5 Park East Coast Trip Report

Associated parks:

Chapter 1 – Geauga Lake – Saturday July 29th

Arrived at the park around 9:30. As soon as they let people enter the park, I headed to X-Flight. Crowds were light the entire day. No line was that long of a wait. Dominators line peaked around 9:30, which was suprising. Throughout the day I would just stay in an area, ride the coasters in that area a bunch of times then move on. I was at Dominator a lot…

Ride Reviews:

X-Flight – A letdown in my opinion. Going up the lift on your back was cool, but the chain was the loudest ever. The restraints were a lot worse than SUF’s. While in flying mode, you would just weigh on that restraint which was very uncomfortable. It also had the typical Vekoma roughness. Overall I would say its on par with SUF.
Rating: 6 of 10.

Head Spin – My first ride on this seemed better than the second. Anyway, it’s a Vekoma Boomerang. A little smoother than most, so it got a little better rating.
Rating: 4 of 10.

Villain – Wow. Just wow. How can Mean Streak possibly be rougher than this? After the first drop it was hell. After the first hill it got even worse. I actually wanted the ride to end. It takes the spot as the worst coaster I have been on. #98 out of 98. The roughness let up after the first two parts though.
Rating: 2 of 10.

Double Loop: A decent coaster. The drop wasn’t great, but the two loops were pretty intense. Not as spaced out as Demon’s. The crew running this was horrible though.
Rating: 6 of 10.

Big Dipper: This coaster may be historic and all, but it was pretty damn rough, and didn’t produce much air.
Rating: 3 of 10.

Beaver Land Mind Ride: Meh, kiddie coaster.
Rating: 3 of 10 (my default kiddie rating)

Thunderhawk: The best SLC I have been on so far. It was pretty cool being over wetlands too.
Rating: 6 of 10.

Raging Wolf Bobs: Smooth wooden coaster with not much airtime.
Rating: 5 of 10.

Steel Venom: Closed all day.
Rating: N/A

Dominator: Awesome ride. The first drop is sweet, it does a very sharp curve. Huge vertical loop. The banked turn around the entrance was very good in my opinion. You get a sweet pop of airtime after the MCBR. This ride keeps up the speed throughout unlike a lot of B&Ms. This is my favorite floorless coaster out of the four I have been on. This ride is also built over wetlands. Right on the lake too.
Rating: 9 of 10.

Overall I liked this park a lot. Great lines, and a good collection of coasters. Dominator is a great floorless. I didn’t go on a single flat here though. The longest line was for lunch, then after that it was probably X-Flight in the middle of the day, which was around a 10-15 min. wait. Dominator was mainly a station wait, was a walk-on sometimes too.

Ride Totals:
Villain: 2
Head Spin: 2
Double Loop: 5
Big Dipper: 1
Thunderhawk: 2
Raging Wolf Bobs: 2
Beaver Land Mine Ride: 1
X-Flight: 5
Dominator: 32

Total: 52

News and Notes:
Longest line was for food, and the food sucked.
I would love to see this park on a weekday. Must be hella empty.
Great setting for the park.
Really could use a new coaster, newest one is X-Flight?

Chapter 2 – Kennywood – Sunday July 30th

Arrived at the park around 11:45. There was a huge storm for about 1.5 hours around 3 pm. Since we had to drive to Hershey that night, I left around 8:15.

Ride Reviews:

Jack Rabbit: Old style wooden coaster. Does a drop or two before the lift. The first drop after the lift is actually a double dip. It’s the most intense double dip I have been on to date. The restraint is just a permanent lap bar, you don’t lock it everytime you get in, its just there. It actually felt like I could fall out of this ride.
Rating: 6 of 10.

Racer: Racing coaster that only has one track. Its weird, you start at one side of the station and come back on the other. ]
Rating: 5 of 10.

Thunderbolt: This coaster really uses the terrain well. It doesn’t go directly into the lift hill. Not much more to say.
Rating: 5 of 10.

Exterminator: Spinning Wild Mouse in the dark. Best Wild Mouse coaster I have been on so far. Being in the dark makes it great, very disorienting.
Rating: 6 of 10.

Phantom’s Revenge: This ride currently sits at #4 in my steel top 10, and $6 in my overall top 10. The first drop isn’t much to rave about, but the drop under Thunderbolt produced some good floater air, and really hit you with the positive G’s at the bottom. The best part was the two double downs. Extreme ejector air, I love airtime like this. I actually had some small bruises after, it was that good. The little hill before the brakes is also intense. Another thing I liked was the trains, they were very comfortable. The lap bar comes in from the side, which was cool. Morgan did an awesome job with this coaster.

I really liked the Screamin Swing they had there, Swingshot. You get some sweet airtime on it. The drop tower was good also. The flat collection made this a much better park than I anticipated it to be.

Ride Totals:
Jack Rabbit: 1
Thunderbolt: 1
Racer: 1
Exterminator: 1
Phantom’s Revenge: 13

Total: 17

Swingshot: 2
Pitfall: 1
Aero 360: 1

News and Notes:
A new coaster would turn this park into a great one. I dont see room for one though.
Food prices were very good.
Wasn't a fan of Phantom's Revenge not opening with 2 trains. 2nd train didnt come on til around 5, after the storm.
Found a sweet Phantom's Tee, the only one in that entire park besides the plain white ones. Yes I bought it.
Not exactly the easiest park to find.

Chapter 3 - Hersheypark - Monday July 31st

Arrived at the park around 10am, but due to large lines to get in, I didnt make it to Storm Runner for first dispatch. I rode Storm Runner from 10 to 11:30, got 7 rides on it, 2 or 3 in front row. Front row or 2nd row is a must on this ride. Other rows just dont cut it. Mainly just hopped from section to section, stayed in each section for a hour or two. This park is mainly grouped into 3 sections. Stayed at the park til close.

Ride Reviews:

Wildcat: Very rough, but the rest of the ride was great. Provided some sweet airtime.
Rating: 5 of 10.

Lightning Racer: Wow, much better than I anticipated. I had heard things about rough and no airtime, wow were they wrong. The only rough part was at the bottom of Thunder's drop. You even got airtime on the curved drop. There was great floater air all over, and the Great Coasters International trains are the best woodie trains out there. They are just so damn comfortable. The racing element was great too, they had lights for the winner.
Rating: 8 of 10.

Roller Soaker: Waited about 1.5 hours for this. Worst capacity out there. The wait in the queue was amazing though, I got SOAKED. The train goes by the queue at the very end, so your bound to get soaked.
Rating: 6 of 10.

Wild Mouse: Meh.
Rating: 3 of 10.

Sidewinder: Oooohh Boomerang! The restraints on this were worst than most, they were painful on the shoulders. Rougher than most boomerangs too.
Rating: 3 of 10.

Great Bear: Wasnt expecting much, basically lived up to expectations. Had a zero g, which was great, and an immelman. But the drop was very lame in my opinion.
Rating: 7 of 10.

Comet: Alright wooden coaster.
Rating: 5 of 10.

Sooperdooperlooper: Dissapointment in my opinion. I was hoping the loop would provide some good positive G's, but it did nothing for me.
Rating: 5 of 10.

Trailblazer: Whoa, boring.
Rating: 2 of 10.

Storm Runner: Sweet. Good launch, great airtime on the top hat and before the flying snake dive. That twist thing at the end only put pain on the shoulders, but it was cool at night. The OTSRs seems bigger than KK's on the shoulder part. I didnt like it as good as KK though, KK just has that launch...
Rating: 9 of 10.

Ride Totals:
Trailblazer: 1
Roller Soaker: 1
Wild Mouse: 1
Wildcat: 2
Comet: 1
Great Bear: 4
Sooperdooperlooper: 3
Lighning Racer: 10 (5 on each side)
Storm Runner: 15

Total: 38

News and Notes:
Yay they forgot to charge me for the cheese on my fries and hotdog!
Great Bear crew was HORRIBLE. I was on that brakerun all day...
Park reminded me of BGE alot.
Very good park overall.

Chapter 4 - Dorney Park - Tuesday August 1st

Arrived at the park for opening. Once I was in, I couldnt even tell if sections were open. My first coaster was Hydra, after riding that a few times or so I went by Laser. I was the only person on this ride, along with my ride on Thunderhawk. I decided to leave at 4:30 so I could go to Great Adventure.

Ride Reviews:

Hydra: The Revnege: Pretty much what I expected. The JOJO roll was great, but the rest of the ride was pretty slow. The "inclined dive loop" was basically just a turn. The cobra roll was weak, it didnt even invert you fully. Still, a good ride.
Rating: 7 of 10.

Laser: Wasnt much in my opinion. Maybe the loops didnt put any forces on me because I was the only one in the train, so it was slower.
Rating: 5 of 10.

Thunderhawk: Good wooden coaster, but a trim near the end really killed the rest of the ride.
Rating: 5 of 10.

Steel Force: Good ride, I prefered 1:3 over back row. You get some good floater air on this ride but no ejector.
Rating: 7 of 10.

Wild Mouse: A non-spinning Wild Mouse.
Rating: 3 of 10.

Talon: Very good invert, I don't know if I would take it over B:TR or not. Its close.
Rating: 8 of 10.

Ride Totals:
Hydra: 10
Steel Force: 8
Wild Mouse: 1
Laser: 1
Thunderhawk: 1
Talon: 14

Total: 35

Dominator (S&S Tower): 1 (Turbo Drop)

News and Notes:
The park was dead. I rarely saw full trains go out. You could walk on any coaster. I was walking on Talon row 1.
Was 100 degrees out or so
Wasn't a huge fan of this park. I prefered all the other parks on my trip over this one.
I wish Steel Force wasn't so secluded from Hydra and Talon.
You can easily do this park in an hour or so.
Did I mention the park was dead?

Chapter 5 - Six Flags Great Adventure - Tuesday August 1st and Wednesday August 2nd

Arrived at the park at 6:30 on Tuesday. Walked on GASM. Kingda Ka had a huge line, so I went to queue for El Toro. One train operation. Line took about an hour and a half due to a breakdown. After that, it was almost dark out so I rode Medusa some and then Nitro to finish off the night. The second day, I went from opening to closing. Finally got on KK around 9, awesome ride. About an hour wait. Went to ET for a couple rides to close off the night.

Ride Reviews:
Batman: The Ride: I would take SFGAms over this one because of the terrain, rather than just gravel.
Rating: 8 of 10

Medusa: Great floorless. I re-rode this alot on Wednesday, it rarely wasn't a walkon. The Zero G on this is the best out there so far for me.
Rating: 8 of 10.

Great American Scream Machine: They really have this thing trimmed badly now. It comes to a complete stop on the midcourse. Smooth as ever though.
Rating: 7 of 10.

Nitro: Still the best B&M Hyper out there in my opinion. Floater airtime all over. It was trimmed, but it didnt affect the speed of the train much. On Wednesday, I blacked out nearly every time on the helix. Sometimes I couldnt see the MCBR at all. This may have been an effect from the 100 degree heat, I dunno. Great Ride as always.
Rating: 9 of 10.

Kingda Ka: I still love this ride. I got some good airtime on the tophat this time. I did notice the "pulsing" on the launch though. You can feel it tug a little more each second. Still one of the best rides out there.
Rating: 10 of 10.

El Toro: AMAZING ride. The cable lift is so fast. The first drop gives extreme ejector, as do the following two hills. I thought the best part was the hill before the twister section. The most intense air out there. The twister section was good because you go through it so fast, and its awesome at night. They shouldn't of put sand by it though, because at the bottom of the drop you can feel some sand hit you. Overall, I liked this better than Voyage. Voyage has the length, but El Toro has more intense ejector airtime, the best airtime out there is found on this coaster. Its also one of the smoothest out there, even against steel coasters. This is now my #1 coaster overall, wood or steel.
Rating: 10 of 10.

Ride Totals:

Medusa: 16 (2 Tues, 14 Wed)
Nitro: 11 (4 Tues, 7 Wed)
GASM: 2 (1 each day)
B:TR: 1 (Wed)
Kingda Ka: 1 (Wed)
El Toro: 7 (1 Tues, 6 Wed)

Total: 38 (8 Tues, 30 Wed)

News and Notes:
Operations at this park are horrible. Mostly one train on ET, the BTR crew was even worse than the Great Bear crew at Hershey, Nitro crew was also very slow with 2 trains. These ops should work at BK, where they are supposed to stack.
100 degree heat again.
KK ran horrible due to the extreme heat, as did El Toro.
All coasters were a walkon to a 2 train wait except for ET and KK. ET had usually a 30 min wait, KK's varied from 1 hr to an hr and a half.
Didn't ride Rolling Thunder, Runaway Mine Train, S:UF, or obviously Chiller this year. I have already been on each, except Batman side of Chiller.
Despite operations, this park is still my favorite overall. Their coaster collection is too damn good. They would be the best park out there if they could get good operations.
For $10 I got a measily hotdog and a large drink. Really bad food prices.
El Toro = #1 coaster all-time.

My new top 10:

1. El Toro
2. Voyage
3. Superman: Ride of Steel (SFNE)
4. Kingda Ka
5. Storm Runner
6. Phantom's Revenge
7. Nitro
8. Apollo's Chariot
9. Alpengeist
10. Kumba

Interesting trip report. I'm sure with the 100 degree temps we had last week, Dorney was empty and everyone was in WWK. Dorney could use some more shade, that's for sure.

I wouldn't blame the stacking of Great Bear's trains entirely on the crew (even though the past two seasons they're double and triple checking restraints). At least part of the problem is that it takes forever for the riders to stow all their luggage and sit their butts down on the seats.

eightdotthree's avatar
If you ever get to ride Big Dipper again, wait for seat 1:2, its smooth and you get some fun air from it. Its my first choice for that coaster, and my second would be any seat off the wheel axle. I really like that ride, been two years since I was last on it. :(

SFoGswim's avatar
The worst coaster you've ever been on got a 2 out of 10?

Welcome back, red train, how was your ride?!
Acoustic Viscosity's avatar
Despite the terrible ops, you only had a walk-on to two train wait for much of the coasters at Great Adventure? Wow. Must have been nice. :)

AV Matt
Long live the Big Bad Wolf

Well, Im saving the 1 of 10 rating for a special horrible coaster.

EagleFan344 said:

Lightning Racer: Wow, much better than I anticipated. I had heard things about rough and no airtime, wow were they wrong.

No airtime I can kinda see, provided you do not sit in the back of the trains (great air on the first 2 drops), but what crack-addict ever said Lightning Racer was rough? That's the *last* word that comes to mind with LR. It may be the smoothest "real"(*) wood coaster around.

lata, jeremy
(*)not including Intamin plug n plays

EagleFan344 said:
Chapter 1 – Geauga Lake – Saturday July 29th

Crowds were light the entire day. No line was that long of a wait. Dominators line peaked around 9:30, which was suprising.

That's because everyone was in the water park. Trust me, I know, because that's where I was with about 10,000 other people. It was insane. It's a nice water park but they really need more adult/family slides over there to spread the crowd more. Some more tube slides or a family raft ride would be really nice.

We had a great ride on Big Dipper, my husband and daughter in the front seat and I was in the second. Great airtime and smooth.

The parking lot on the ride side was just about full and there were quite a few cars on the water park side as well, we parked there and drove over to the ride side later. It was nice to see the midways busy after the water park closed. If everydays weather was as nice as it was on Saturday, GL would really being doing well.

Interesting that you would rate HP's Wild Mouse and DP's Thunderhawk so low. HP's Wild Mouse has got to be the "wildest" and best run standard wild mouse that I've ever ridden. And Thunderhawk has at least 4 moments of good airtime, one of them being extreme--provided you ride in the front car. This is where it's at on Thunderhawk.

That must be nice to have those short lines at SFGAdv. I actually went to HP on August 2nd instead of SFGAdv. I think their operations are way better. And don't be too hard on the Great Bear ops--as one person did mention about people stowing their things. At least Hershey staffs a decent amount of employees at this ride, unless SF does with some of their rides.

And since when has LR been referred to as "rough"?

Also, rumor has it that HP may be looking into getting Millennium Flyers for Wildcat--how sweet would that be! If they do, I hope they do some trackwork first--Wildcat was running brutally this year. But at least it still has some crazy air! :)

coastin' since 1985

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