CPlaya 100 Day 3 Park 6 - SFWOA -Does it suck yet?

Associated parks:
None

Friday, July 12, 2002 9:00 AM

ARRIVED: 11ishhh. Got up really late again. Stretch that ishhh a little longer. The drive wasn't bad at all--frankly, if I knew it was so (relatively) close to CP, I might tried slipping over Friday. After all, my itinerary called for me to ride at least seven coasters here...and on a Saturday, no less. I had to park much, much farther from the gate than I had at any other park so far. Judging from the distance I had to walk to enter the park, I was in trouble. Big trouble.

LEFT: Much earlier than I had hoped. A combination of fatigue, heat exhaustion and hunger took its toll.

PARK APPEARANCE/ATMOSPHERE: Definitely an amusement park. Not a theme to be seen--okay, other than "hey, let's build another coaster in the lagoon." Not that I have a problem with that at all...just noting a trend.

The staff was nice enough. Not particularly outstanding (except for the gal who told me there was no FastPass, no FastLane and I couldn't pay her to cut in front of queues for me. She was gracious, very kind, effusively apologetic and even asked if she could call me a medic) but no reason for complaint either.

RIDE QUEUE TIMES: Guess what? For once--FOR ONCE--when I needed it most, I made a game-winning call. What did I do, you ask? Predict the 'Student Day Effect.'

You see, over the past 7 seasons at the home park, the week or two after school lets out is very, very quiet. Why? Aren't kids free to go to hit the coasters? Sure they are....but thanks to their nearby schools, they just went with their classmates. Why would Mom take them again so soon?

SFGAM is too small a park in too large a metropolis and therefore immune. CP has become a 'destination park' and is still a significant distance from a major city, which also renders it immune. But SFWOA sits right on top of Cleveland. Bingo. Student day effect. Just so you know, the same was true in Cincinnati and Louisville.

I walked toward X-Flight first, steeling myself for the worst. I walked and walked and walked. Up to the queue, past row after row of poles, bars and chains up to a point eight feet from the station. Where'd everybody go? Did it just reopen from a breakdown? Does everyone just hate the ride?

I was willing to wait 10 minutes....for the front row. Why not?

BEST EXPERIENCE: The wave pool / Aqua Mosh pit. Don't get me wrong--this isn't a slight on the coasters or the rest of the park. I just needed to get in some water already. Badly.

Of the three parks I visited with wave pools, this was definitely the best. Nice high waves, cold water and inner tubes. A few too many tubes....I was constantly shoving tubers away from me and wondering out loud which person was going to knock me unconscious first. Of course, twenty minutes later, some pre-teen kid in shallower water really does get KOed. Me and my big mouth. Somebody cue the ‘Twilight Zone’ music.

The only thing I didn’t like was the ‘no shirts’ rule. Do I just have to get more naked than I wanna? Is the fabric of my cotton shirt gonna scuff the concrete walls? What? What?

But I’m getting ahead of myself. That didn’t happen until after my coaster-riding attempt.

WORST EXPERIENCE: Waiting for the park to suck like everyone said it would. Waiting for the crowds to come, the lines to get long, an anvil to come falling from the sky...just the assumption that things would go wrong. Never happened.

MOST PLEASANT SURPRISE: The season passholder’s lounge. I was just looking for change for a $20 to rent a locker and stumbled inside. Then I got yelled at for being in an exclusive area...’till I whipped out a SFGAM pass and got offered Diet Coke refills for $1 instead. The cheap liquor looked even better...except I’m a Carbohydrate Addict and naturally had to pass. So I shot some panoramic pics from the deck instead and got on my way.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: Uhhhh....the Double Loop was down? I could have complained about S:UE, but they got that up and running by 4:00 or so. A quick break from moshing, a dash to the locker for my shoes and onto my seventh coaster of the day. Front row, back row, front again. Back to the water. What a day.

COASTER RANKINGS

(First a brief word: All of you--okay, BOTH of you--who read my explanation of the BulletPoint format may have heard me say I would rarely use the ‘Without Flaw’ rating. Obviously, that is not the case. I use it like it’s going out of style. I guess ‘Without Flaw’ actually means ‘nothing really wrong with it’ and Really Quite Good means ‘a little something wrong, but nothing major.’ So this calls for another rating - Impeccable - meaning ‘ it’s so perfect I wouldn’t change an inch of track’.

By the way, no coaster I’ve reviewed to date merits an Impeccable rating IMHO–not even MF. I’d add more hops, crossovers and a helix. Cyclops is the closest to it thus far... but I’d add another 800 feet of hops and helix. Does this define Impeccable more clearly?

Is this really a parenthetical thought if it spans three paragraphs? Hmmmmm. Discuss amongst yourselves.)

WITHOUT FLAW:

X-Flight - Though I might have thought less of it on a busy day. Loading was slowwww and we laid on our backs in the station for a little while, too. But with walk-on lines and a brief first row wait, what am I gonna do? Complain? The horseshoe was cool, the finale just plain crazy...but I can’t say I truly felt as if I was flying. It felt more like being carried around. A low swoop into a below-grade trench and some good face-choppers would have raised the coaster to Impeccable.

S:UE - Whoosh. And whoosh again. I think everyone knows how they work (or sometimes don’t) so I won’t elaborate. I prefer the front row for the visuals and the twisting. The sudden stop on the rear spike wasn’t quite the shock I expected–but then again, this is a Post Deja-Vu response.

The Villain - I was afraid of climbing in another G-train after Gwazi (which must mean ‘man-hater’ in Swahili) but these trains weren’t so bad. Best woodie ever? Heck no. Best CCI I’ve been on? Not even close. But definitely, positively and without question the best non-terrain woodie in a major Ohio theme park. You could argue that SFWOA has the best lumber lineup in Ohio. Sure, you might lose the argument....but you could definitely argue.

REALLY QUITE GOOD: (Less than perfect, but fun)

Big Dipper - in a word, ouch. Then again, I sat in the back row with my hands in the air; so you could arguably say I was asking for it. It was still 18 times more interesting than CP’s Blue Streak–great visuals of the park, decent laterals, better air. Plus,. the original braking levers are still there in the station despite an electronic upgrade. One train operation meant a 15-minute wait.

Raging Wolf Bobs - violent but interesting. I’ve heard a lot of people complain about roughness, but it wasn’t any worse than Big Dipper IMHO...but by now I was riding defensively. I liked the turns quite a bit. A great change of pace from the woodies I had been on up ‘till then.

COLD FRIES BAD

B:KF - IMHO it’s the best B&M in Ohio. Yes, you heard correctly. BEST B&M IN OHIO. You already read about my problems with Mantis and Raptor. So why am I rating this one so low?

Because I’m unfairly comparing it to my #1 steel, I guess. When I see interlocking corkscrews, I think Kumba. When I see corkscrews and a Cobra Roll, I definitely think Kumba. But B:KF is the longest floorless coaster (and frankly, should remain such) for good reason.....it spends too much time Raptoring around. Meandering out of the station, wandering here, wandering there.....why? There’s a touch of the Kumbesque as it comes out of the Cobra Roll, but that’s about it. Think about it–there are floorless coasters out there with two more inversions that are actually shorter. What a waste of steel.

It was cool to ride in the front row with my feet stuck out above the track. It was very, very uncool to ride between two other men who kept brushing their forearm mullets against me. I still shudder to think of it. Sluggish loading and constant stacking didn’t help my opinion much, either.

But don’t think I won’t come back. I will.

SERIAL THRILLER - My first SLC. My first head-banging, teeth-rattling, brain-jarring SLC.

So why was it so smooth? Glassy smooth? Luxury-car smooth? Smooth from the back row smooth? In fact, it was smooth to a fault–so smooth it was forceless. I would have welcomed a little violence if some wicked Gs came with it. Oh, well.

MAJOR NON-COASTER ACTIVITIES: Told you already....wavepool, wavepool, wavepool. And buying souvenirs. Actually, one of the store gals went out of her way to be very helpful. I couldn’t shake the thought I forgot a coaster and we went back and forth trying to count them all. Turns out the one I forgot was Mind Eraser–which I was going to skip anyway (clone).

BEST NON-COASTER RIDE: Would have been the Top Spin--if it was open.

OTHER COMMENTS: I left the park around 7:00. I would have stayed later, but I felt like crap. Turns out I was dehydrated from the heat and all that cheap Diet Coke. On the way to the Extended StayAmerica in Brooklyn, I hit a Chinese buffet / Mongolian BBQ a couple exits away. Mmmmmm....squuuiiiiiid.

Click here for CPlaya 100 Park 5 (CP)

-‘Playa

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The CPlaya 100--6 days, 9 parks, 47 coasters, 2037 miles and a winner.....LoCoSuMo.

+0
Friday, July 12, 2002 9:32 AM
Im confused about your comments on BKF. First you say its the best B&M in Ohio, then you talk about why you rated it so low. Im confused, can you help me out?

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Six Flags Worlds of Adventure Online
Team NL
NITRO ~ The most EXPLOSIVE coaster on the planet!

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Friday, July 12, 2002 9:53 AM

Because IMHO it fails so miserably to live up to its potential.

'Best B&M in Ohio' doesn't stop it from being outgunned by a half-dozen Florida coasters.

-'Playa

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The CPlaya 100--6 days, 9 parks, 47 coasters, 2037 miles and a winner.....LoCoSuMo.

+0
Friday, July 12, 2002 10:34 AM
I'd say it's the best B&M in Ohio, too, but I actually quite enjoyed it. I thought it was just me, CPlaya, but I really don't care much for Raptor anymore.

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No love for the whiners

+0
Friday, July 12, 2002 11:48 AM
No theming? Coyote Creek is awesome. You rated B:KF really low. Oh well. To each their own. I thought X-Flight wasnt worth the wait.
+0
Friday, July 12, 2002 11:49 AM
Nice TR Coasta Playa!

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-Sean Newman
88 coasters in Track Record!! Hypersonic XLC Coaster # 100 in July.
Nitro Laps:105
B+R Launches:28

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Friday, July 12, 2002 12:00 PM
Mo mark, please dont say that! You HAVE to love Raptor. You just HAVE to! Because I dont think I can stand much more of this "agreeing" with you :). ANYONE, who has been on Cubzz for more than about ten days KNOWS about my (anti)obsession with Raptor (and a certain other GREEN B&M).

But I too like B:KF as the best B&M in Ohio. On my last visit, I thought it was the best ride in the park and possibly the best steel in the state (yes, I actually *did* say that). In any case, my three visits to the park were about as wonderful as da Playa's, though I didnt mess with the wave pool (waterpark was never open...not that it made a difference to me).
lata,
jeremy
--who easily rode B:KF 10+ times during his last visit to SFWo***

+0
Friday, July 12, 2002 12:25 PM
I agree with your B:KF rating. It was the exact same feeling I got out of it when I rode it last year.
+0
Friday, July 12, 2002 3:43 PM
Don't worry, J, I seriously dig Hulk...so we're safe (whew).

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No love for the whiners

+0
Friday, July 12, 2002 3:54 PM
.....just read ALL of your TR's from your 100 trip, and boy are my eyes tired ;). Sounds like a fun, if not annoying at times, trip. Glad to see that you made it to #100, eventually.

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Nothing... NOTHING... can prepare you for... the Fourth Dimension!

+0
Friday, July 12, 2002 5:56 PM
Good TR, its great to hear good things once in awhile about SFWOA.

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Deja Vu Count = 18
CoasterWorld

+0
Friday, July 12, 2002 6:42 PM

Two people whose opinions I respect have now given SFWoA a better rating than expected. This is good news to me. I feel "spoiled" sometimes by CP. It's got it's faults, but I've never had an especially bad experience there.

I don't get to many other parks, and when I do go, I keep a very open mind because each park has it's own atmosphere. I've been reluctant to spend the money to go to SFWoA because I didn't want to be disappointed, although it's much improved over Geauga Lake was when I visited in 1994.

Might be time to check it out for myself.

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I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead

+0
Friday, July 12, 2002 7:17 PM

If you do, be sure to check out the Wild Life side that I never set foot in and check back with us.

-'Playa

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The CPlaya 100--6 days, 9 parks, 47 coasters, 2037 miles and a winner.....LoCoSuMo.

+0
Saturday, July 13, 2002 6:20 AM

Hey CPlaya, Love the wave pool at SFWoA. IT's even better than what MiA has.

You mentioned Mongolian Barbeque. Was it BD's Mongolian Barbeque? If not, you've gotta try it sometime.

+0
Saturday, July 13, 2002 6:43 AM
CoastaPlaya, I am sorry that you had such a bad ride on the Big Dipper. I rode in the back last year for the first time in a couple years and wow, it was rough. But if you stay towards the front of the train (first 3 seats), you are in for a smooth-airtime filled ride! And the front seats always have a shorter wait!

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(Coaster Con XXV, SFMM)ACEr Lady: Who would like to be at Cedar Point right now!?
ACErs: YEAAAAAH!!!

+0
Saturday, July 13, 2002 4:48 PM

I also went to SeaWorld on the same trip in 1994, CPlaya, so I would definitely check out the Wild Life side just to see what SF has done to it.

In fact, the trip was specifically FOR Sea World. My son was 8 at the time. We arrived pretty early, and caught all the shows by 3 pm. My son was the driving force as he kept asking about that "place across the lake". So we went, but I warned him it wasn't anything like Cedar Point.

He thought corkscrew was "boring". We both loved Big Dipper. I think we rode it 4 or 5 times. Rode the double loop twice, and Raging Wolf Bob's twice. The only ride I didn't get on was the top spin. It was the first time I'd ever seen one and I would have ridden it except Ian was way too small for it, and I didn't want to leave him standing alone while I rode it. We did everything we wanted to by 8 pm.

Needless to say, there is a LOT more to do now.

.

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I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead

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Saturday, July 13, 2002 6:13 PM
I would have to agree, Batman:Knight Flight is my favorite steel coaster in Ohio, and perhaps the most underrated steel coaster currently operating(along with Riddler's Revenge).

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"Escuse me, can you tell me where the heck the Mystery Lodge is"?

+0
Sunday, July 14, 2002 9:35 AM
Can someone explain what this "Season passholder's lounge" is?
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Sunday, July 14, 2002 11:11 AM

The "season passholder's lounge" is a "restuarant" where only season passholder's can go and sit and relax in nice AC and get discounted drink and food.

+0

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