An Ohioan af SFNE for 2-1/2 Hours

Associated parks:
None

Saturday, June 4, 2005 1:53 AM
Arriving in Maine for my five year high school reunion (I went to a boarding school), I was not planning on hitting up any amusement parks this weekend. The only one worth visiting in Maine has a CCI Woodie that I went on once in 2000, and an S&S tower, but not much else. But while at AAA getting some maps and such, I saw Six Flags ads, and wondered what the distance was to SFNE. They said only a three hour drive, so at about 2PM, I left Portland for a 2-1/2 hour visit to this small Six Flags Park. I got to the park by 5:30, but they still wanted $10 for parking. I ended up parking at a bar right by there for only $5, and chatting with some employees who drink there after close.

Superman: Ride of Steel:
This was the first (and last) ride I hit up in my short visit. Rode this a total of three times, with me missing a fourth attempt by one train (more on that later). All I can say about this ride is WOW! I now see why it was named #1 last year, and have placed this coaster in my top 3 steel (the other two being Phantom’s Revenge and my number one, Magnum). S:ROSes new restraints weren’t bad, and my one complaint is the trim on one of the final bunny hops (which I presume was added after the collision). The airtime on this ride was sick, and it just delivered a complete package, which cannot be found on the MilF! Also, the ride had only two people checking restraints, but they were most likely just short staffed.

While I still hate Intamin for their poor designs and maintenance issues, I have to admit that they can design some great rides. Now I may get flamed for this, but except for the first drop, S:ROS is MUCH BETTER than the MilF, which is currently rated #1.

Batman: The Dark Night:
Two rides on this great little B&M. While not as great as Kumba or Dominator, this little coaster packs quite a punch. The elements were great, and the ride was nice and smooth, except for some trimming. Only two people checking restraints though. If this is normal, I feel sorry for the crew, that has to suffer under Six Flags making their budget too small to run the ride right.

Thunderhak, I mean Serial Thriller, I mean Mind Eraser:
Now I know why SLCs are called Hang & Bangs. Much rougher than Thunderhawk used to be (I have yet to ride it since the paintjob), and not really re-ridable. That thing needs some paint badly, along with new wheel assemblies. That this bangs way too much, though the padding is nice.

Thunderbolt:
Amazing wooden coaster. Only ran one train, but the operator was great. That ride had some excellent pops of air and great laterals. I don’t know why I haven’t heard more abot this ride, but it is great.

Riverside, I mean Six Flags Cyclone:
I was looking forward to it, because I had heard of it, though I didn’t have much to look forward to. Ride was ok at best, and nothing to write home about.

Head…, I mean Mind Eraser, I mean Flashback:
Standard Boomerang, though newer train than Headspin. It was my first boomerang outside Geauga Lake, and it wasn’t bad. Station was much more like Face/Off than like Headspin though.

I didn’t ride Mr. Six’s Pandemonium, though that ride looked amazing. IF I visit again, that ride is a must!

Overall Impressions:

SFNE is a nice little park, and it reminds me a lot of what GL used to be like, being both parks were owned by Premier/Six Flags at one time or another. The Ride Operations department had a lot of minors, and I think that hurt their performance. While they were not terrible, for the most part they were nothing special. They did their job, but they were not excited about it, and many were like a lot of the ops at SFWoA. There were some great ones though, and some good crews, but overall, I think operations there could use an older workforce.

I may get flamed for saying this, but in general, the park is an example of what SFO/SFWoA should have been. This park, having no major competition, seems to have grown much more slowly than SFO/WoA, and the old charm of Riverside is still there. This park was neither better nor worse than I expected. It still had the problems people often see at Six Flags parks, but it was also a park where I was able to have fun. If Six Flags/Premier followed a similar plan with Geauga Lake, the park would be in much better shape than it was when it was sold. With GL, I think the worst thing the park did was to try to compete with Cedar Point. SFNE doesn’t have the problem SFO/SFWoA had, and by not trying to compete against the best, they were able to make a nice, though small, Six Flags park, which despite normal Six Flags issues, such as dirty ride queues, was very fun to visit.

I think SFNE is a great little park, with a lot of potential. If Six Flags corporate ever gave them the money to improve operations, it would be better, but given what the people there have to work with, I would say I liked my trip. The only sour note of the trip itself it the S:ROS crew denying me a final ride after closing, despite my being in line by the time the line was closed. But I did complain to the department supervisor (as well as compliment all the positive things), and he was nice enough to both give me a ride-again, and chat with me about our parks.

-Sam

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Saturday, June 4, 2005 2:23 AM
Yo Sam, I'm guessing you run Geauga Lake? Just by all the Ohio/Ridename references?

Nice TR.:)

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Saturday, June 4, 2005 10:34 AM
Kyle,

Yeah, I am a TL in rides. So that is why there are so many references to it. GL was my home park growing up (Cedar Point became my home park 2001-2003), and now that I work there, it is once again a great place;).

-Sam (who is probably a little too cocky about his role in GL's turnaround)

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Saturday, June 4, 2005 4:39 PM
What day were you there, was it the 9th. If it was I saw you there. I was the guy wearing the Storm Runner tanktop. I got there at 6:30pm and got in 10rides on SROS. It's the best coaster IMO and I've ridden them all.
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Saturday, June 4, 2005 6:26 PM
I was there on the 2nd. I did see a guy with a Storm Runner shirt that day though.

-Sam

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Sunday, June 5, 2005 8:47 AM
I was wrong on the date it was the 2nd. If you work at GL than that was you . I hope you enjoyed the park I'm on my way there now to ride SROS.
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Sunday, June 5, 2005 8:55 AM
I might come back today. And that was me! Look for me in a Geauga Lake hat.

-Sam

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Sunday, June 5, 2005 9:03 AM
For the Record, Thunderbolt always uses just one train, and I agree, it is VERY underated. And that trim you mentioned on S:RoS isn't actually activated as it does not slow the train whatsoever when you go through it.
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Sunday, June 5, 2005 9:21 AM
Yeah, I know it only runs one train, but wow, you are right about it being underrated. Does it have an ejector seat I can try?

-Sam

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Sunday, June 5, 2005 10:03 AM
I thought Thunderbolt was a painful, decripit p.o.s. It could have been great, as could have Cyclone, but neither looked like they'd seen maintenance staff in about 4 or 5 years, and both had me adjusting and holding on the entire time to try and not break a kneecap or something.

I also don't know what S:RoS I might have been riding, but every time through that trim at the end, the train slowed noticably. I could feel myself leaning forward slightly as we went through it as the train slowed and my body didn't.

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Sunday, June 5, 2005 5:35 PM
You complained to the department supervisor?!? I thought Ohioans were mild mannered and polite. I don't know too many midwesterners, but I don't think that John Cougar would have complained to the department supervisor. Looks like you picked up a few tricks during your time in Maine.
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Sunday, June 5, 2005 6:28 PM
I completely agree on the thunderbolt being underated. ANd despite what impulse said, a great ride.

I love the way the cars flex when going around the curves before and after the lift.

And after the drop, it is a great ride to the end. I may get flack for this, but i love it even more than supes.

Cyclone is just too rough. It is a shame that it has gotten to the condition it is in. It used to be my favorite, now i ride it maybe once a season.

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Sunday, June 5, 2005 8:40 PM
I was there this morning and rode SROS 7 times and BTDK 1 and went into the water park to ride Typhoon but it was closed for mechanical breakdown. I heard it was opened yesterday and something broke. I agree on Cyclone every year they reprofile the track or add breaks somewhere on it. It went down hill when SF took over.
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Monday, June 6, 2005 8:37 AM
Shame you didn't get a backseat ride on Riverside Cyclone, You would have seen what the hype is about.

Oh and don't worry what the rankings are, If you like it, Who cares? Right?

Chuck

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