April Fools at SFGAdv - 100th Coaster

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Tuesday, April 2, 2002 5:46 PM
It’s funny how a simple idea can turn into a dream, and how that dream can become a reality. My visit to SFGAdv was just this. The news of Beast not being open left me searching for other options for my 100th coaster; nothing else at PKI seemed sufficient. I realized that I was doing absolutely nothing over spring break (besides Sunday the 7th, which was PKI), and had this crazy idea to go to SFGAdv. Throughout the week many of my coasting friends had expressed that they were going to be there, and it was then that I decided I just had to give it a shot. I talked to my parents, and a day later we were booking plane tickets to go see my brother in Pittsburgh, who would then drive myself and a friend of his to SFGAdv. As the day approached, employees of the park and friends of mine had informed me that the Chillers and Skull Mountain would be closed, leaving me one coaster too short to make 100, or so I thought.

We began the long, 8 hour drive (we had to take a slight detour to PSU to pick up Rachel) early Sunday morning, passing the exits to such parks as Kennywood, Lakemont, DelGrosso’s, and Hershey. After a tsunami of rain, stopped dead traffic on the turnpike, and 8 hours later, we found ourselves passing signs for the park. At this point I realized just how crazy I was; those two words that appeared on the signs were the sole reason for this crazy adventure, the two words that, even now, make me smile ear to ear: Six Flags.

We arrived at the park at 9:30, looking to meet some fellow enthusiasts there at that time. However, the theory that coaster people are always late proved true, so we finally abandoned the meeting place to go hit the rails. The park was empty, and this is coming from a girl whose home park is MIA: we didn’t wait for more than 5 minutes all day. We hit Viper, my first Heartline. I actually enjoyed the first lap on this TOGO. We then moved on to Rolling Thunder, what was the park thinking? If I had this as my only wooden coaster nearby I would go ballistic; course if a no-airtime woody is your thing, then I’m sure you wouldn’t be as critical. Next was Medusa, where we met up with fellow buzzers Corey (rollocoast), along with Nitro crewmembers Matt, Adam, and Landan, as well as Amy, Keith, Eric, Juan and Mike, some other coaster crazy teens. Medusa was much more than I expected. I loved BKF, but I just didn’t see how Medusa could be better, seeing as how it was built first. Three words: zero gravity roll. We re-rode on this truly awesome floorless. My brother and Rachel departed, leaving me with a whole slue of local enthusiasts.

We all hit up Runaway train, a typical arrow mine train, and GASM. As much as I love and respect Arrow, GASM was a suicide wish…never again. Next we all invaded Blackbeard’s lost treasure train, aka “the coaster with the longest train EVER!” We didn’t officially count, but there were at least 20 rows on this thing. We began walking towards Skull Mountain, as Amy and Corey both exclaimed “April Fools!” It turns out it wasn’t really closed, and the major upset of not getting my 100th on Nitro disappeared. A lot of you are probably saying “how did you ever fall for that?” This was a pretty well thought out plan, for which I give them credit. Everyone I knew was in on it, so there was no reason not to believe them; after all, Corey did work at the park. I had no idea what to expect from this coaster, but it turned out as a nice little pitch-dark ride. #98 was Batman: The Ride. As many of you know, B & M inverts are my weakness when it comes to coasters, but B:TR was running pretty slow and didn’t give me an impressionable ride. Amy and I hit up Road Runner Railway while the others grabbed something to eat. I best compare this to Big Dipper at MIA; any coaster where you get to go around twice lies high in my book.

After a brief break we hopped in the Nitro queue. We decided for my first ride on this coaster, and my overall 100th coaster ride, we would hit up the back row, with me sitting on the right side. After not being entirely impressed with Raging Bull at SFGAm, I was a little worried, so I went into it open-minded. Words cannot express how awesome this coaster is! It was fast, smooth, and with incredible airtime throughout the entire ride…right into the final brake run. This first lap left me in awe. The queue had filled up a little, so we circled around and hopped in the front row, this time I was on the left side. The view was spectacular, and the ride just as good. Two laps were enough to make up my mind, this thing ranks, and it ranks gooood. I can’t say it’s the best B&M I’ve ever ridden, that royalty goes to Montu (at the risk of reiterating myself, I love inverts), but I would take this over Millennium Force any day.

We grabbed a bite to eat at the Italian place located by Nitro, and moved on to the second funniest experience of the day: Chaos. Now, despite having the chance at CP, I had not ridden one of these beasts since the day before the accident at MIA. Anyway, that long out of my head, we went for a spin. A couple guys in our group knew how to “break” the ride, so that the ending result would be hanging upside down for two minutes when the ride was done, while the ops tried to figure out how to get them right side up again. On the first run two carts of our group had successfully done so. Amy and I gave it a go, but we just didn’t have the talent. Again, the guys went, and although 3 carts were very close, only one cart had done so. After awhile the crew started to get really ticked at us (go figure), so we moved on to the third funniest experience of the day: cows.

I had never been on a Huss Breakdance before, and didn’t know quite what to expect. It ended up being the most whacked out, demented ride I’ve ever been on. The spinning, in combination with all of us “mooing” made this ride one I’ll never forget. While in the area we decided to take another spin on Viper…big mistake. We rode absolute back, and I don’t think I’ve ever experienced that much pain on a coaster in awhile (yes, even worse than GASM); my head was pounding for the remainder of the day. We took another spin on the great Medusa, and then onto Pendulum, a Huss Frisbee. This was my first, and it really was an awesome ride. After gaining our balance again, we walked over to Houdini’s Great Escape, a Vekoma Madhouse. I had never been on a Vekoma Madhouse, let alone heard of it. The pre-show was pretty much worthless, but the ride left me puzzled. Anyway, that must have taken some great engineering at the time.

With an hour left, we finished up the night on God. The crew ROCKED (you guys are awesome!), and let me stay in the station, re-riding for the remainder of the time. After a total of 12 laps, it was time to dispatch the last train. By now, some of you are may be wondering what the best experience of the day was (I’m getting to it!). Ok, so I said my goodbyes as we crested the lift hill in the sunset and proceeded through the airtime-filled elements. When we hit the block brakes, something unusual happened…we stopped. The two rows of enthusiasts were going crazy, while others on the train were scared for their lives. Other members of our group were stopped on the transfer track, and we talked via cell phone for a little while. After about 5 mins, Malik came speeding in on his golf cart and came to our rescue. He said it would be awhile, so we made the most of it, turning this incident into an awesome photo opportunity . We were posing for pics with Malik and just enjoying the sunset (well, most of us…some had other things on their mind, like getting to a bathroom ASAP). After 20 minutes, we departed from the blocks and began the sloooooow journey back to the station. Attempts by Corey, with his jacket stretched out as a “wind catcher”, unfortunately did not prove to work for a rollback . They let us go again (I told you the Nitro crew rocked!), for my real last ride on Nitro. By now the sun was set and everything was perfect. We hit up the gift shop, and were virtually the last people out of the park.

After seeing the horrid living conditions that the employees must live in (just kidding…) we all went out to a nearby restaurant. A higher-up at the park joined us, and the whole dinner consisted of a guessing game as to what the park was getting next. I cannot reveal anything we learned that night, but stay tuned .

This day was one of the best times I’ve had, and I can’t wait to go back in July (when Chiller is actually running!!). A big thanks to everyone for waiting out my 100th, and to the Nitro crew for showing me some great east-coast hospitality. Until next time…

403 Laps

*** This post was edited by ST chick on 4/2/2002. ***

*** This post was edited by ST chick on 4/15/2002. ***

Tuesday, April 2, 2002 6:14 PM
Awesome TR, with all that we did, you'd THINK we'd make a stop or two at a bathroom =) Being stopped on the block brakes of Nitro has to be the best experience I've ever had on a coaster! "Malik Malik Malik!" heh
Tuesday, April 2, 2002 6:21 PM
And that's how you write a trip report (for those of you who've been asking for help). Without giving things away for those who haven't ridden it, the Madhouse has two main compents a) the seating which rocks back and forth and b) a giant spinning box which surrounds the seats. Think of the N'Sync video for "Bye, Bye, Bye", Metallica's "Until it Sleeps" (correct title?), or any movie where people are walking on the walls and ceiling.

I'm glad you liked the Breakdance and Frisbee also. Was the Jump (Jumping Jack Flash) not open, or did you choose not to ride it? Make sure you ride it the next time you go back. It is a truly scary ride.
The word "definitely" is definitely the most misspelled word on the buzz.

Wednesday, April 3, 2002 4:32 AM
Wow I thought I had a good time. I sure wish I knew some other coaster people. You only made one mistake the entire day, Viper in the back? Oww :(


Wednesday, April 3, 2002 11:50 AM
That sounds like a great time! I better meet up with some enthusiasts some time if its THAT much fun!! Great trip report and glad you had a good time.
Wednesday, April 3, 2002 1:50 PM
Geeze your lucky! Let's recap, you live 15 minutes from a pretty descent theme park which happens to have one of THE greatest wood coasters in the history of the planet! You get to go to the "Ohio circle of parks." You've been to the Chicago area several times due to fun and family and you get to visit SFGAm occasionaly. Some of your family lives in Pittsburg so you get to go there and visit Kennywood, now you got to go to Pittsburg with your brother and drive out to SFGAdv for a day of thrills, on Sunday your going to PKI, and in the end, you parents hate coasters. My theory, you either have extremely good convincing skills, or your parents are WWWAAAYYY too easy! LOL Well even though I'm incredibly envious and jealous, I'm glad to hear you had a good time. Excellent trip report!

Milwaukee Wisconsin, we bring you beer, brats and cheese. But don't be fooled, "Milwaukee truly is a special secret getaway that I will be sure to tell my friends about!" Erin Brockevich, not to mention that we are an hour from SFGAm........

Wednesday, April 3, 2002 3:52 PM
Glad you had a great time Kara! I'm so happy that you finally got to get out there and that you got your 100th ride! Sorry about that whole Beast thing, I was very mad too....

Good Times!! Good Times!!

Wednesday, April 3, 2002 4:47 PM

Oh Kara, dear Kara--

You have NO IDEA how much it hurts me that you were at my home park and I couldn't be there! I'm sorry I couldn't be there, but I'm glad to hear that you had an excellent time. I was especially aggravated that I could not be involved in the amazing stuck train incident (damn it...), but I figured that I would have had to ditch by then anyway. Some people get all the luck!

Of course, I hear through the grapevine that you've been calling it "My Nitro." I'd have to beg to differ with that...it's mine. All mine. No one else's. Until you can rack up as many laps on it as you have on Timbers, I keep sole custody, capisce?

But didn't I tell you that Nitro was godly? I may have slipped at some point and called it "god," but damn, I didn't think you'd take it so literally! And to think, at some point, you had DOUBTS! DOUBTS! That's obscene! Not QUITE as obscene as eighteen laps, but hey, we can't all be so blessed?

Anyway, I'm glad you managed to enjoy yourself in my home state (go figure!), and I certainly hope you'll return soon! Next time, I'll be sure to make sure I have plans A through ZZZ lined up in order to avoid the heartbreak and confusion of April Fools Day.

Congratulations on #100!

Until July......

The Luv Monkey has spoken...
Track Record: 29 and counting...
"I don't wait on lines...lines move for me."

*** This post was edited by Davie the Luv Monkey on 4/3/2002. ***

Wednesday, April 3, 2002 6:14 PM
Congrats on the big one! Awesome TR......you certainly put us right in the middle of the action! I guess the only thing you need to do is go back to PA, but this time STOP at Kennywood, Lakemont, Del Grossos, Williams Grove, Hershey, Dorney, Knoebels (need I go on?)....... :)
Brad Sherman
Don't.....look.....back! The Headless Horseman awaits you in 2002!
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