The 2016 Rao Family Vacation (the Rao Family in this case refers to me, my ever loving and forgiving wife, and my three stalwart offspring) began with a dream to travel to eight different amusement parks in two weeks on a Clark Griswold-like road trip. It was an epic dream which would have included stops at Kings Island, Cedar Point, Hershey Park, Dorney Park, Kings Dominion, Busch Gardens, Carowinds, and Dollywood, and would have encompassed well over 70 roller coasters along the way. However, as with any epic dream, the boring reality of budgets and human stamina eventually take precedence and our eight park dream trip became a five park Cedar Fair excursion (Kings Island, Cedar Point, Dorney Park, Kings Dominion, and Carowinds) utilizing Platinum Season Passes purchased at Worlds of Fun (my local Cedar Fair stationary carnival), with a short stint thrown in at our nation's capital to briefly visit the Air & Space Museum and the Lincoln Memorial just for grins.
Despite downsizing the number of stops on the route, the vacation was still pretty epic in scope, especially when considering the continuous "load and unload" requirements for a trip of this nature, the 3,000+ miles we would be traveling, the 50+ roller coasters along the route, the 930' of combined Giga coaster first drops, and the fact that up to a dozen people would be involved in the adventure at various destinations along the way: my brother and his family joined us for the Kings Island/Cedar Point leg of the rip, as did fellow Theme Park Insider regulars Jim Koehl (seriously dude, Americana 1900 must become a reality!), his son Anton, his compatriot in Theme Park Apprentice Scott E., everyone's favorite theme park map artist, Douglas "Blake" Hindley, and my aunt and uncle who visited with us in the great state of North Carolina. While not up to the coaster count caliber of AJ Hummel's Epic Road Trip from a few years back, the 2016 Rao Family Vacation was certainly a trip my wife and I will never forget (or completely recover from), and hopefully one that my kids will brag about to their own children someday once the psychological healing process is complete and only the "good" and "fun" memories remain!
Rather than provide my traditional step by step regurgitation of the adventure, I think this time I will try to keep things a bit shorter and just cover the highlights and comparisons of the stops during our adventure, leaving out the day to day minutiae of the road trip and the constant cycling through of hotels, restaurants, gas stations, and speed traps. So, consider this trip report to be a summarized version of our adventures and if you have questions or need more details, feel free to post a comment and I will follow up.
Let's begin by answering the burning question on everyone's mind: of the five parks we visited on this vacation, which one was the best? Well, the answer depends on the definition of the word "best". Clearly Cedar Point is the Godfather of all Amusement Parks, the best of the best. I honestly do not, at this point in my travels, think there should be any debate on the subject and consider the statement, "Cedar Point is the Best Amusement Park in the World," to be objectively true. However, the Rao family has a major love-hate relationship with the park. 1) We love theme (decoration + story) and Cedar Point is largely bereft of it, and 2) We love dark rides and Cedar Point is completely remiss in this department as well. But, 3) We love roller coasters, and 4) We love being transported to "somewhere else" when visiting a park, and on these two points, Cedar Point completely nails it. If you want to read a fantastic discussion about Cedar Point and what makes the place so special, then please check out Douglas Hindley's blog flume article on the subject (article link). His thoughts completely capture the essence of this one-of-a-kind amusement park, and are well worth your time, even if you never plan on leaving the confines of the CaliFlorida parks.
So, Cedar Point is the King of the Amusement Park World. But what about the other parks we visited, where do they fit in the mix?
The Rao family's consensus opinion on Kings Island is that it is Cedar Point-lite. The park has a great collection of BIG coasters, plenty of flat rides to keep visitors occupied for a day or two, decent food options, fantastic ride operations (two or three coaster trains running throughout the day), some fairly impressive decorative touches left over from when Paramount owned the park, and is clean, well maintained, and downright pretty to look at. The Rao family would slide this Mason, Ohio, amusement park in a notch below Cedar Point, but if it were our home park instead of Worlds of Fun, we wouldn't need to travel as much as we do!
Dorney Park is much like the aforementioned Worlds of Fun, smaller in terms of ride scale and scope, but with some nice nostalgic touches that keep alive the rich history of the park. Attractions like Hydra, the newly refurbished Thunderhawk, and Talon spearhead a middle tier list of coasters, and some pretty good supporting non-coaster rides fill in the gaps. However, ride operations at Dorney were subpar during our visit, and the clientele, at least on this occasion, was mostly teenagers and little kids whose parents were unconcerned by their frequent bad behavior (for example children were running roughshod on the antique carrousel, jumping from horse to horse and skipping around the platform while the ride was in motion and the parents looked on seemingly oblivious to the safety of their kids and the courtesy that should be afforded to other riders – the ride operator was likewise unconcerned). While we enjoyed our time at Dorney, and some of the nostalgic touches it has to offer, it is not a destination park. We were able to accomplish EVERYTHING on our touring plan in three hours during a Friday night visit which should give you a rough idea about crowd levels (everything was walk on) and number of must-ride attractions (a half dozen or so). Dorney Park is probably the least of the parks that we visited, but it was a pleasant enough stop on a cloudy, slow Friday night.
I spent a few of my formative years living in Annandale, Virginia, so Kings Dominion was my home park back in the days when the Grizzly was new, when Anton Schwarzkopf's King Cobra was still thrilling guests, and when the Lost World Mountain had three attractions in it rather than one stellar, double launch coaster (Volcano: The Blast Coaster). I was anxious to share this park with my family, but sadly it has fallen on hard times. In short, Kings Dominion is a mess, badly in need of thorough cleaning, repainting, repaving, and landscaping. Even the grounds around newer attractions like Intimidator 305 are out of control and desperately in need of refreshing. The entire park (with the exception of Candy Apple Grove) is dilapidated and looks more like the downtrodden Six Flags Saint Louis than the glorious Kings Dominion of my youth. It is tragic. Still, with four great coasters (I305, Volcano, Dominator, and night rides on Grizzly), the park is definitely worth a visit, but Matt Ouimet (the president and CEO of Cedar Fair Entertainment Company) and his cronies really need a grassroots movement to bring this park back up to the standards set by other Cedar Fair parks like Cedar Point, Kings Island, and...
...Carowinds. What a surprise this North/South Carolina amusement park turned out to be! Beautiful, sparkling clean, welcoming, filled with great attractions, and brimming with excited ride ops, killing it in every respect. Carowinds definitely gets the nod as the most pleasant surprise on the trip. Wow! From the fantastic main entry plaza, to the aesthetically pleasing placement of rides, shops, restaurants, and foliage (oh my goodness the crape myrtle trees were amazing!), Carowinds is a beautiful park. The entire family was pleasantly shocked and very pleased we chose to end our trip at this terrific amusement park. While not up to the level of a Cedar Point in scope or scale, the Rao family puts Carowinds solidly in the second tier with Kings Island. It is simply a fantastic park, well worth a visit by any theme or amusement park fan. We thoroughly enjoyed our two days at Carowinds. Thoroughly. Heck, the Rao family is seriously considering the possibility of moving to North or South Carolina just so Carowinds can be our home park!
So, to recap, Cedar Point is the King, followed by Kings Island and Carowinds (tie!), then a few notches down the pole is Kings Dominion, and finally Dorney. All these parks are worth a visit, but only the first three are what the Rao family would consider "destination" parks.
Best Roller Coaster
Let's be honest, the purpose of this trip wasn't to immerse ourselves in story, nostalgia, or listen to the ear-grating prattle of singing frogs (although there were some singing mushrooms at Kings Dominion), our goal was to ride coasters – the more thrilling the better!
In these five parks there are nearly 60 roller coasters, but a few of them are really small kiddie coasters, which we skipped. So all told I think we hit about 55 coasters in eight days of touring, give or take. And there were some tremendous coasters, to be sure, but the crème de la crème, the big cheese, the grand poohbah remains Maverick at Cedar Point. It is not the tallest or fastest, but from the nimble lift hill to the mid-course launch, to the furious twists and turns that end the ride, Maverick is an exhilarating, one-of-a-kind experience. Even the addition of the excellent dive coaster Valravn could not unseat the undisputed king. Maverick is pretty much the best roller coaster the Rao Family has ever ridden.
Best Giga Coaster
According to the Coaster Boys and Girls of the world, a giga coaster has a height or drop that ranges from 300 feet to 399 feet and completes a full circuit. I believe there were five giga coasters in the world at the time of this trip, with three of them, Millennium Force (Cedar Point), Intimidator 305 (Kings Dominion), and Fury 325 (Carowinds) in the United States. We rode all three multiple times on this vacation. So which one is best? Well, I am going to cop-out and say they are all great for different reasons.
Millennium Force is nothing but pure, uninterrupted speed from beginning to end. It is a fantastic ride that never fails to disappoint (except at night when you get a mouthful of bugs because of the coaster's proximity to the bay). We rode Force about a half dozen times over the course of two and a half days, and loved every ride. It provides a wonderful, exhilarating experience.
Intimidator 305 is the most intense giga coaster of the trio and the only one that sometimes causes people to "gray out" (start to lose consciousness) when riding (something the Rao Family considers a fun bonus). Even with the re-profiling of the coaster's initial sequence, it still packs a wallop. We rode this one during early entry and got in six or seven rides (sometimes without leaving our seat) before we moved on to other adventures in the park. Super intense, super cool, Intimidator 305 is a great ride. It is not the most "fun", but it is certainly the most intense.
Finally, the newest giga coaster is Fury 325 at Carowinds, and it is a completely different beast. It has a very fast, intense first half which sort of combines the experiences of Force and I305 (without the "gray-out" g-forces of I305), but ends with three weightless, airtime hills to complete the course. We loved Fury 325. In fact, most of the Rao family preferred Fury 325 overall, but personally I find it impossible to choose a favorite. All three of these giga coasters are alone worth the price of admission at their respective parks. We are lucky to have them in the United States.
Best Inverted Coaster
Banshee at Kings Island > Afterburn at Carowinds > Volcano at Kings Dominion > Talon at Dorney > Raptor at Cedar Point. ‘Nuff said. Banshee is just a tremendous ride filled with one brilliantly executed element after another, and that oh-so-slow final corkscrew is just fantastic. Banshee is still the Rao Family's favorite inverted coaster, followed closely by the highly touted Afterburn, which is equally fantastic, but we found it to be a bit more intense and a little less "fun" than Banshee. Third on the list is Volcano, however I should note that if its dual launches were followed by a bit more variety over the rest of the course, or if the surrounding faux volcano itself had any theming at all, this one-of-a-kind coaster would catapult to the top of our list. The Rao Family loved Volcano, but feel strongly that from a theming perspective it is a HUGE missed opportunity. Next on the list is Dorney's Talon which is a solid ride, closely related to, but much better than its sister ride, Patriot, at Worlds of Fun. And finally, Raptor is the only B&M invert we have ridden that is actually a little bit painful. It's a decent coaster, but the head banging towards the end of the course kills its re-ride-ability.
Best Wooden Coaster
There are several wooden coasters to choose from at these parks, but hands down we loved The Beast at Kings Island most of all. It is an excellent coaster that becomes transcendent once darkness settles in and the feeling that the ride is careening through the woods completely out of control takes over. No other wooden coaster, not even our beloved Voyage at Holiday World, can match the intensity and majesty of a night ride on the Beast. It is a fantastic adventure. The Rao Family feels we should give honorable mention to the Grizzly at Kings Dominion which has a very compelling night ride as well, however, unlike the Beast which still manages an expertly fun day time ride, Grizzly is just average (maybe even slightly below average) during the day.
Other Notable Coasters
With 50+ coasters to experience on this trip there are quite a few I haven't mentioned yet that we enjoyed tremendously. At Kings Island we took multiple rides on Firehawk, Diamondback, Back Lot Stunt Coaster (much better than the Kings Dominion version), and Adventure Express (I like the ending lift hill – it's fun to chant with the Gods/Natives/Whatever as you pass by them on the way to the unloading platform). At Cedar Point, Gatekeeper (> Thunderbird > Wild Eagle), Valravn (> Gryffon > Shiekra), and, of course, Top Thrill Dragster (my six rides in one hour during the Platinum Passholder event on July 8th tied my TTD rides-per-hour record) are among the best coasters in the States, while Magnum and Gemini (when two trains are racing) are not-to-be-missed. Dorney Park has Hydra (love the Jo-Jo Roll) and Thunderhawk (not a great Woodie, but the refurb love it received certainly makes this 90+ year old ride a fun experience). Dominator at Kings Dominion is a nearly perfect B&M floorless, despite being the poster child of a "parking lot" coaster. And, finally, Carowinds sports several very good coasters including the hyper coaster, Intimidator (sadly, the second act of this ride really loses steam – like Diamondback at KI), Nighthawk (which in the Rao Family's opinion is better than Firehawk), and the Carolina Goldrusher (I am a sucker for those old Arrow Mine Train rides – with Thunderation at Silver Dollar City being my absolute favorite). We were very lucky to ride so many great coasters on this trip, with only a few providing less than pleasant experiences: King Dominion's Flight of Fear and Anaconda, Carowinds' Vortex and Hurler, all the "Wild Mouse" coasters (which we call "Yay" / "Ouch" rides) at the various parks, and of course, the poster child of pain, Mean Streak at Cedar Point. If you like great roller coasters, then this trip was for you, because we rode some of the best this planet has to offer!
Best Non-Coaster Attractions
With 50+ roller coasters on the docket, there wasn't a lot of time for other rides, but we did catch a few, and a couple were quite notable. The first one I want to mention is Cedar Downs at Cedar Point. This racing derby ride is quite unique. Instead of horses going up and down on a spinning platform, they move forwards and backwards simulating the act of passing and being passed during a horse race. The Rao family agrees that Cedar Downs is the best non-coaster attraction at Cedar Point.
Another winner was The Whip at Dorney Park. Opened in 1920, this attraction has been thrilling families for nearly 100 years. It was so much fun, and one of the highlights of our short visit to Dorney Park.
Also at Dorney we enjoyed Demon Drop, a first generation Intamin free fall ride that was moved from Cedar Point in 2010. As we rode this thriller I could see in my mind's eye some traveling Disney Imagineer riding it and saying, "Hey, this elevator ride is pretty cool, can we make it work at DHS?" Thus the Tower of Terror was born! (I can't substantiate this notion, but it sounds reasonable enough to me!)
As for dark rides, Kings Island, Kings Dominion, and Carowinds all have a version of the Sally shooter, Boo Blasters on Boo Hill. However, they are all pretty pathetic. Most often the guns don't work at all, or when they do, the targets fail. Thankfully the air conditioners work, so at least the rides offer a respite from the summer heat. We know Cedar Fair is slowly adding some dark rides to their various parks (Knott's and Canada's Wonderland have already received theirs), but the company has a long way to go to pass muster in the dark ride department.
Speaking of dark rides, both Kings Dominion and Carowinds have 3D/4D "action" theaters. At Kings Dominion they are currently showing a 3D movie called Robinson Crusoe, which is a serviceable cartoon, but nothing that belongs in a theme park. At Carowinds, they refurbished their Action Theatre for the 2016 season and added the "world's first" intra-active 3D attraction (their words not mine), Plants vs. Zombies Garden Warfare 3Z Arena. They did a fine job with the theming of the attraction as both the inside and outside of the theater have a high level of decorative and narrative touches that draw visitors into the story; however, the attraction itself is a swing and a miss if you ask the Rao Family. The biggest issue is that you really cannot, amongst all the confusion of the theater and explosions of the film, see your specific shot. At least not in a semi crowded theater (there are 60+ seats, and 60+ blips of light blasting on screen - good luck finding yours!). The Intra-active buzzword apparently means that "riders" can interact with the opposing team's screen during the competition but because you'll have great difficulty finding the blip of light representing your shot, the "intra-active" aspects really have little or no impact on the experience. All in all, Plants V Zombies was a one-and-done for the Rao Family, and not something I want to see repeated at other Cedar Fair parks. Oh, in case you are wondering, we were on the side of the Plants, and we won (thanks largely to my kids who seem well equipped to handle any video game based attraction theme park designers might decide to throw at them).
One other note on non-coaster rides is that the Rao Family always enjoys a good, old fashioned carousel (or carrousel, if you prefer). Granted, we don't hunt them down at rope drop, but they are something we generally ride at the end of the day on the way out of an amusement park. On this trip, each park showcased a vintage carousel (I believe Cedar Point's Midway Carousel built in 1912 was the oldest), but we enjoyed our ride on Kings Dominion's creatively named "Carousel" most because the ride operator seemed to be having a fantastic time doing her job (pretty much the only good cast member moment at Kings Dominion). Carowinds ‘Character Carousel' was our least favorite (we didn't even ride) because with its garish blue and orange color scheme the ride simply did not look like a vintage carousel.
Outside of Knott's Berry Farm, Cedar Fair parks are not usually known for their dining options. Sure, they have your overly-expensive burger, chicken strip, French fry options, but nothing to really get the Disney-centric foodies in the Rao family excited. However, we did manage to find several stops during this trip that offered decent food options. At Kings Island we enjoyed a meal at Skyline Chili (the chili cheese fries were especially good), and a stop at Graeter's for some delicious black raspberry chocolate chip ice cream. At Cedar Point we ate at Famous Dave's on the marina (a tad bit more expensive than our local version, but still offers some above average BBQ), and Pink's inside the park (pro tip: Pink's burgers are very good, better than their "snappy skin" dogs, IMHO). For dessert we visited Toft's Ice Cream, and had some delectable elephant ears at that little shop to the left of the main park entrance. We didn't dine at Dorney or Kings Dominion opting for offsite dining instead (however Rita's makes a fine gelati, and Kings Dominion has a couple Dole Pineapple Float stands – although for whatever reason we did not think their version was as good as Disney's). At Carowinds, we did check out the Harmony Hall food court and entertainment venue, which was amazingly clean and brilliantly maintained, but we opted for pizza and crab fries at Chickie's & Pete's instead. Again, these joints provided decent, serviceable, amusement park food, but nothing to "blog flume" about.
Outside of the parks, we made it a point to visit several lesser known (to us, anyway) restaurants. In Mason (near Kings Island) we partook of some wonderful pretzel appetizers and fried fish fancies at the (Old Bag of Nails Pub). In Lakeview (near Cedar Point) we had amazing grilled cheese sandwich concoctions at (Melt Bar and Grilled Pub).
In Washington DC, we ate a lovely dinner at (Elephant and Castle). In Fuquay-Varina, North Carolina, we splurged on a fine Italian meal at Garibaldi (it doesn't look like they have an official website). And near Carowinds, in Fort Mills, we visited (Hobo's) because Cowfish restaurant was way too busy the night we stopped by. All these restaurants are very excellent dining options that come highly recommended by the Rao Family.
But above all, we loved the lunch we ate at Kreggars Tap and Table in Ashland, VA, about twenty minutes away from Kings Dominion. Everything we ordered was terrific – fine dining food served in a casual, friendly environment. The PBJ Cheeseburger with a thin layer of jalapeno grape jelly and creamy peanut butter, was an unexpected taste eruption, where the PB&J lightly enhanced the flavor of an excellently prepared half pound of delicious cow. The otherworldly Texas Brisket Street Tacos featured some of the tastiest brisket this KC BBQ fan has ever tasted.
The chicken tenders with fries, jicama slaw, and some kind of house made, fantastic honey mustard dipping sauce were among the best we have ever tasted (second only to the long gone Flying Chicken Tenders Platter Houston's Restaurant used to offer). And for dessert we shared perhaps the finest creation of all time: cookie dough that was battered, fried, topped with vanilla ice cream, and drizzled with chocolate sauce. Oh my goodness – these fried cookie dough balls were so gooey and delicious that we almost ordered a second plate despite being so stuffed with food they needed a wheel barrow to get us back to the family truckster.
If you frequent Kings Dominion or Busch Gardens you owe it to yourself to dine at Kreggars. It is a top shelf restaurant, a wonderfully pleasant surprise, and a joint the Rao family would visit regularly if the owners ever decide to expand to Kansas City, Missouri. Just amazing.
During the course of this vacation, the Rao family visited several different hotel chains. At Kings Island we stayed in a Comfort Suites about 20 minutes from the park in Cincinnati. It was a great hotel back in 2014 during our first visit to Kings Island, but this year, not so much. Apparently a management change had occurred, and the new team did not seem nearly as concerned with little things like cleanliness and quality. We also stayed at a Comfort Suites in Pineville near Carowinds. It was about what you expect from a middle tier hotel. A decent, budget option, a step or two up from the Red Roof Inn or Motel Hell, but nothing to inspire a repeat visit. We did stay at a decent Holiday Inn Express right across the street from Dorney Park, but even it was a bit tired and dilapidated, with little of note to discuss here. In DC and Richmond we stayed at an Embassy Suites, which we like because the extra expense of the room is justified by the excellent made to order breakfast included with your stay. The location we patronized in downtown DC was not my favorite (parking was a SIGNIFICANT headache), but the Embassy Suites in Richmond was very nice, our second best stop on this journey. Which brings us to our best hotel and that was, of course, Hotel Breakers, the onsite, almost "in park" resort at Cedar Point.
For over a century, Hotel Breakers has welcomed families to Cedar Point to relax and enjoy the thrills of the greatest amusement park on the planet. It even attracted such noted guests as Abbott and Costello, Annie Oakley, a half dozen U.S. presidents, including FDR, and most recently, the infamous and adventurous Rao family.
In 2015, Cedar Fair completed an extensive, floor to ceiling renovation of the property, resulting in a beautiful modern resort with old time charm and aesthetics. The place is just gorgeous! And it comes replete with recent and historical images from Cedar Point scattered throughout the rooms, walkways, and lobbies that serve to immediately immerse guests in the rich history of this grand old vacation destination.
Visitors to Hotel Breakers enjoy several perks like early entry (which we got with our Platinum Passes anyway), the ability to take a shuttle to the Marina entrance (the closest starting point for the race to either Valravn or Millennium Force), and of course, excellent proximity to the park. Plus, there are a couple of pools (indoor and outdoor) and hot tubs, as well as a nice water play area for little kids, and of course, the beach is just a hop, skip, and a jump away.
There are a few things about the resort we didn't like: our room wasn't cleaned until early evening each day (causing us to alter our touring plans so we didn't interfere with the person assigned to the job), the parking situation isn't great (pro tip: don't park anywhere near a light post unless you like seagull excrement covering your vehicle), the bugs (ever a problem at the Point) make outdoor, night swimming nearly impossible, and the onsite, table service dining options are underwhelming to say the least (Perkins, Fridays, and Tomo Hibachi are all fairly low-rated on both Tripadvisor and Yelp).
On the other hand, while the onsite dining is a bit lackluster, it's not a deal breaker because there is a full-service Starbucks in the lobby (where those visitors who get their caffeine from some source other than Monster Energy Drinks enter their first line of the day), a somewhat hidden Auntie Anne's pretzel shop nearby between the amusement park and Soak City, a couple decent food options inside the park itself (Pink's and Chickie's & Pete's), and Famous Dave's is ready to serve up some pretty solid BBQ at a marginally inflated price just a short shuttle ride away on the opposite side of the peninsula. While food is not necessarily a highlight of the Breakers experience, it is serviceable enough and shouldn't detract too much from a visit.
Overall, Hotel Breakers isn't up to the caliber of a deluxe Disney Resort (it's somewhere between a moderate and a deluxe – similar to Universal Orlando's Royal Pacific or Hard Rock hotels), but it offers a quality stay at a fantastic location, just minutes from all the action. Understand that you are paying for proximity so just like Disney and Universal, prepare to pay a sticker shock premium (pro tip: be sure to use your Platinum Pass to save a nice chunk of change on your room). Despite the expensive Disney/Universal-style price tag (~$300/night) and the quibbles I noted above, the Rao Family can't imagine staying anywhere else on future visits to Cedar Point. Hotel Breakers is now part and parcel of a Cedar Point visit as far as we are concerned.
The Rao Family's 2016 vacation was quite a feat. It was like hiking up a mountain then cruising on an alpine coaster down the other side every single day. The climb up was not easy and it took a heavy toll on our bodies, but the pay off on the other side made it all worthwhile. Additionally, it is a lot of fun to tell people we rode 55 roller coasters in eight days! It may not be an impressive statistic to the more traveled coaster boys and girls on this site, but for the general public, it is both impressive and crazy at the same time. Just like the Rao family!
The coasters we experienced were a ton of fun, and we rode some great ones, but more than anything else, the best part of the trip, as always, was sharing the experience with family and friends. Face it coasters are better when you share them with loved ones! And as much as we will remember the amazing adventures we had, and the thrilling world class coasters we rode, and the great food we ate, our lasting memories will center on the fantastic time we had touring the parks with Sean, Lisa, and Kate, sharing wonderful Italian food with Uncle Joe and Aunt Joyce, celebrating Americana 1900 (see Theme Park Apprentice on TPI for more info on this "fake" theme park) with Jim and Anton Koehl, Blake Hindley, and Scott E., playing Pokémon Go as we toured the parks, and of course, sharing the experience with my favorite group of people on the planet, Robin, Jacob, Jeremy, and Emma Rao. We had an amazing, stupendous, crazy adventure, one that none of us will ever forget.
Well, that's about it, I guess. The Rao Family's 2016 is officially in the books. Thanks for following along and until next year, the Rao family bids you adieu. Ride on!
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