day and then light a fire, throw a lasagna in the oven and I'd tell ghost stories for the rest of the night. I know a fantastic fudge shoppe up there, should that be the route to see this beautiful state.

    What else would you like to know?

    Will you be flying into DIA? Make sure you see the haunted murals....

    Peace out!
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  4. #4

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    Re: Elitch Gardens - Any tips or tricks?

    Quote Originally Posted by RooBear View Post
    I'd almost recommend saving your money and, instead, go to the Tattered Cover Bookstore
    Seconded, The Tattered Cover is a must for book lovers! Great great GREAT place. It makes me happy just thinking about it.

  5. #5

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    Re: Elitch Gardens - Any tips or tricks?

    Agreed! My partner and I would take the light-rail from my parents' home in Aurora; shop and have excellent mochas; walk across the street to BD's for Mongolian BBQ and then take the train back. A wonderful date night if ever there was one. The magazine section is worth the trip alone; same for the mochas!

    Peace,
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  6. #6

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    Re: Elitch Gardens - Any tips or tricks?

    Adding on to what has already been said:

    The flying coaster mycroft mentioned has been closed for the last three years or so.

    The dark ride mentioned is called Ghost Blasters 2, a Sally interactive shooter themed to a haunted house. It's short and well below Disney/Universal standards but fun nonetheless.

    In late Summer the lines and wait times can be punishing; it's the only major park for hundreds of miles in any direction, so its mobbed accordingly, especially when the hours are reduced to weekends only after labor day.

    The upkeep of the park has actually increased over the last few years after PARC management bought it from SixFlags, who were content letting the park fall apart (they do that a lot don't they?). Since they were bought out by PARC, they've focused on new shows. I haven't seen any of them yet, but they appear to be higher quality than the "Up with people" or high school band entertainment other parks of the level sometimes use.

    Skip the waterpark and visit Highland Hills WaterWorld in Westminster instead. It's mobbed with lines on the weekends too, but it has two very unique, almost unprecendented theme rides: Journey to the Center of the Earth and Lost River of the Pharoahs, both are water park, family tube, river raft rides with dark ride sections. Again, not Disney or Universal quality, but fun nonetheless.

    The coasters-Boomerang, Sidewinder, Twister and Mind Eraser, are nothing to write home about. It's a safe bet you've been on better. Half pipe, a U track back and forth with spinning seats, is a lot of fun, and has some decent air time, but breaks down frequently. So if you go and you see it open, ride it! -It may not be open the next time you look.

    The entrance plaza is the most shameless rip-off of Main Street Disneyland I've seen in this country.

    Lakeside Amusement Park is another Denver area park, far smaller, with much much older rides, but its cheaper, and the antiquity of the rides is its main appeal. It's a noteable park amongst park history fetishists, because it doesn't look that much different than it did when it opened 102 years ago. If you go, go at night, the park looks best with all the neon and popcorn lights aglow.

    Casa Bonita might also be of interest, its a local highly themed Mexican family restaurant, the type of place 8 year olds schedule their birthday parties at. The food is, quite honestly, crap, but the level of theming and detail-set in a tropical Mexican town with a waterfall rolling in the middle, dining rooms built into caves and mines, and a low-grade haunted cave walk through-is impressive. It's cheesy, but unique. I don't know of any other restaurant like it in the country.

    Have fun!
    Last edited by jimmay; 08-08-2010 at 07:35 AM.
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  7. #7

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    Re: Elitch Gardens - Any tips or tricks?

    There's a South Park episode you might want to see if you want to go to Casa Bonita. It used to be an actual chain, and the one in Denver is the only one left.

    My parents used to own a store across the street from it. Sadly, next to that store, there was one of the last Dolly Madison's Ice Cream store. Ahhh, the memories.

    Casa Bonita is only worth it when they hire divers from the local high schools to do the cliff diving in the middle of the restaurant.

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  8. #8

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    Re: Elitch Gardens - Any tips or tricks?

    Thanks for all the help!!

    Are the coasters mostly big and crazy then (smooth or not) I am used to Disney coasters and are great to ok for me, but i can't stand the rock N Roller coaster. i think its the corkscrews combined with the darkness. Screamin's loop is fine (well it took awhile but i don't mind it now). I'll make sure Jeff sees this thread and we can decide - we will definitely be back again. I forgot about Lakeside Amusement Park - I have heard of it, but that is all. I'' look into it - it might be more our style anyway

    Thanks for the other suggestions as well. Having lived just north of Boulder for 5 years (and graduating from CSU - Go Rams!!) I have been to a lot of those places mentioned (Casa Bonita... the one and only time I went there I had a horrible panic attack. Ahh the memories LOL!)

    I had forgotten about the Tattered Cover - I bet Jeff would love it. I'm not sure if wwe're going to go down to the Springs or up... I was thinking of taking him to Ft. Collins to my old stomping grounds. I haven't been up there since I graduated! We did Estes PArk last time - that is my parents "go to" for out of town visitors lol!! If we do go to the springs, roo, I'll def. let you know! I have been down there as a tourist once, but i used to go to all the time when my bet friend's husband was stationed at Fort Carson.

    Anyway... Boulder is always a must do. I love Pearl Street. We're going to BoJous Pizza (sp) for sure. Celestial Seasonings tour is always am must do for me too. It's always fun to see how the tour is different than the last time i went We stop at that art museum right there, too. Oh I'm feeling relaxed just thinking about all this LOL!!! Of course, I do plan on spending a lot of time sitting in "my" riocknig chair and reading! Ahhhh.

    Any other Denver suggestions? Museums or other things? We've done some house tours and the Natural History museum (I think that was it?) Not interested in the King Tut exhibit, but are there any other must see ones? I ma bummed there's nothing playing at the Performing Arts Center. And any restaurant suggestions?

    Thanks all
    Good morning, son
    In twenty years from now
    Maybe we'll both sit down and have a few beers
    And I can tell you 'bout today
    And how I picked you up and everything changed
    It was pain
    Sunny days and rain
    I knew you'd feel the same things...





  9. #9

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    Re: Elitch Gardens / Denver and Colorado Suggestions?

    One of my all-time favorite restaurants ever!

    Home - Vesta Dipping Grill
    Try as many of the sauces as you can. So much yumminess!

    This is honestly one of the places I could eat at until I am beyond stuffed. Garlic bread + bbq sauce = heaven!
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    Re: Elitch Gardens / Denver and Colorado Suggestions?

    Sunday is usually least crowded once they move into weekend operations. Mind Eraser and Boomerang are all right if your OK with off the self coasters, Twister II is the most unique coaster of the 4 their, and Halfpipe is worth at least one ride, but it does break down alot because of a bug in the programing they can't seem to get out, sill watch those restraints! They weren't exactly built with men in mind.
    If you want some really big thrills I'd recomend XLR8R and the Slingshot. They're extra charge attractions, one for $25 each or a combo $30 a person, they worth at least one try.
    There are plenty of gentle rides for a pregnant woman, rides to avoid if you're expecting though should be Shake Rattle and Roll, and Kaos, (I would avoid the latter on a hot day anyway)
    Currently there are two shows that I now of that will be ending around the 16th, which is when the ended last year, one is in the stadium and is a large laser light show spectacular and the other is on main street and is a tribute to Michael Jackson which is suppose to be really good.
    Other then that all I can say is watch out for Aron, I was on the team last year, and he was the most annoying at the park, he'll be the one with blonde hair who won't stop talking on the rides P.A.
    Enjoy Denver

  11. #11

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    Re: Elitch Gardens / Denver and Colorado Suggestions?

    Elitch Gardens is Denver's third-best park, after Water World and Lakeside.

    You can have a fun day at Elitch's, and they have some good rides, but there's pretty much zero atmosphere. The theme is '2010 Amusement Park,' and that's about it. Much more so than even Magic Mountain.

    Water World has probably the best dark rides in the western US outside of Disney and Universal. They're not Disney quality, but they are surprisingly good.

    Lakeside is worth it just for the Cyclone Coaster (the best coaster in Denver), the train ride around the lake, and the Astro Orbitor-like Satellite. It's a bit on the tacky and run-down side - but not too bad, and it's a great historic park.

    Also, definitely consider Casa Bonita, and maybe that aquarium near Elitch's. The aquarium is quite nice, if that's your thing.

    EDIT: ...aaand now I've read the thread. Well, most of this still applies. Best rides at Elitch's are Tower of Doom (Intamin drop tower) and Disaster Canyon. I kind of like their Magic Mountain-like observation tower, too.

    Elitch's Sidewinder and Twister II are fun coasters, but as I said, Lakeside's Cyclone beats all of Elitch's coasters IMO.
    Last edited by SimpTwister; 08-11-2010 at 03:43 PM.

  12. #12

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    Re: Elitch Gardens / Denver and Colorado Suggestions?

    Thanks SimpTwister - i forgot about that aquarium, I went once when it first opened nad it was nice. i ended up winning tickets to the American Idol show in Denver so that might be a palce to go beforehand. though it says it is at comfort dental center in englewood... never even heard of it LOL

    I think we are going to go to Lakeside this trip. We can probably get my parents to go too, and it seems like it isn't a whole day park, anyway. Plus the price is right!
    Good morning, son
    In twenty years from now
    Maybe we'll both sit down and have a few beers
    And I can tell you 'bout today
    And how I picked you up and everything changed
    It was pain
    Sunny days and rain
    I knew you'd feel the same things...





  13. #13

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    Re: Elitch Gardens / Denver and Colorado Suggestions?

    Just want to thank you all again.
    We didn't get to do much in Denver - choosing the hottest day of the week wasn't wise LOL We did go to the aquarium and Tattered cover but chose to go home instead of the heat of 16th st. We didn't eat in Denver at all, except at the aquarium. I think that day we ended up having dinner at home lol

    We did go to Lakeside Amusement park - we so cute and old school. We all loved it.

    A trip report will be posted eventually
    Good morning, son
    In twenty years from now
    Maybe we'll both sit down and have a few beers
    And I can tell you 'bout today
    And how I picked you up and everything changed
    It was pain
    Sunny days and rain
    I knew you'd feel the same things...





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