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PASADENA... part 3
(griffin's 2011 BotCon report)


THURSDAY JUNE 2ND


NOTE - ALL PHOTOS HERE, EXCEPT OF THE MAP, WERE TAKEN FROM FLICKR AND PLANET-SIX WEBSITE
(I lost all my own photos from this day)

Today I got up after 6 hours sleep, at 7am, and with a bit of rushing, we managed to get down to the front in time for the 8.45 "departure"... which left half an hour later anyway.
The Australians going to this (me, Ian, Caroline, Emilie, Dallas, Steph, Rafael) grouped together at this point and spent most of the day together inside Six Flags.

The bus we got on had such cramped seating, that I actually had to sit sideways because my knees wouldn't fit.

Main entrance for vehicles.

The trip took 45 minutes, getting us there at about 10am, but the place didn't open until 10.30, so we had to wait around the front gate for a while.
The view from where we parked. The white one, called Colossus, is one I went on. The funnel thing on the left is part of their water park, which was extra, but not open at this time.

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The ticketting area, which was just after passing through the security screening area. (we had to pass through 3 gated zones to get in - security, ticketting and the entrance).

About 5 minutes before the main gates opened, they let in people who had an annual pass or VIP pass or something special, which was funny to watch as they started running off to get onto certain rides first.

We found that a significant portion of the park was closed off due to the final preparations of the (delayed) Green Lantern ride.  That meant the Batman ride was not operating, as well as a number of smaller rides in that top right section of the map/park were not accessable either.  That didn't bother me too much, but could upset those who expect a full day's fun on any ride they want.
Apparently the Road Runner Express (bottom right) was only opened a week before we were there.

Once inside, we got ourselves some maps, saw some people in costumes (park employees were dressed up as certain characters around the park for people to have their photo taken with them), and headed off anti-clockwise. This brought us to the kids section of the park first, and "offloaded" Emilie and Caroline, who would just slow us down... just kidding.

An example of someone in a character costume. (on our day we saw some DC comic characters and some Warner Bros cartoon characters)

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At one of the entrances to the kids part of the park was this giant (fibreglass?) tree. I'm sure there's a nursery rhyme or kid's book referance here...

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One of the good things about the pre-BotCon tours, is that they are midweek, so less crowds. The day we were at Six Flags, it felt so empty for most of the day.  And we still had rides with up to 30-40 minute wait times.  Imagine being there on a weekend and having to queue for over an hour for a 2-5minute ride. That'd be a waste.

The first ride 'we' went on was the Riddlers Revenge. Rafael, Dallas and Steph went on it, while Ian and I watched on.

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Next was the Scream, which Dallas and Rafael went on.

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Up next in this clockwise direction, we had Colossus. It was written up as being one of the largest, tallest, longest rides in the park, and didn't have any loops or upside down bits... so I decided to give it a go, and test out my phobia (of falling from height or the feeling of weightlessness). So Dallas, Rafael and myself all went on this one, leaving Steph and Ian to look after our stuff.

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We walked past the Goliath a few times, but I don't think any of us went on it.  Of my photos (that I lost), I took this one because of the interesting entrance to it.

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Continuing back around in a clockwise direction, to the giant tree stump, we had regrouped with Caroline & Emilie and came to one of the water rides (in the centre of the park) - the Log Jammer (had me thinking that it sounds a bit like describing constipation).
It looked rather tame on the map, and from what we could see of it, but actually had a couple steep drops to it which I was surprised it doesn't have people thrown out, as it didn't have restraints.
Dallas and Steph and I were in one Log, and Rafael and Caroline with Emilie were in another (Ian watched our stuff). The funny thing here was that my Log had 3 full-grown adults in it, so it kept scraping the bottom of the water tube/trough... which not only meant it was slower, but it meant we got soaked when hitting the bottom of a drop (the bow dove into the water further than a ligher Log did, so more water went over the top instead of off to the sides).
It took me about an hour to dry out.
And I lost my hat too, as it flew off on the first drop. That was a Transformers hat I have owned and worn for several years now... and it had prevented a lot of sunburn this year.
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By now it was past midday, and we had went looking for food. The place we settled on was a Johnny Rockets, which was located all the way back around where the Riddler Ride was.
(the photo below has the Johnny Rockets on the left, the 'sideshow alley' on the right, and the Skytower in the distance in the middle).

The menu was very small, with only one burger option and a chicken option... Naturally I went with the burger, which came with fries and onion rings. (I took a photo for my collection too, but lost it)

We started wandering back clockwise again (ended up walking that right-side of the park 4 times before heading off to the left-side). Passing by the Log Jammer, Caroline and Emilie stayed to go on that one, and Ian stayed as well. The rest of us walked the main track, all the way around the left side of the map, and up to another water ride on the upper left part of the map. The other three went on that ride, and I stayed behind to look after the stuff.

Next to it was a ride called Tatsu... and seeing the way people were strapped in (suspended in a crouched position, so it looks like you are flying with nothing obscuring your vision), I wasn't going anywhere near it.  Dallas and Rafael didn't hesitate... so Steph and I waited for them (it was one of the more popular rides, so had a bit of a queue.

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While we were waiting, I saw a food vendor that sold Onion Rings... and got myself a serving to eat and show off to others later, but was another photo that didn't make it.
Ian's family caught up to us as Dallas and Rafael had come from their ride, and we continued anti-clockwise around the park to the remaining water ride. Everyone except Steph and myself went on that one (I'd had enough water from the first one).

After that, we climbed up to the 'summit' to the Ninja ride. I didn't go on that one either...
At that point, we were about an hour away from the time we needed to be back at the bus (they would leave people behind who were late), and each wanted to do different things, but didn't have time left to do them all.  So we split up into 3 groups to do different things, and then meet back at the bus. I remember Caroline and Rafael were wanting to go on the Superman ride (which is similar to the one at Dreamworld in Australia), while I wanted to go up the Skytower to get a good view over the park and take photos (which was wasted). Dallas and Steph went off as well, leaving Ian and Emilie to join me up the tower.

What the Superman ride looked like at the entrance.

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And the view from the main walkway that goes right underneath it. (it's a really noisy ride... a bit like a jet engine roaring past, and we are only meters away from it walking under it)

The view from the Skytower. (these are what my photos would have looked like)
The DejaVu and Apocalypse.

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The Ninja (foreground) and Riddler & Batman rides further away to the right.

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Superman ride, Scream behind it, and Goliath (orange) and Colossus (white) to the right.

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The Tatsu at the bottom, and the Log Jammer above it.

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Tatsu (orange) and the Revolution ride (white), plus the entrance area with shops and info/admin buildings.  The waterpark is at the top left of the photo.

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The Viper (white) and X2 (black).

Ian, myself and Emilie made our way back to the entrance of the park, but before we left, I went to their 'lost and found' to see about my hat (that I lost on the Log Jammer).  They get you to fill out a form to describe the item, and to have your address on it, so that they can post it back to you.  There was no mention in the fine print that postage would be required before or after the item was sent, so I hope this free postage element covers international addresses. (I'm not too fussed about the hat, as it was getting old and worn... and never fit properly)

We walked out to the bus, and got onto it with about 10 minutes left. None of the other Australians had got back before us.
We waited and wondered if any would not make it back in time.
All of them did.

From the Planet-Six website, a nice shot of the entire park (about a year old though, as the Superman ride has its old colours).

We left there at about 5pm, arriving back at the Convention Centre at 5.45... with a big queue of people already there. Including Paul, who had been in line since 4.30, and there were still about 50 people ahead of him.

Details of the Thursday pre-registration pickup and Club Store purchases here.

It was supposed to start at 6pm, but was 15 minutes late to start.
That meant we didn't get into the Club Store until nearly 6.30, and even though I only had about 10 people in front of me in my line, it took until 7.30 to get to purchase what I wanted.
BotCon Galvatron & Thundercracker
BotCon Toxitron & Sideswipe
BotCon Autotrooper 3-pack
DotM Legion Leadfoot & Crowbar
DotM Deluxe Laserbeak & Thundercracker
DotM Human Alliance Tailpipe & Whirl
BotCon Lithos, trading cards and some accidental spares (Dions and Overrun)

The 2010 Poster I lost last year, and had to re-buy this year:

Outside the Store, I went to the main entrance of the Convention Centre to wait for the others to make their way out and find me.
Eventually we all regrouped, and we saw that Malcolm and his brother Scott were still standing in the queue at the entrance, waiting for it to be let in to pickup their registration packs. They were in the 7pm group, and it was past 7.30 already.

Dallas and Steph went back to their hotel, while Paul came back up to Ian and my room to drop off his posters to grab later (so that it wasn't damaged), and to play with some of my new toys.
It was about 9.30 that we felt it was getting a bit late with Emilie trying to sleep, so Paul and I went back downstairs, bought something to eat for dinner at the Gelsons across the road, and came back to the Convention Centre to eat while people were still coming in and out with their stuff.

We weren't actually waiting for Malcolm and his brother, and had thought that they should have been long done with their pickup and purchases, but at 10.40pm, we suddenly see them exiting the Convention Centre with their things... almost 5 hours after they first arrived to line up. And he was at the start of his block, the second of four blocks. So you can see how late the organisers really were this year. They should have finished all four blocks of people by that time, not still be working through the second block.
Five hours!!!!
This is why I make sure I get into a tour or class before the Convention, so that I am elligible to do the Wednesday pickup, and avoid the waste of time the Thursday becomes to all these people.

The four of us hung around for a while, chatting.
We headed our separate ways and I was back in my room at about 11.30.

Somewhere around midnight the organisers closed up and told those left that they had to come back the next morning. Some of those people would have travelled from parts of LA or surrounding areas, and would have been waiting around 4-6 hours, just to have to come back and queue up again.

By 1pm I was asleep again. Tomorrow the Convention really kicks off.
 

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***All pictures in this BotCon report are mine unless noted. Any that are borrowed, should have the source credited/noted.  If you want to use/borrow any of my photos, all I ask is for you to please credit the source as well. I try to take as many of my own photos as possible, and usually only resort to using others if I failed to get something, or my photo wasn't clear enough.

OZFORMERS - Australasian Transformers News and Interaction (our 15th year - longer than any other moderated Transfan community)
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BotCon website - The official Collector Club and Convention website (check it out for when and where the next one will be)
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Me --> griffin @ otca.com.au