Breakin' (Down) 2: Electric Boogaloo (SFGAm, 8/17)

Associated parks:
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Sunday, August 17, 2003 9:32 PM
Ah, my summer of unemployment affords me the opportunity to visit yet another amusement park. As crazy kal noted, the park was hella-crowded today. I arrived at the park around 9:30, but it took me another 30 minutes to actually make it inside the gates. Note to SFGAm: have more than three parking attendants on hand on weekends. Cripes!

Since we're all pretty darn familiar with the rides, I'll go in chronological order for this TR.

10 am, made a beeline for Raging Bull. Got two rides in before 10:40 in rows 8 and 9. Excellent as always, but definitively settling into my #2 position behind MF. Damn that trim. 9 out of 10.

Following RB, I hustled on over to the Viper, where the wait was in the station. Such a good ride... the laterals... the air... the tender loving care given to such a fine ride. Sublime. 9 out of 10.

I had met up with a few friends in line for Viper, one of whom, Brian, hadn't been to Great America since before Batman was built. Oh, how the park has changed in the last decade. He was thoroughly impressed with Viper. That is, until he experienced Raging Bull.

Back to the Bull with a newbie in row 9. I may have gotten somewhat used to the ride over the last few years, but it was definitely fun hearing Brian's reaction to the first drop. He was blown away. And another excellent ride for me.

12:00, and time to hit Deja Vu. I was thrilled to see it was up and running, but I was just waiting for the ever-so-frequent breakdown to kick in.

And around 1:00, just shy of Deja Vu's station, is when our day hit the brakes. Who knows what the problem was. It didn't valley, though, so that was a good sign. The ride was only down for about 10 minutes or so, but it was brutal having waited 1 hour already, then having to hang in there through a delay. We finally made it on around 1:30, and what a ride! Intense... insane... and outright fun! I loved getting somewhat tossed around in my seat, especially on the spikes. And very little headbanging, too. They have got to get that ride running consistently, because it's a winner. Truly thrilling and wild. 9 out of 10.

At this point, dehydrated and hungry, we ambled over to Farmer's Market for the world-famous Six Flags $7 mini-pizza. Meh.

2:45 pm - Figuring we'd have plenty of time to digest, we got in line for Superman following lunch. The line was out in front of Condor... which is probably as good as it was all day. Could Superman's queue be the worst in the park? Wait, no... Eagle's is worse. But seriously... so much time spent in switchbacks packed with sweating humanity, with essentially zero shade, when all the while people could be wandering in straight lines underneath the ride. By 4:15, we'd made it to the station when... BLAM - breakdown. No idea what the problem was. The train just seemed to stick in the up position. Again, the downtime was brief, but it truly tests your patience when you've already put in 90 minutes in line. As crappy as that was, though, we couldn't help but feel bad for the people stuck in the flying position in the train just behind the station... for a solid 10 minutes.

As for the ride, I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. The pretzel loop alone gets a 10 out of 10. Maybe an 11. Talk about an elephant sitting on your chest! And the flying gimmick (yes, it's a gimmick) is admittedly a fun one, and much more comfortable than the stand-up gimmick. For its relative novelty and mass-appeal, I'd say that every park needs one of these as badly as they'd need a B:TR. Obviously, not the most thrilling ride ever, but just plain fun. 8 out of 10.

Our last ride of the day would be Vertical Velocity. Got in line around 4:30 or so. And by 5:15... SHAZAM - breakdown. I couldn't believe our bad luck... three straight rides! The brakes seemed to have stuck in the down position, and the train couldn't get entirely back into the station. Again, a short delay, but made worse by time spent, and having to watch the Fast Pass folks jump on the opportunity as soon as they saw the ride get back up and running. Damn that Fast Pass. But by 5:45, we made it onto the ride. Fantastic as always. Love that rear-spike air. It's gonzo. 9 out of 10.

I had a great day at the park, but, in retrospect, my friends and I only managed to tackle 3 rides between noon and 6 pm. That's rivaling my horrible experience at Magic Mountain on Good Friday in 2001 (5 coasters in 7 hours). But, on the bright side, I rode only my favorite coasters, and my friend Brian got to catch up on all the coasters he's missed... with the exception of Batman.

So, in review:

Cheers: SFGAm's excellent stable of rides, the pretzel loop, and all the lovely vertical spikes

Jeers: breakdown, after breakdown, after breakdown, Superman's queue, and Fast Pass opportunists

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Come on fhqwhgads!

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Sunday, August 17, 2003 10:04 PM
The thread is named after "Breakin' 2"... that makes me giggle ;)

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Tommy Penner
Undergrads Online: Help Nitz!

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Monday, August 18, 2003 7:45 AM
I guess I tied your record for breakdowns at SFA over the weekend.

At least 3 rides went down just as my friends & I were about to get on,Batwing(which is now open) had a minor breakdown right about the time we got to the stairs,PBR had a breakdown right as we got in the raft & Wild one lost power right as we were about to be dispatched just before a major storm hit.

On the bright side I managed a record 20 laps on S:ROS though,so my day wasn't a total loss anyhow that was a good TR & I'm suprised that even with the high attendance at SFGRAM they're still not able to make up lost revenue for the chain.

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Monday, August 18, 2003 11:50 AM
Hey, I probably saw you riding Superman. Cuase we were in line during that 4:15 breakdown. We were by the Maxima, or Ms. Maximus, or whatever she's called. You know the Cardboard cut out of her. We watched all the trains with people pass by after the breakdown.

Yesterday did seem like a bad day for breakdowns. It was pretty frustrating. During the Superman Breakdown it was funny how the peole would criticze the cutouts, saying, "That's Impossible! He's 5'2 and weighs 300 pounds! Look at him he's not fat he's ripped!" Or something like that.

I mentioned that to my sis, that I felt really bad for the people hanging from the brakes. That must have been so uncomfortable! If you probably looked back from that station and saw a group of people sitting in the que during the breakdown, that was us.

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Monday, August 18, 2003 2:16 PM
I was in the second train out after the initial breakdown - the one that stopped for a minute sticking halfway out of the station. And my friends and I were in row 7 making inappropriate gestures relating to our riding position. I definitely check my maturity when entering amusement parks. :)

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Come on fhqwhgads!

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