Wednesday, June 27, 2001 5:00 PM
In 3 hours.
Now this is the Wild Adventures I was used to! Not the 45min wait for every single thing in the park fluke Wild Adventures I experienced with George Booras almost 2 weeks ago during Grand Opening of Cheetah. No no, this park was DEAD.
I arrived at 10:45 in the parking lot after leaving my house in Tallahassee at 9:30. Yep, 1 hour and 15 minute drive. Not bad at all. I still don't see why my mom complains about me driving this alone. It's not a bad drive at ALL!
There was a line of cars coming into the parking lot, and I hadn't seen Cheetah run a cycle yet, so I was getting kind of worried. I asked the parking attendant if she was aware if it was closed, and she told me she was pretty sure it was open. Kinda reassuring.
There was no one waiting at the turnstiles to get in, and by 11am I was sitting in my seat. Last car, first row, right seat. The ride ops that were running the ride at this time (and about 90% of the time I spent at the ride) were really cool. They let me go with some good room in my lapbar every ride, although at first they did push a little. We got on each other's good sides, me by helping them out and pulling down unused lapbars around me to speed up dispatch (which was really good in the first place and they thanked me for my help) and that helped me because they then didn't staple staple. :-)
Now it's time for some analytical-ness.
Cheetah is a front AND back seat coaster. In fact, there are no bad seats on the ride. Believe me, I rode every seat on the train today, a lot of them multiple times. For absolute out of control and an almost violet ride experience, the back is for you. I'm talking back row of the last car. For a less violent ride, go for the first row of the last car, and for a graceful but still extreme ride, go second row in the first car.
The first drop in the back seat whips you down the drop, and you're slammed down at the bottom. The second to last row in the train whips you as well but is more gentle at the bottom and there's not too much going on in the front on the first drop. The second hill and drop is ejector in the back seats and again more gentler in the second to last row on the letdown. The second row from the front is just as ejector, but is the gentlist on the way down.
Now, the third hill has offers the weirdest air I've ever felt. It's pretty much the same in every row as far as the feel, but, it's definitely more noticable in the front. At the top of the hill, you're ejected and then float to the right and then to left. I don't know how that works, but it happens. The front is light on the slammage, but the back, again, you're slammed into your seat. I think it's the most "fun" hill on the ride.
The low to the ground turnaround is very fast and very smooth and then you're flown up to the first part of the turnaround's double up. Nice little pop of air that holds til halfway up the second half of the double up, with a nice little lateral. This is best experienced in the back. The drop out of the turnaround is "the drop" on the ride in the back. Every seat experiences a nice gentle landing. Now, the front row, there's no air on this hill, but the second row, it's a weird air that hurtles you into your lapbar and drop you back down.
This next hill, which can't be more than 30ft tall, I thought was going to be "the hill" on the ride when I first saw the diagrams of the ride. On opening day, it wasn't nearly as good as I expected it to be. I wasn't "bad" but it wasn't great.
Oh how things change.
For those who have ridden Legend, this hill is as extreme as the first half of Legend's double up. That slam you get at the bottom of it? That's what this is like. And it's the same in every seat. But, again, the slam is much more violent in the back row. This hill is insane, and it HURTS if you're a male. You know what I'm saying. It will rearrange your army if you don't ride it right. It seriously knocked the wind out of me once or twice, I was amazed.
But, you don't get much time to recover for it, as the next hill is like rapid fire, and you're thrown up agian, through the lift structure, and brought back down. The next hill is extreme in that it has ejector air no matter where you sit, AND a very hard lateral jolt to the left as well. Another low to the ground, intense turn and up into another camelback hill which offers more air and a slight lateral jog to the right at the base of it.
The next turn, I feel, is the roughest part of the ride. It really juggles you around, but it's not nearly as bad as some other rides I've been on. Read: Mean Streak, Beast. One more pop of air and a swooping right turn onto the brakes.
Folks, this ride is breaking in, FAST. I couldn't believe how much it improved over the span of a week and a half! I can't wait for this kitty to be fully unleashed! It's going to be insane!
So my concensus about where you should ride. Rather, my suggestions...If you like extreme rides with a rather violent experience, go to the very back row. I think, however, the best rides are offered in the second row from the front and the second to last row from the back. Either side is about equal.
A couple of other notes...The General Public LOVE this ride! I have not heard one bad comment about it, and almost everyone who rides it gets off and runs back around and rides again. I love their reactions, as well. It's like they've never heard of a wooden coaster before. :)
Oh, and the landscaping and development is coming along nicely as well. They've added a nice roof to the queue so you're burning up in the Georgian Heat anymore. Too bad they didn't have this when there was actually a wait! There is also new cross-hatch wood on the steel structure around the closest to the queue turnaround, which I found interesting, and plants and a couple trees have been planted off to the left of the queue, between the station and that same turnaround.
You should definitely ride this coaster, it's hauling ass!
Track Record: 76
#1 Wood: The Legend #1 Steel: Fire Dragon
2001 Cheetah Rides: 47 and Counting