Sunday, June 10, 2001 9:11 PM
Okay, my first TR ever and it's only because I feel comfortable here more than on the newsgroups. :) Hopefully, this won't be too incoherent. Notes: Homepark is SFGAdv, I've been to Dorney once, Rye Plyaland (NY) until 7 years ago, Astroland once, and went through Tampa/Orlando only last year, so I have a very limited selection of RCs to compare to.
I went there by Greyhound and stayed at the Breakers. (I don't drive yet, and the price difference for a single person at the Express was negligible to me, not to mention the Resort entrance is near MAgnum and some distance away from the main entrance). I note this because I accidentally got caught in a group that was going to work for CP (Ooops!) The employees were kind enough to help me after we cleared that up. :) Kudos for that!
My room wasn't ready yet, but it was almost 9:30, so I dropped off my luggage and went to get my two day pass. Having slept badly on the overnight trip, I figured I'd do as much as my body would allow (which surprisingly was the whole day).
First stop was Magnum. At 10, the train had not yet left the station and we were told that there was a maintainance problem. Went to GEmini and got the same thing. I figured I may as well head to Mean Streak to try to salvage something before the park got busy for the middle of the day. Walked on and enjoyed it more than I thought I would base on what people said. It's interesting having block brakes in the middle of a woodie.
I love classic mine train rides, so I got onto the Cedar Creek Mine Ride. Pretty steep drops, and the helixes must have been pretty intense for the time. I love the view over the water. I then went back along the way to check on Magnum.
Gemini Blue was working, so I got on the front and then the back. Awesome design. Those are some steep drops and the headchopper on the third hill was great. high speed helix at the end makes this an easy favorite.
Magnum was finally open and short lines made it an easy wait for the ejector and then the last seat. I can see the design of the bunny hops were measured to nicely force the rear of the cars to throw the riders into the lapbars. Awesome design and the tunnels and drops inside made it easy to see why this was the number one coaster the past few years.
Corkscrew got stuck as I passed by, so I went to Iron Dragon. My first suspended, and I can see how the design differes from the inverteds. The fast direction changes really slow the train down and the track sounds really rough (smooth ride, just sounds bad). Mist machines made the ride memorable, as did the surprisingly step first drop.
Since it was nearby, MAntis was next. It was only noon at this point and I felt I just might get that elusive "all roller coasters in one day" tag (I didn't count the Woodstock Express or Gemini Jr. I would rather have someone with me to ride those). Longest wait at 1.5 hours, I also was highly disappointed. I had been on Shockwave at SFGAdv (before it was moved and rechristened Batman The Escap), but that was long ago. The first drop and loop were nice, but I was uncomfortable because I'm at just the right leg length that on the way up, I clicked one quarter of an inch above the point where my feet would be flat on the floor, so I was on the balls of my feel the entire trip. Besides being uncomfortable, I just didn't think much of hte overall feel of a standup.
MF was next and after 1.25 hours, I was on and the ride had to be reset while I was in teh station(!). I'm afraid of heights, so the anticipation was killing me, and this didn't help any. The first hill is surprisingly smooth and the top was a gentle curve. Fast and smooth, but I felt that it lacked something for me. I attribute that to my love of airtime and loops. Still, an excellent ride I muust go back to.
Wildcat brings back memories of older ones I had been on (poarticularly at RYe PLayland NY) and I love the old classic, but intense feel. I don't recall the other ones with a similar design being so steep, but maybe that's just age. I went for lunch and got my hotel room at this point.
Coming back, I saw Gemini Red open, so I made a quick beeline there and realized that I only had a handful of coasters left to hit. Nice ride, though Red is a little disadvantaged with the longer turn into the lift hill and then the outside of the first turn. I think I liked Red better, but it's close.
Corkscrew was open and I got on. Surprisingly steep drop and the hill is kind of cool. The vertical loop was nice before the double corkscrew ending.
Looking at the 4:30 time, I checked the map for the remaining coasters and went over to Raptor. As a huge fan of B&M ever since I got on the second Batman: The Ride, and noticing the slightly different layout here (correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't this built at nearly the same time - second Inverted design the year after the very first BTR?). The Cobra Roll instead of hte second vertical loop was a different feeling and the high speed helix feels a lot more intense than the end of BTR. Awesome ride.
Got lost and eventually found my way to Blue Streak. Close second for most disappointing ride. The seat divider does not comfortably sit my larger body type, and the restraint actually was to tight for my hip pouch to fit over it, so I had *TOO* much room Considering the steep drops of the classic design, I was uncomfortable all the way through. I should have enjoyed it much more. Oh, well.
Disaster Transport was last, but was not working (Rats!), so I got on the ferris wheel and took loads of pictures. I came back down and DT was open, so I got right on. The theming doesn't really make much sense, and the closed off area inside felt strange, but once on the ride, the theming is very cool. I'm inclined to ask if the ride really is a coaster or a bobsled in the dark? It's a debatable point, but it doesn't really strike me as a real "coaster" as we know it, unless bobsleds are classified as coasters now?
Anyway, I went to the Force and closed out my first day with some shopping. Good thing too, since my shoulders and chest were sore (partly from the overnight trip).
I'll skip the day I went through Challenge Park and the golfing. :)
On Wed, I felt that I did the major reasons to be at the park and took it easy. Magnum to start off the day. :P Another go round on the Blue side of Gemini (the Red had a lot of problems, it seems) and Mean Streak. I took a whirl on the Troika afterwards. (Note: I thought I had been on it at Busch Gardens Tampa thinking that it was similar to the Sandstorm. It's actually a little less intense, so I didn't feel nauseaous partly through the ride.)
MF was next, and the rain started. It lightened up when I got on, and it still is quite a rush. I was on Kumba during heavy rain, so I didn't think the extra speed would be very comfortable with rain pelting you.
The next stop was another fear conquering attemp with the Power Tower. Went up and was surprised at the gentle boost. It felt less intense than the Doom's Fear Fall at IOA. Awesome view. I tried waiting for the power drop side when one tower broke down. Hissing air should not be heard for more than five minutes. When I heard the ride ops say "Clear the tower and then clear the queue," I was not exaclty the calmest person in the world. (I was still trying to convince myself that I could ride it if everyone else can. Acrophobia is a pretty irrational fear, but I have to constantly soothe my fears on the flat rides.)
I took the time for lunch and then went to see the Imax movie with Jordan. Wouldn't you know that I picked hte day off for the live pre-show. Maybe next time.
Power Drop was ready again, so I locked myself in and tensed up. Those 15 seconds up there is an eternity for me, but the drop felt anti-climactic. I honestly thought the Freefall (first gens) were more intense. It was as if the safety features gave you a slow drop and then pushed you down once you got rolling.
I headed back to Mean Streak, then enjoyed the Fantasy show. Also got an Elephant Ear (never saw them before. Tasty but my arteries were screaming at me.)
I did lots of walking around and saw them building the new attraction for Halloweekends near the Swings. I found myself taking a nice ride on the Cadillac cars, then a trip on the Cedar Downs. Another MF ride followed, then Power Tower up, and a return trip to Magnum. I happened to see the signs for the Paddlewheelboat Excursions. Cute ride, and the close up view of MF as you pass under hte second/third hills (between the tunnels) is interesting. I rounded out the day on another two trips through MF.
OVerall, the park deserves the rave reviews the park and the rides get. I loved being asked how my ride was as I got back into the station, and consideering my home park's ride conditions, it's nice to see old rides in good condition (ie Rolling Thunder and GASM - both need TLC, and even BTR could use some care).
Magnum is my fave non-looping steel, but Nitro and S:ROS at SFNE will bothhave a chance soon. :)
Now, if only I can get more vacation time and get my friends together so I can get back to the point *SOON*. :) Can't wait!