Bert the Conqueror is back with a new season at 8 PM Eastern/Pacific on the Travel Channel. Once again, comedian Bert Kreischer will be our tour guide to some of the coolest and most unique adrenaline producing adventures anywhere. Bert will try to conquer everything from theme park rides and roller coasters to wacky local traditions and home-grown thrills.
Check back here every Monday for episode recaps and discussions in the comment area below.
Bert the Conqueror Season 2 Episode Recaps
Episode 1 – Maine/New England
In the season debut, Bert visited New England. The episode begins with the historic Lake Compounce in Bristol, Connecticut where he rides Boulder Dash. The wooden coaster built into the side of a mountain is among my top ten favorite woodies. It looked great on TV, but not half as good as it actually is. Last season, Bert rode an Alpine coaster, this year he took on an alpine slide in Vermont. It looked like a pretty fun ride and I’m sure 50 mph feels really fast in such a small vehicle.
Bert’s third challenge was the wife carrying race in Newry, Maine at Sunday River. I’m sure every married guy watching the show was wondering how he and his wife would fair. My wife told me right away she’d never let me carry her in that Estonian carrying position. That event would definitely push the limits of trust in a relationship. Anyway, it was a pretty funny challenge. Bert mentioned during my interview (check it out on Gadling) that he and his wife only beat one couple and the husband from that couple broke his leg during the race!
Highlight: This year’s debut was good, but probably won’t be as memorable as last year’s first episode with the human slingshot in Utah. The highlight was seeing Boulder Dash in action even if TV can’t do it justice. At least they emphasized those airtime hills on the final sprint to the station. That’s a great ride and a nice little park.
Episode 2 – Virginia
I was excited when I found out that the Virginia episode was going to be airing so early. I helped out with some of the research for the episode and I even got credited. I grew up in Virginia, so it was awesome seeing my old home park Kings Dominion and one of my all-time favorite parks Busch Gardens on TV. And, in HD!Bert’s last challenge in Virginia was at the Highland Games in Doswell. Bert shocked everyone with a great caber toss to wrap up the competition.
Highlight: As much as I loved seeing Busch Gardens and having my park (the park I tell everyone I know about) get some national attention, the Intimidator 305 challenge was the highlight. It was such an authentic overview from the talk of gray outs, to the butt squeezing to prevent graying out, to the mention of Robb Alvey’s term: twisties. That’s a good bit of coaster geekdom for national TV.
Episode 3 – Florida
I missed this week’s episode at the 8 PM timeslot because it showed up as last year’s Florida episode in my DVR so it didn’t record it. Luckily, I scheduled it to get the 3 AM Monday morning re-airing.
Anyway, on to the recap. For episode 3, Bert returned to Florida. He visited Universal Studios for the Wizarding World of Harry Potter where his first challenge was, well, Dragon Challenge (formerly Dueling Dragons). The dueling inverted coaster doesn’t look a whole lot different in its new re-themed land. I liked the background information about the weighing mechanism that assures that the trains will do fly-bys at the same time. Apparently the misses can be as close as 18 inches depending on the height of the riders! That’s insane. I didn’t know it was that close.
Bert went to a Wet N’ Wild for his second challenge where he rode a waterslide called Bombay. With a steep drop and a trap door that equated to a momentary free fall, it looked like a pretty intense waterslide. From my interview with Bert and talks with the show’s production team, we can expect to see more Wet N’ Wild water parks in future episodes.
The final challenge was wake boarding. The towing mechanism was cool, but this was one of the least interesting challenges I can remember. I’m sure it’s thrilling to do, it just didn’t seem third challenge worthy to me.
Highlight: Bert saved the final challenge with a pretty painful looking wipeout he hilariously dubbed the ‘Netti Pot.’ The reference was extra funny to me because I just used one recently.
Episode 4 – Hawaii
Bert started the Hawaii episode at a Wet N’ Wild water park. The skateboard ramp-shaped Shaka water slide was pretty cool. At first, I thought it looked uneventful, but that first drop was pretty steep. I bet it’s a fun ride and they should have similar rides in the mainland if they don’t already. Next, Bert conquered a pretty scary challenge. A shark cage is something that I wouldn’t normally think of as a “conquest”, but being that close to such large and terrifying creatures would be quite a feat. Bert called it one of the top 5 experiences in his life!
The final act was a paddle board race and cliff diving competition. The cliff diving portion of the event looked very intimidating. I’d definitely be more concerned with not hitting the rocks versus going for style points. It looked like Bert felt the same way. There was zero style in his jump, but at least he survived. And I can’t blame him.
Highlight: The Hawaii episode’s highlight was probably the cliff jumps by some of the locals. I couldn’t imagine being comfortable enough to throw in a trick or two as I dove past those rocky cliffs into a turbulent ocean.
Episode 6 – Alberta, Canada
Bert headed north pf the border for this week’s episode. The West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Canada to be exact. Apparently, it’s the largest mall in North America. Sorry Mall of America. The mall is home to Galaxyland, one of the largest indoor theme parks. While there, Bert tackled a pretty large Schwarzkopf looper with three vertical loops. I was aware of the coaster, but just barely. I’ve only been on 4 (I think) Schwarzkopf loopers so, it was cool to see something somewhat new to me.
Next, Bert went to the World Water Park for the World’s largest indoor bungee jump called Center of Gravity. I’ve never really considered bungee jumping, but for some reason I think I’d consider trying this. Basically you bungee jump over the wave pool.
The final act was the Great Northern Concrete Toboggan Race for an event called King of the Hill. Bert mentioned it during my interview with him:
We did a 300 lb. concrete toboggan race this year. The team that was two groups ahead of me flipped their toboggan. The guy broke his femur. The girl broke her arm in two places and every bone in her hand.
So I already knew that this challenge was pretty dangerous. Bert went on to say that he just wanted to complete the race safely once. He didn’t expect to get a good enough time to have to race again. In the second race, his toboggan ran out of steam and he valiantly tried to carry each of his team members across the finish line. Bert definitely put his all into the challenge although I’m sure he was relieved that it was over.
Highlight: Galaxyland’s Mindbender was the highlight of this week’s episode by far. There’s always been a certain affection or love for those rare, vintage Schwarzkopf loopers. According to a park official American Coaster Enthusiats had described the Schwarzkopf coaster as a “demonic masterpiece” and “perhaps the most intense g-force coaster ever created”. That’s quite an endorsement. I’ll have to get up to Alberta and find out for myself someday.
Episode 7 – East Texas
To kick off Bert’s return to Texas, he visited the original Six Flags, Six Flags Over Texas. I had just visited the park a few weeks ago, so it was cool seeing it again. First Bert conquered the mile-long hyper coaster Titan. “Soul crushing” was a good adjective for the ride’s 540-degree helix. I rode it for the first time a few weeks ago and that helix made me grey out a bit. Next, Bert went on the launch coaster Mr. Freeze. They did a pretty good job giving an overview of its LIM powered propulsion and shuttle layout. The POV made me wish that I had sat in the front seat as the view as you climb to the end of the track atop that spike was looked pretty sick.
For the final act, Bert headed to General Sam’s Off Road Park in Huntsville, Texas for the Buddy Run. The two-man ATV race had a greatly unbalanced risk versus reward proposition. It involved getting the fastest time on a 150 foot sprint down a ditch filled waist deep with mud. For risking the many dangers of ATV riding (including getting crushed by an ATV), the winner would get a measly $100 and as Bert said “the respect of every redneck in the county.” It was a little amusing watching Bert get dragged through the mud, but like the wakeboarding challenge in Florida, I was a bit bored with this one.
Highlight: It was great how they highlighted my favorite part of Titan. As a long-time Dallas Cowboys fan, the view of Cowboys Stadium from the lift hill was awesome. I was experiencing two of my favorite things (roller coasters and the Cowboys) at the same time. It doesn’t say much for the actual ride, but I’ll have a Titan review up soon.
Upcoming Season 2 episodes include: New Mexico, Alaska, Arizona, Mexico, Indiana (Holiday World), Colorado, Los Angeles (SFMM & Knotts Berry Farm), & the Upper MidWest (Valleyfair!)