They arrived at 9, by which time we had been on a few things already, and finally got something at Donut Time. Very well done. Good signage and decor. The pricing is ridiculous, but not surprising given the captive morning audience. What's really funny is that they charge you more for a large cup of hot water to use with the same tea bag.
When Steph's friends arrived, it was obviously getting late, so we tried to blitz through as much as we can. First was Raptor, which Ann correctly identified as a cousin to Batman at SFGAm, the park she knew best. She loved it. The late-season crew is a lot speedier since the first Friday night. Great to see!
From there it was Blue Streak. On one hand, I wish they'd lube up at least the turn around because those trains were shuffling all over the place. On the other hand, despite the lack of lubrication, the things was absolutely flying. I mean, you could hear just how violent it was when the upstops grabbed on to the track. Blue Streak has quickly become the hidden gem at the park since its last rehab.
Next was our second spin on Wicked Twister. (And yes, we noticed the utility survey marks along the games midway.) I don't care what anyone says, the ride's firing sequence is somehow different since it reopened. It's like the biggest boost comes at the end of the second pass (forward and back) instead of the beginning or middle, because you can feel the acceleration just before you go vertical. I love this ride. I like impulses in general, but this one is my favorite, especially near the back on that second pass backward.
Next through CarnEvil for a second time. It's still lame, and the barkers are horrible. Good idea, really bad execution in an area that's too large to scare in.
Power Tower drop next, where they ran both towers. I love the view of Millennium Force and Mean Streak and Dragster from the ride. Seems like we had more time than normal at the top. Maybe it was my imagination.
Dragster was down, loaded. What a shocker. Ann wouldn't get to ride it that night.
Next was an unfortunate event. It didn't ruin anyone's night, but it might have. Ann had a small backpack/purse, and she entered the line with it. I didn't think anything of it because, well, I don't carry anything at the park so I don't worry about it. The girl working entrance was napping on the rails and not really paying attention. When we went to load, a platform operator told Ann she couldn't ride with it. We had been waiting a bit as they put the third train on, so I was a little pissed. The op told her she could go down to the lockers and put it there, then come back up the exit and ride. Obviously she waited for us to ride and gave the bag to Steph on return. When she explained to the blue tag that the other operator allowed this, he seemed kind of pissed. I guess it all turned out OK, and I don't have a problem with the policy, but if the entrance worker wasn't napping, the whole situation would've been avoided. Good thing the op on the platform had a good head about her.
As for Magnum itself, the word on the street is that they've done some retracking. I'm inclined to believe it's true on the first drop and the pretzel. Either that, or they're using really spongy new wheels, because it was a pretty smooth ride. It delivered as always, seat belt super tight to avoid lap bar bruises.
We looped around through the back and went through the Fright Zone. The guy doing the skull gate is top notch. He's a really good heckler with the little kids. Overall the screamsters do a nice job. That particular night, the temperature and humidity was so perfect that the fog never went anywhere. Really crazy stuff!
Finally we hit Millennium Force. Ann and I went solo. As it turns out, she wanted to ride front seat, which I was kind of opposed to because I knew it would build the total wait to an hour. In the second unfortunate event, they over-booked the front queue by about 16 people. We were the first to go, so after an extra half hour of waiting, we didn't get the front. No big deal for me, but Ann was clearly very disappointed. I guess I'd chalk it up to having a crew not entirely familiar with judging the queue length.
Overall, even with a seriously healthy crowd, the park ran really well overall, even food service. We had a good time, and I'm looking forward to closing weekend.
One sidebar... we obviously got out around midnight. Walking back to the Soak City lot, we passed two people, seasonals, and absolutely no one at the open gate. No one in the ticket office, no one at the turnstiles. No security at all. Anyone could have walked into the park and gone anywhere they wanted. There was no one. That's kind of screwed up, and someone deserves a memo for that.
Are there usually people there?
During Coastermania there were several attendees eating at TGIFridays. Though not together, many of us all left Friday's together headed towards the Magnum ERT. As the group of us arrived at the Soak City Gate there was no one there checking for Wrist Stamps. As Jeff Described, there was no one in the ticket office, no in at the Turnstiles, and no Security. A few of us gave each other glances that represented, "this is kind of weird." We all passed through with a bit of hesitation but no one said anything. The first encounter we had with a park employee was at the Magnum Entrance.
I'm mad it rained so hard Saturday night, I only got to experience Fright Zone once this year after discovering I actually do somewhat enjoy being scared (as long as it's not by some dude with a chainsaw).
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