Entertaining SFGAdv Story

Wednesday, September 10, 2003 8:40 AM
"Not-So-Great Adventure"

It kept my attention for the duration of the article. The writer gives a perspective that seems as if he lies somewhere between GP and park enthusiast. It gives some insight to how non-enthusiasts see things.

Just thought I'd share :)


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www.coasterimage.com
Dorney Park Visits in 2003: 16

*** This post was edited by Lord Gonchar 9/10/2003 12:43:47 PM ***

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003 8:58 AM
Highly entertaining, indeed! Enlightening as well, as I'll be at the park in October. No Q-Bot for me!

Later,
EV
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"Everybody has desperate days of quiet questioning.
Everybody has times when they feel like they don't fit in."
- Color Theory, So Many Ways, 2001

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003 9:00 AM
Didn't quite match my experience, but funny anyway. Yet another argument for a total revamp of the hiring, retaining and management practices of Six Flags. I also find it funny how much trouble people have with Q-Bots ... not because I've experienced that situation, but because if you're going to pay to cut in front of me, I feel that you get what you deserve ;) (yes, I'm bitter ... )

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Brett
Resident Launch Whore

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003 9:04 AM
"For example, at one coaster the attendant kept yelling at guests to exit to the left, and couldn't figure out why they kept getting out on the wrong side. She never seemed to clue in that her left was the guests' right."

I couldn't stop laughing when I read that.

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This space will forever be dedicated to Hercules-R.I.P. 1989-2003

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003 9:16 AM
he sums up my experience.

my worst memories of that park is getting in line for batman the ride as our first ride. the line didnt look too long, and looked like a nice theme. 2 hours and 15 minutes later we make it to the station and see why they had such awfull intervals. the ride operator was argueing with the qbot people and dispatching the trains. the intervals must have been 4 minutes.

or how about waiting 2 hours for the white water ride? we actually had a crew of troublemakers behind us for about 5 minutes who then decided to go through the entire line without waiting. we stopped the one guy for a bit of time giving him some trouble but let him pass. quite a site to see 6 grown people walking through and entire que of people.

or riding viper and being treated to the most violent ride of my life. taer it down!

the park layout is awfull, confusing and seriously lacks flat rides. we had a lot of trouble finding the entrance to rides, the park and even the exit to the season pass entrance. "it was right here wasnt it?" ask an employee and he takes us to the front entrance. sigh.

the only good experiences i had there was the first night, nitro's crew was dead on. they launched the next train right as the previous dropped over the hill. they were racing each other up the station to see who could check the restraints fastest. very fast, very good.

that same night, the crowds cleared and we got on medusa, rolling thunder and nitro all within 2 hours including a trip to superman's que and the trip accross the park.

the second day we left after 5 hours and being on 4 terrible rides and que experiences.

it made me sad and sick writing this, my experience was that bad. it was the worst park i have ever been too.

/ --------------------------------------
http://www.eightdotthree.net

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003 9:27 AM
A great story. While 12 coasters is inviting, after this I have second thoughts about ever going there. If I did, I would more than likely pay for the VIP pass just so I can get out quickly.

Does anyone know if other SF parks plan on offering this VIP pass? I checked SFGAm's site but found nothing referring to a pass as described in the story.

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Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." - Albert Einstein

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003 9:44 AM
That's good stuff. Clearly there are two fundamental problems at a great many (but not all) Six Flags parks:

1) The employees suck. They're not well trained and not friendly. That's what you get out of high school kids as ride operators, in my opinion.

2) Queue management as a revenue stream only makes the problem of inefficient rides worse. The Disney and Univeral systems are great. Heck, even Cedar Point's low-tech Freeway works better than this. All of the above are also free.

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Jeff - Webmaster/Admin - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog
Blogs, photo albums - CampusFish
What time does the water show start?

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003 9:44 AM
Okay...

I can completey understand the author's complaints from an operations standpoint... it always pisses me off that I have to wait in a ridiculous line to purchase a ticket to get into a Six Flags park... it pisses me off when coasters are run at less than full capacity on busy days... and that whole Q-Bot thing irritates the hell out of me (if you pay to get into the park, they have no right to charge more money for quicker access to the rides- it should either be like Disney does or nothing at all)... but really, is Great Adventure THAT bad?

You would think this park was something deemed too horrible to be a part of hell!

I have been going to this park practically all of my life (25 years now), and while I can't say that the place has always been fantastic, I think that it is better than it has been in years.

Medusa. Batman: The Ride. Superman. Not exactly original coasters, but if a park is going to have "clones", these are the ones to have. And lets not forget Nitro and The Chiller- two entirely unique, world-class coasters (three if you count Chiller twice). That's five (or six) VERY good coasters- more than most Six Flags, Cedar Fair, Paramount and even Disney parks have. While some may need a little paint, I hardly think that takes away from the overall ride experience! Next to SFOG, I think that SFGAdv has one of the nicest settings of any SF park... how that lakeside setting can be described as anything less than charming is beyond me. No family rides? I suppose that beautiful ferris wheel, two big log flumes, rapids ride, Zierer coaster, Runaway Train, Skull Mountain and one of the last operating sky rides don't matter? Oh yeah, and TWO kiddie sections!

I'll agree, no Six Flags park is perfect (at least none of the ones I have been to). But I would hardly consider a park like SFGAdv to be deficient, either. I love their steel coasters and I love the atmosphere. You simply can't go to a place like this and expect it to be Disney or Universal, because you will be disappointed. But if you go, willing to trade some eye-candy for some more thrill rides, then you will be pleasantly surprised. Of the five SF parks I have been to, this and SFOG are without a doubt the best ones.

If you ever plan on going, don't expect perfection... but don't let the quibbles of narrow-minded people keep you from enjoying a nice park, either.

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-Rob
A.C.E. member since 1990
Posting @ Coasterbuzz since 2000
E.C.C. member since 2002

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003 9:51 AM
Wow, we got on Batman, Skull Mountain, Blackbeard, Runaway Train, Medusa, Viper, Rolling Thunder, and Nitro twice by noon. The longest wait (an extra train in one train/one side op) was front seat for Rolling Thunder... after we had already walked-on the front seat of Nitro and Batman earlier. Of course, by the time we got around to Superman and Robin later in the day, each had about 45 minutes to an hour wait. GASM was about 5 minutes and we got on Nitro again in about 15 minutes.

It was a pretty decent day out, crowds weren't bad, and SFGAdv became my second favorite SF park after SFGAm and a top 10 park. Right now, I wouldn't even have to think "Dorney or GAdv?" if I was going to be in the area. Great Adventure had great rides (only park besides IOA with three of my top 20 steelies), good food, fun ride ops (Blackbeard!! ;)), and a unique atmosphere.

-Danny, loves Viper (for now) and noting that The Matrix is a Warner Bros. film
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Coaster Insomniacs- Coastin' the Night Away

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003 10:17 AM
Rob Ascough, the author never criticized the coaster collection and for the price you pay to get into GAdV, $49 -$50? i should expect an awfull lot.

long lines are a given, cedar point has long lines, kennywood has long lines. but its when the lines are long because of inefficient workers, bad qbot management and line jumpers that i get upset. all of these things could be taken care of if sf would get off their bum and maybe dealt with peoples issues. the customer service desk is always filled with upset people.

inefficient rides are easy to deal with, cedar point and other great parks manage it, why cant six flags. maybe some rewards for reaching optimal capacity, good management at each ride etc.

ive never used a qbot, but ive seen the problems they cause. every ride needs a seperate qbot operator. someone who deals with incoming qbots so the ride ops can do what they are there to do. each ride needs a qbot entrance, you can not use the exit as the qbot entrance. it doesnt work.

line jumpers. have someone at the front of each que line, who watches the line and posts the wait time. this solves two problems, you get a fairly accurate wait time posted, and you force people to wait their turn, cause if the line op sees you, your gone.

all of these suggestions go back to staffing, they need a good amount of staffing to run a nice park. and they dont have that. people are paying $20 per qbot, 4 qbots and you pay someone's salary for a day who is making $10 / hour.

im still working on a letter to sf to let them know of the various issues with their parks i visited this year.

/ --------------------------------------
http://www.eightdotthree.net

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003 10:35 AM
What a well-written editorial by a wonderfully-witted author. I can definitely relate to his account, both at SFGAdv and SFA.

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-Mike Buscema

'No matter how skilled the designer is, every time we push the envelope we learn new things about coaster design.' --Dana Morgan
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Wednesday, September 10, 2003 10:40 AM
I completely disagree with the Q-Bot system, and can't fault the author for his complaints about it.

First of all, while admission is $50.00, the author did not pay that much to get in. While it doesn't really matter, I just want to point out that he made it clear that he only paid half of that. There are so many SF discounts out there that only the most clueless of people would ever go to a SF park and pay full price.

The author of the article made a big deal about the Q-Bot ordeal, which wasn't exactly fair because that is a service that is offered above and beyond what the park charges for regular admission. The author chose to pursue a Q-Bot (and ended up paying a ridiculous $50 for some VIP thing that I never heard of), which is optional to the whole SF experience and therefore should not weigh positively or negatively on the park itself.

I'm not saying that the author is wrong for his opinions regarding the park, but it seems to me that he spent a heck of a lot of time on the whole Q-Bot issue and seemed tainted by that for the remainder of his day at the park.

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-Rob
A.C.E. member since 1990
Posting @ Coasterbuzz since 2000
E.C.C. member since 2002

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003 10:41 AM
"but only one was running due to the accident that stranded several guests the week before. "

He's wrong, because Robin was the one in the "accident", and it is the one that was running.

This guy dissed Six Flags wayyyyyy too much.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003 10:43 AM
Gee, the guy didn't ride Viper? I wonder why? :)

He's also wrong about Chiller when he says only one side was open because rides got stranded on it a week earlier. Robin was, and still is, the only side of Chiller open this year.

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Sue Barry
CoasterSue@aol.com

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003 10:46 AM

eightdotthree said:


people are paying $20 per qbot, 4 qbots and you pay someone's salary for a day who is making $10 / hour.


Well, its not quite that simple... Q-Bots cost money to operate and maintain, and so do the machines that you plug them into. And don't forget the computers that power it all. And the people who have to be paid to "sell" them, and the people that who have to get paid to listen to people ***** about why they don't work. I doubt the sale of eight Q-Bots per day takes care of one person's daily wages.

I do, however, agree that SF in general has many staffing issues, and if they are able to wrestle that problem to the ground, they will automatically fix a lot of their problems.

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-Rob
A.C.E. member since 1990
Posting @ Coasterbuzz since 2000
E.C.C. member since 2002

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003 10:55 AM
Gee, after reading that (and laughing hysterically) I'm really looking forward to our visit next month.
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Wednesday, September 10, 2003 11:05 AM
robb, its a start, because they are allready running the qbot system with or without a person per ride dealing with it and im sure with the amount of people in line everyday for a qbot they are profiting from the system.

but as it stands, their current system does not work and needs revision. my suggestion is to help fix the problem and i think its something that needs dealing with as ive witnessed the same exact problems at every park. the ride ops can not be dealing with parsing people form the qbot line and run the ride. its not feasable and not conductive to good employee attitude.

i could go on and on. every little thing piles on top of the other to make for a bad experience for everyone. bad qbot management deals to unhappy customers who complain to the ride ops who hear it all day everyday. unhappy ride ops create slow loads and even more unhappy customers who complain even more and create even more unhappy ops.

/ --------------------------------------
http://www.eightdotthree.net

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003 11:06 AM
I have *heard* that the LIMs were ordered for the Batman side of Chilla, and that there was faint hope that the ride might have had both sides operating before Labor Day this year....when that didn't happen, the plan was to get both sides operating by early next year, and now apparently there are new *issues* regarding the LIMs and their longevity...perhaps they should look into a different supplier? I certainly don't know much about THAT aspect, but I do know they fixed the WRONG side...;)

Either way, a ride on the topless Chilla is NOT to be missed...:)

Viper, despite Danny's claims to the contrary, is truly AWFUL....go to Vegas for the coaster that *works* in the T-n-D, and doesn't kick you in the neck nearly so much...(which is high praise for a Togo, LOL)...
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"Ju-ju-just like the bad guy, from Lethal Weapon 2, I've got diplomatic immunity, so Hammer you can't sue, can't touch me...." The Peter Griffin Rap

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003 11:06 AM
Heh, I almost added a line to the orginal post that said "please don't point out the inaccuracies".

I think the incorrect info makes the article the great read it is. This is as close to how the "average" park goer sees things as we're going to get (in entertaining article form, at least). It's the type of article I find most entertaining and informative.

As far as my feelings on SFGAdv - let's just say I've been there three times in the past 13 months and still don't have photos of every coaster because I just can't stay there very long before I want to leave.

EDIT - and I didn't think Viper was nearly as bad as many people have led me to believe. (what's the opposite of anticipointment? Andisappointment?) It certainly wasn't *good*, but I'd take 5 laps on Viper (SFGAdv) over 1 on Flashback (SFMM)

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www.coasterimage.com
Dorney Park Visits in 2003: 16


*** This post was edited by Lord Gonchar 9/10/2003 3:52:01 PM ***

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Wednesday, September 10, 2003 11:26 AM
sf gadv was part of an 8 day trip to 4 parks and virginia beach for myself and my girlfriend.

that second day there we were both so dissapointed, and really sad. i get the same feeling while im typing this. we couldnt wait to get to the beach the next day. there was not one gratifying thing about the entire second day there. and the only thing that saved our first night there was the dwindling crowds that let us get on medusa, rolling thunder and nitro.

/ --------------------------------------
http://www.eightdotthree.net

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