Dorney (Talon) and SFGAdv (Nitro) 8/24/01

Tuesday, August 28, 2001 7:22 AM
Day one of our insane coaster trek landed us in New Jersey first after flying into Baltimore from Cleveland. Let me begin by saying that I'm irritated that every road north of the Maryland border has a toll.

I knew Great Adventure had the most ridiculous parking price anywhere, but that didn't make it any easier to take. $10 is too much. Given the fact that our passes would get us in, I just put up with it.

SFGAdv is a really cool park overall. It's very well wooded and well kept. It's also huge and spread out. Our goal was to ride the three B&M's and get back on the road toward Dorney.

First off, Nitro certainly lives up to the hype. What an outstanding ride. The view across the Garden State from the top is breathtaking. The ride overall felt more like Millennium Force than, say, Apollo's Chariot. The hops weren't bad, but I think the ride is more about speed than air. The ride ops, while loading quickly, need to do a better job getting people on the platform, as the front row line blocks everyone else and trains end up going out half-empty.

Batman was next in line, and I still love that small compact design. What's the deal on the noise? Are they using knobby wheels on that thing because it's deafeningly loud! It ended up being our longest wait, again because they couldn't load the entire train. What was different here was that the crew wouldn't dispatch until it was full. The queue was the only nasty place in the park. A junkyard theme is not an excuse to leave trash all over the place.

Medusa was last. What a beautiful looking ride. But here's a pickle... who approved the theme? "Medusa Mining Company?" It's like someone came up with a name then had to retrofit it into a western theme. Duh. In any case, I liked this floorless much better than Batman at SFWoA. The zero-g roll and the flat spin after the mid-course are killer. It made me realize just how indifferent I am about Batman.

That was it. I liked the park, and would have liked to have stayed longer, but we were on a schedule, not a track record blitz. It was rather crowded, as I expected, and it took three hours to bang out those three rides.

Back on the road, we arrived at Dorney by 6 p.m. $6 to park, get tickets from guest relations with our Cedar Point passes, and we're on our way. Talon was pretty amazing to see, particularly noting how fast it was in the last part of the ride, but that was for later. After feeling a spot of deja vu on the main midway (haven't I seen that carousel before? ;)), we headed to Laser for our first ride.

I was blown away. This is the first true Anton creation I've been on that wasn't a Wildcat. The portability aspect of the ride was genius, and the lack of OTSR's made it an oustanding and powerful little ride.

From there we went to Steel Force. Believe the hype... this is the way an out-and-back hyper should be. The turn around is perfect and fast, the transitions are smooth and retracting seat belts do make airtime comfortable. After getting off, I gave a swift kick to the jimmies of all enthusiasts who cry about mid-course braking on the ride. It doesn't matter, the air is still superb.

On to the Thunderhawk, a crazy woodie! Lots of fun, though you need to keep your back off those nasty seatbacks. This ride would have been a 15-minute wait, even though they were only running one train. Some moronic manager decided they needed the other, but that process takes 20 minutes by the time they've done all of the blocking tests. It was totally unnecessary. I was severly irritated.

Off to Hercules. Given its relationship to Mean Squeak, I was not optimitic. As it turns, out, it's a very powerful and fast ride, even with the drop trim, but the layout is just so uninteresting. Good use of terrain. Haven't I seen that light show screen and control booth somewhere before?

Wild Mouse was a bit of a wait, but I love those Mack mice. Another enthusiast crybaby ride because of the trims, but they were only used in two places, and lightly at that. The first was following the straight-away, the second on the level below. Good times. I love these rides.

Finally, it was back to Talon. The crowds all went to watch the light show, and Talon was a ten-minute wait. Having watched the thing grow up on RideZone, I thought I knew this ride. Boy was I wrong.

Talon is the best paced inverted coaster ever created. Walter and Claude deserve a Nobel Prize for the thing. The second half of the ride, from the S-curve on, is fast, disorienting, low to the ground and incredible. Two laps in the back left seat. I hate to say it, but I have to put this one above Raptor. It really is that good.

Overall Dorney is a nice park. All of the rides are quality and it's very well run (except for that one snafu). Cedar Fair investors should be proud of that property, because it is an outstanding park with a great assortment of rides and entertainment.

Next stop, BGW...

Jeff - Webmaster/Admin -
"From the global village... in the age of communication!"
Watch the grass grow!

Tuesday, August 28, 2001 8:23 AM
Since you liked Laser, you need to travel down south to SFOG and ride Mindbender. You will LOVE it.  It holds it's own against all the new steel coasters that are being built. It is one of my all time favorites.
Tuesday, August 28, 2001 8:35 AM
I'm glad you liked SFGadv and yes the themeing is really bad for Medusa and makes no sense whatsoever.  I think I guess they found a story about Medusa being in a abandoned mine and worked it up from there but it's still weird.  Anyway, I agree that Medusa is better than BKF.  BKF seems to be lacking any really cool elements to it and the ending isn't as cool as Medusas and you gotta love the zero g-roll.  Yes the prices are very high at this park so it's best to avoid spening any money (I'm extremely frugal at SF parks).  I liked Nitro it was good, but it wasn't the best of the two hypers I have ridden (the other being SROS at SFNE).  Maybe some time I'll be able to try out Talon as I am amazed by the difference between Vekoma and B&M inverts.
sigh, SFNE goes "tiny" for 2001
Tuesday, August 28, 2001 8:43 AM
Jeff Said:From there we went to Steel Force. Believe the hype... this is the way an out-and-back hyper should be. The turn around is perfect and fast, the transitions are smooth and retracting seat belts do make airtime comfortable

I agree with you here Jeff.I seriously enjoyed Steel Force and, it was my very first hyper so, maybe that had something to do with it,lol.Nice to see you had a decent time at both parks.

from the mouth of my Enthusiast in training.. Mom, I Wuv Grade Abenture!

Tuesday, August 28, 2001 10:04 AM
Where did you ride Thunderhawk at?  Please say towards the front.  If you thought it was crazy, you should try it up there.  Insane air is several spots.

One thing you didn't mention about Talon was the sound, or lack thereof.  Quite a difference from the new roaring Raptor.

As for my rides on Nitro, I thought it was a good ride, but nothing extraordinary.  I'm not giving up on it, however.  I think I got a two rides on a dead train and I'm more than willing to give it another chance.

Good TR.  Can't wait to read your thoughts on the VA parks.

Scott W. Short

Tuesday, August 28, 2001 10:57 AM
I hope to hit both of these parks next Summer. I am now, more than ever, looking forward to Dorney. I knew that there was a reason that Steel Force keeps showing up in so many "Top 10 Lists."

Four B&M's in one day, you lucky dog!

"X" marks the spot in 2001!

Tuesday, August 28, 2001 11:00 AM
Good trip report. I just got back awhile ago from going to those two parks and agree with you about Nitro being more about speed than air, it's still a great ride though. Anyway, sounds like you had fun. 
Tuesday, August 28, 2001 11:23 AM

Jeff said:

Wild Mouse was a bit of a wait, but I love those Mack mice.

Just wanted to correct you on this, Dorney's Wild Mouse is not a Mack, it is a Mauhre Sohne(sp?).


TALON rocks! Peace out!

Tuesday, August 28, 2001 11:43 AM" target=_blank>Watch the grass grow!

*** This post was edited by Jeff on 8/28/2001. ***

Tuesday, August 28, 2001 11:46 AM
Crap... another bug, and now I can't edit. Crap!

Anyway, the layout is remarkably similar, if not exactly like, the layout on BGW's Mack. Interesting!

Yes, Talon is very quiet, especially after riding Batman earlier that day. If you were standing on the midway not facing the ride, you'd never know it was running. Amazing stuff.

Jeff - Webmaster/Admin -
"From the global village... in the age of communication!"
Watch the grass grow!

Tuesday, August 28, 2001 12:28 PM
Nice TR! I totally agree with you regarding Talon.  I don't understand how anyone can call this thing "forceless".  I actually found Wild Mouse to be very, very tame (after the first set of brakes) than the one at Hersheypark (which runs almost brakeless).  Glad you had a great day.
Rollercoaster -PA
Tuesday, August 28, 2001 12:36 PM
I will second HPWildcat's comment about the Wild Mouse at Dorney.

While it is still a fun ride, it should called the "Tame and Domesticated Mouse" compared to Hershey's Wild Mouse wich is truel wild. Riding Hershey's single (not two people side by side) can be down right painful when you do those hair pin turns... I thought I broke (or at least bruised) a few ribs by the way it threw me around in to the empty seat next to me.

"I wasn't always this cynical, but then I started kindergarden..."

Tuesday, August 28, 2001 2:44 PM

I'm glad to hear that you liked talon so much. B and m did create a real winner. I managed to stop by dorney on friday night about 7 til close, but I didn't see you.

Anyway, how were gradv crowds and were they running most of the flat rides?


Tuesday, August 28, 2001 3:12 PM
Jeff: Glad you had fun, I really liked SFGADV's 3 B&M's, especially Nitro, and wish i could've tried Talon.

"Thank you for challenging the Raging Bull. We hope you enjoy the rest of you're day, here at Six Flags Great America."

Tuesday, August 28, 2001 4:56 PM
Jeff, Talon Grip Of Fear was my faovirtes inverted coasters got to love those inverteds they are the best. Take a look at my trip report. Lets hope the rumors at Valleyfair for there own inverted coaster are correct in 2002.
Tuesday, August 28, 2001 6:01 PM
"Disorienting" is the best word to describe Talon, in my opinion, period. Our group rode it about eight times, then Joe wanted to go take some pictures.

I stood near the carousel and looked at the ride, then suddenly, I realized the picture in my head of the ride was completely different than what it actually is. For some reason, I thought the last hop into the brake run (the one with that cool airtime) sat you facing towards the parking lot. Wrong! Great ride, regardless.

Matt Lynch, maybe he's just screwed up...
Co-Webmaster : Kennywood Boulevard

*** This post was edited by Lynch on 8/28/2001. ***

Tuesday, August 28, 2001 6:37 PM
Talon is awsome and you are right about Dorney being a great park. I have never been to SFGAdv but from what you say it sounds like a good park.

"Roller Coaster favorite ride , let me kiss you one last time" Blink 182

Wednesday, August 29, 2001 4:36 AM
It is amazing to me how your trip report is so simular to how mine was Jeff!! We loved SFGA and I had commented on how loud Batman was, wasnt it almost annoying when you were waiting for Nitro?
I thought the 2nd invert was a nice little extra. Nitro was another one of our favs I even made the comment I liked it better than MF (gasp! ;))
Medusa rocked, I havent been to SFWOA yet so it was my 1st floorless and according to you a better one. SFGA has definitely grown up since I remember it back in the late 70's. I was quite impressed. The scariest ride for me was no doubt the Brooklyn/Queens Expwy and the Verrazano Bridge
(which btw on our coaster thon I had to drive SEVERAL times-I calculated in tolls alone we spent well over 100.00--yikes)
Dorney was just like a mini-CP to me which is why I loved it so much. I agree with every comment about every ride you liked, (except for Lazer-it got my neck big time bad) Talon was beyond awesome, we rode it 10x-I had made the comment that I liked it even better that Raptor (gasp again!) I loved the comment from one of my kids "hey Mom - isnt that Snake River Falls?" The only things that I found errie about Dorney was how quiet it was, and whats up with the pointer finger up instead of thumbs up? Kudos to Cedar Fair for another top notch park, my biggest disappointment is that Talon is so far away!!! =(
Glad you had fun!!

2000 Raptor Crew
2001 Raptor Crew
Po!nter Girl-FOREVER! :)
When the floor's gone, so are you-see you back here in 2 32

Wednesday, August 29, 2001 2:46 PM
Agreements to Jeff's TR:
*I also love Nitro.  It's my #2 steel coaster, behind MF and before SRoS SFNE. 
*SFGAd BTR is INCREDIBLY INSANELY ANNOYINGLY loud.  It also runs like crap.  My least fav of all BTR incarnations.
*Talon is unbelievably good.  I never thought I'd like it as much as I did.  It's one of the biggest surprises for me this year.  The ending is FANTASTIC!  Rode it about 20 times in the 6hr we had at the park.
*Wild Mice rule.
Disagreements to Jeff's TR:
*Medusa is the most lackluster floorless I've ridden.  I don't know why, but it doesn't generate any interesting forces, save awesome 0-G roll.  The drop is weak, and the ending is incredibly tame.  I think BKF runs circles around Medusa...way more interesting and better paced.
*Steel Force is tame compared to Intamins and B&M's.  It's a good ride, ie no roughness, tall, fast, long...but it's a very mild coaster.  I don't have a problem with the brakes, and I really like the ending bunnies a whole lot, but the first half is just there.
*The Wild Mouse at DP *is* overbraked.  Go ride Hershey's Mouse, then you'll see why I, and many others, say this.  Once you've ridden Hershey's, I guess you expect them all to be like that.
That's about it, very entertaining, to-the-point TR.  Look forward to reading the rest!
"No listenin', you hear me?"

*** This post was edited by Legendary on 8/29/2001. ***

Wednesday, August 29, 2001 6:33 PM
Finally, a trip report that looks on the bright side of  everything! Nitro IS an awesome ride with a great view. I agree with you about Batman's noise. Loudest ride i've ever been on.

I have yet to go to Dorney...

Two things make me high: Coasters and music. Oh, and uh, alcohol. And food. And Alcohol.


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