Evening at Elitch's 6/24/02

Associated parks:

Earlier this summer, a work-related trip to Boulder CO with some free time in the evening presented an opportunity to rent a car and ride some of the roller coasters in the Denver area.

For a Monday evening, the crowd was pretty heavy with a 15 minute line at the ticket window. I had an 8 dollar discount coupon in hand, but a lucky break occurred when a season pass holder in the line held a 12 dollar admission coupon good for 6 people, and he found the 6 nearest people (including myself) and offered to get us all in for that deep discount. Great start to a fun evening!

Weather: Partly cloudy and about 85 degrees at 6 PM start time, dropping to the 70s in the evening.

Positive: Attractive park in generally clean condition, above average (although not spectacular) coasters, and accommodating line queues after closing.

Negative: Ride malfunctions, restaurants closing early, small land area with not much room for expansion or very tall rides, not enough ticket takers to prevent lines at ticket window.

Rides Closed: Shipwreck Falls boat ride (drought, water restrictions?), maybe some flat rides. All coasters were operating.

After walking through the attractive entry way, the first ride I headed for was the Mind Eraser. Wait was about 45-50 minutes with two trains running.

Mind Eraser 7/10

Seeing the heavy crowds, I expected this to be a one ride per coaster evening and went for the front row. This was my first Vekoma SLC ride and I found it enjoyable, and felt a little gray-out going down the first drop and through the zero g roll and the heartline inversions (maybe it was the sun angle which disoriented me somewhat!). The ending was a little rough, but not painful.

Boomerang was nearby so I decided to go there next to add to my coaster count. Wait was about 20 minutes.

Boomerang 5/10

Typical boomerang ride, with a seat in the middle producing a small amount of head banging. After the ride finished its circuit and toward its slow return to the station, it stopped about 10-20 feet short of its loading position, keeping us on the ride for another 10 minutes.

Next I searched for a place to eat, but its main restaurant was closed. Finally I found a BBQ stand and enjoyed a smoked turkey leg (one of my favorite park/stadium foods when its available).

With dusk approaching, I was ready to ride some wood, and headed to Twister Two. (Is this the newest wood coaster in the US that was painted white?) Wait was about 45 minutes. There appeared to be a short downtime as about 20 riders ahead of me exited the line, but the ride remained running.

Twister Two (7/10)

From the front row, I enjoyed this ride, especially for its unpredictable layout. The kink and curve leading to the first drop enhanced its speed and most of the turns that followed were smooth with occasional air time. The frequent brakes over the course hindered the ride's continuity, but the coaster's long course still provided some good thrills.

With less than an hour to the 10 pm closing, I had to skip the Sidewinder shuttle loop in favor of trying out the new Flying Coaster. This line ended up being about an hour long, due to about 20 minutes of downtime. Fortunately, the ride restarted and all who were in line were still permitted to ride, even though it meant operating the coaster beyond its closing. I got on around 10:15 PM and there were more people in line behind me.

The Flying Coaster (7/10)

I picked the outside right position, and Flying Coaster delivered a short but fun ride. After the gentle upward spiral lift, much of the course after the first drop and the zero g roll was a blur as the compact design had almost no straight track, and darkness had set in. The sharp curves put a little pressure on shoulders and the hips, but I would not consider it a painful ride.

This must be the smallest and most urban Six Flags park in the chain, and based on the Monday crowd, Elitch must draw a ton of guests during weekends. At least for a four hour stay, having a small park with fewer coasters is an advantage. Although none of their coasters make my top 10 list, they don't have any terrible rides and seem to be a popular after work destination for Denver's residents. Overall, a short but fun visit.

Do you know how long the Sidewinder wait was? If it was shorter than an hour, you should have rode that then went on Flying Coaster, because they will let everyone ride that is waiting in line. So you could still get in line for Flying Coaster at 9:55pm and ride.

Good Times!! Good Times!!
CCI Lives On!!!!

Based on the crowds that evening, I would guess that Sidewinder had about a 20-30 minute wait. I'm not sure how far down the stairs the line extended. Even though they ran the Flying Coaster beyond 10 pm, the queue lines were roped off before then, and I didn't want to risk missing the newest ride and a unique experience for the familiarity of a shuttle loop. If they would have announced during the malfunction that the Flying Coaster was going to stay down for the evening, then I would have tried Sidewinder. I praise their efforts in getting the Flying Coaster running again that late in the evening. I'm sure this won't be my last visit to Elitch's.
What exactly are teh cars for TFC. It sounds like a fun ride.


Why didn't you go on Sidewinder? That's a great ride. As a matter of fact, that is the best backwards loop I have ever been on (plus the padding is great!)

You want to know what Millenium Force is on a scale from 1-10? Oh, that's easy. A bajillion out of ten.

Good TR. I wasn't working that night, but I'm glad you had a good time at our little park. However, you should not have missed Sidewinder. It is a very fun ride with a great launch, incredible airtime over the first drop, and great G's through the loop. I would pick it over TFC any day. Also, Twister does not have any brakes on its course. What you heard were probably just the anti-rollbacks. It is my favorite ride in the park even though it is a little rough. Anyway, glad you had a good time and be sure to visit us again if you're out here.

Edit: you are right about that barbecue stand. THe food they serve there is the only stuff worth eating at the park.

"Standing in line to see the show tonight and there's a light on, heavy glow, by the way I tried to say I'd be there."-The Red Hot Chili Peppers

*** This post was edited by Mustang on 9/9/2002. ***

The cars for TFC are single cars that hold 4 passengers a piece(two on each side). They tilt down in the station and you stand up into them. The nice thing is that you lay complelty vertical instead of the normal way on flying coasters. But they are rough.

I don't believe Shipwreck Falls closes because of the drought, but it is possible. I think the drought might have something to do with Disaster Caynon not being open often either.

BTW-Did you get to visit Lakeside?
Yes, I visited Lakeside and enjoyed that park, including multiple walk-on rides on the Cyclone. I posted a Trip Report on that visit as well; it probably got pushed back to page 2 on this forum.

As for the closure of Shipwreck falls, I made an educated guess of the drought being the reason, knowing how dry Denver was in June with all the forest fires. Hope you get a good snow pack this winter!

Good snows are bitter sweet. If we get a lot of snow it will help the drought and be good for skiing, but it also creates pot holes in the streets and causes acidents.

It could easily be the drought, I have seen the "lake" below it empty a few times this year.

I am not positive about the weather that day, but if it is cold/rainy Shipwreck falls will close because of low ridership. It could also have been a mechanical problem or a staffing shortage. Disaster Canyon has had numerous problems with pumps and boats this year, so pick either one of those and you have your reason why it was closed. Shipwreck falls does not use much water, and Disaster Canyon uses the same water all season, so the drought was most likely not the reason for the closures.

"Standing in line to see the show tonight and there's a light on, heavy glow, by the way I tried to say I'd be there."-The Red Hot Chili Peppers

Man I'm surprised that Sidewinder is such a popular ride at SFEG,when SFA had Python(back in the adventure world days) the coaster was always a walk on usually with my friends & I being the only ones riding it.

As for Shipwreck falls I don't think it would be closed in overcast weather because when I visited SFA in august all the water rides were running and it was overcast all afternoon.

Anyway that seemed to have been a good visit you had at SFEG,maybe that park isn't as bad as most everyone makes it out to be.

ANY park can be fun if you have the right attitude about it...:)
Well, in my opinion, there is nothing too wrong with SFEG, but there is nothing that stands out. It could always be better.

There is nothing wrong with SFEG. Sure it has it's faults, but so does every other SF park, and yes, that includes SFMM.

SFEG has many outstanding things, such as the great ride employees.;)

"Standing in line to see the show tonight and there's a light on, heavy glow, by the way I tried to say I'd be there."-The Red Hot Chili Peppers

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