First Trip to SoCal- SFMM- not too shabby!

Associated parks:
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Wednesday, August 13, 2003 10:27 AM
Note: This is a novel with typos :)

August 8th, 2003

I couldn't believe the day had finally arrived. For three months I had been waiting for my first trip to L.A., and after Knott's I was more than ready for a full day of madness at SFMM.

I was with my friend, and his two relatives so we didn't get into the park quite as early as I hoped (right at 10:15 as opposed to earlier) but I didn't care because I knew I was lucky enough to even be going in the first place. As you come around the curve going up to the park, the first thing you see is X, in all of it's splendor. I honestly could not believe how big it was in person...the track is absolutely massive!

After the long walk to the gate, we headed straight to X. The line was right at the front entrance, where the queue begins. We waited 3.5 hours, through the agonizing one train operation, broken pop machines, but with no substantial breakdowns. By the time I got to the station my friend and I were in disbelief. This had been his second trip to SFMM, and last time he got screwed out of riding X. We opted for the one train extra wait for the front seat. The one thing that surprised me about the station is the fact that the train really could be loaded fast. The rotation of the seats is fairly quick and I really can't believe there is not two train operation for this ride. It seems like the train just sits therewith nothing to do...dispatch for crying out loud! At the moment when I sat in the seat, I knew I was in for a wild ride. The seats and restraints really feel minimal, enhancing the thrill factor. The ride was all a blur. All I can remember distinctly is the first drop and the insane half/half element. If they could fix the unbelievable roughness of this ride, it would defintely be my favorite roller coaster. X really took it out of me, just because it is so over the top. I can't wait to see where this ride type goes next.

After a lunch break, we started working our way around the park in a clockwise motion. We hit Revolution, which was practically a walk on. I sure wish somebody could explain to me what the OTSRs are meant to do on this ride. They really don't hold in any part of your body, and just seem to be "there" in front of your face! Revolution secures Schwarzkoph as the abolutely coolest and innovative ride designer of all time. The ride ran fast, smooth, and the lop is probably one of the most intense vertical loops I have ever experienced. Great, great ride.

Viper is the best run coaster in the park. My jaw practically dropped when I realized this ride runs three trains. And waht a coincidence-three trains, no waiting in line! Viper is the smoothest Arrow I have ever been on, and the first three loops are the quickest succession of elements on a roller coaster. The cars do shuffle a bit, but there is not any major headbanging. Despite the fact that there are some minor trims...this ride hauls. Then at the end the corkscrews are over-trimmed so you get really great hangtime! Viper was a very nice surprise.

We then skipped the hour long wait for Roaring Rapids and went to Psyclone. I got to see yet another DV Monument and another coaster with one train operation! There is absolutely no reason for this ride to have a one train op, it is just unacceptable. There is really no redeeming qualities to Psyclone, it isn't horribly rough, but there is no airtime either!

Despite the neutering Thrill Shot received, I had to try one of these S&S contraptions for the first time. Why does this ride have to have restraints that push so hard into my body I can feel my bones? Although we didn't get to choose our ride mode, I think we did the Abolutely Insane setting twice. It is a fun ride, but with those painful restraints (and scorching hot seats!), I don't tihnk it is worth the money. What were these rides like before?

Next was Gold Rusher, another one train op coaster. You get the most bang for your buck on this ride. GR is a very fast, extremely long, and extraordinarily beautiful coaster. GR wins the best scenery award :).

We grabbes some overpriced water and headed into the RRv queue. What do you know, yet another slow moving line! We waited about an hour for this ride. This ride wins the award for worst station design ever. The station is literally a mob scene on this coaster. We just went into the shortest line, which was for the back. I was surprised when I got into the seat because the srings are very very strong on the seats. The thing kept riding up on me and I had to push it down to get a comfortable setting. RRv is less painful than Mantis, and has a better layout, but there was just something about this ride that didn't do it for me. All of the inversions were perfect, but I guess I am just not big on stand up rides.

The girls went to Tidal Wave while me and my friend headed over to Superman. The ride broke down for about five minutes but practically 1/3 of the people left the line! I really like this queue, even if the walls need to be painted again. The video screen was broken with just the "Video 1" screen up, so it kind of took away from the theming :). The amazing thing about this ride is how quickly the train is loaded and how unexpected the launch is. Very fun ride, but it just can stack up to rides like Xcelerator and TTD any more.

We met back up with the girls and headed up the steep, steep trail to Samurai Summit. I was very impressed with the Japanese gardens and the themed music for this area of the park. All of the relaxing music is worthless once we got in line for yet another one train op coaster, Ninja. Ninja was a great suspended coaster which gives you two nice splashes of water, and makes excellent use of the terrain. It's better than Iron Dragon, but still not as good as Big Bad Wolf.

Time was running short, and we only had time to do coasters so we headed over to Goliath. This ride had the longest, and slowest moving line only topped by X. Luckily enough for us, the ride broke down for 10 minutes in which time 2/3 of the queue left the line! This still left us with a 45 minute wait for the back seat. Goliath is a very impressive coaster. Although the first drop wasn't that exciting, the ridiculous G-forces throughout this ride ARE very exciting. The first drop, the twisting drop, the zero-g hill, the turn into the midcourse brakes, and then the centrifuge are all amazing. Goliath needs to be just a tad bit longer to be a really incredible ride, but it was another winner for me and for SFMM.

We then had time for one more ride, Scream! or Colossus. I just can't resist the curves of a B&M coaster so we opted for the 30 minute wait of Scream! This ride has the shortest queue I have ever seen for a major ride at any park. It's kind of humorous how even SFMM knew this ride wouldn't be hugely popular. This ride had the slowest ops at any Six Flags park I havre ever been to. They had three trains on the track, but they might as well had two at the rate they were dispatching trains. This ride needs a seperate queue for the front, because nobody even is in the line for row 2. The ops threatened to send an empty train if nobosy filled the line for row 2, but nobody knows there is aline because the line for the front is so crowded! Regardless, Scream! was my second favorite ride behind X. I could feel where the trains were shuffling in spots unlike any other B&M ride, but it didn't matter. This ride is perfect. Each inversion is taken at decent speed and executed flawlessly. I actually experineced zero-g on the roll for the first time on a B&M coaster. When the train entered the cobra roll and "snapped" through the inversion, my head did not shift one inch. I was hooked from this point on. The helix is intense, the quick diurection change is one of my favorite non-inverting manuever of any roller coaster. Maybe it was just because it was my last ride of the night, but I am in love with B&M and Scream! (I can't wait to try out the Medusas).

SFMM is an impressive park. The ride collection is equal if not better than CP. The worst problem with this park are the ride ops. The ops at SFWoA are faster for chrissakes! CP will always be my favorite park just because of how fast their ops are, sorry to all you SFMM fanboys. Despite this annoyance, I had a GREAT day at SFMM, I got to ride X, and I only missed one operating roller coaster. I can't wait to return.

Edit: I would also like to add that the park is and was beautiful. I think the middle section of the park with Ninja, Revolution, and Gold Rusher is absolutely gorgeous. The only problem is Scream!: The Parking Lot Coaster.


-------Craig the Coaster Freak
*** This post was edited by Craig the Coaster Freak 8/13/2003 2:28:51 PM ***
*** This post was edited by Craig the Coaster Freak 8/13/2003 4:57:06 PM ***

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Wednesday, August 13, 2003 4:21 PM
Good TR! I want to ride X so bad. There really is no freakin' excuse not to run two trains, I mean they have three for goodness sakes. Also what was the "reason" Psyclone and Ninja didn't run two. Because the lines weren't long is not a reason, that's an oxymoron if you don't run two trains. The lines WILL BECOME LONG if only one train is run. Anyway, they did that with the second seat on Superman at SFNE too because nobody could see it so I ran and got into it and all the other rows were full!
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Wednesday, August 13, 2003 4:37 PM
The thing with SFMM is that the lines themselves did not seem to be long. I can stomach the one train op on rides like Gold Rusher, but even Psyclone and Ninja had lines that were long enough to support two train operation. If CP was running the rides at that park, every line would be empty. Regardless, the park is still awesome with tons of cool rides.

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"No, it offends me as a comedian."

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Wednesday, August 13, 2003 4:41 PM
Too bad you didn't go earlier in the season. When Scream! opened, the operators were as fast, if not faster than Cedar Point's operators.
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Thursday, August 14, 2003 10:08 AM
Craig, glad you had a good time. Our experiences are (kinda) opposite, though. I loathe the rides at SFMM (haven't ridden X yet), with the exception of DejaVu and Ninja, as they just aren't maintained, nor dispatched properly. Yes, they can certainly load their park with top notch (appearing) rides, but the ops and most of the rides blow. Give me a small independant, or a Cedar Fair park anyday. When I get to LA later this year, I will probably skip SFMM (even though I possess a pass, and haven't hit Scream or X) and just hit Knott's again. I'd take Xcelerator and Ghostrider hour and half waits over another torturous day at the mountain.

Glad your trip was a blast, though. My first time was too. ;)
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They're not even sure it's a baby.

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Thursday, August 14, 2003 11:25 AM
Ew. Small independant park anyday? What are you for? Long quite walks on the midway with the occasional Boomerang and Scrambler to enjoy?
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Thursday, August 14, 2003 11:50 AM

kRaXLeRidAh said:
Ew. Small independant park anyday? What are you for? Long quite walks on the midway with the occasional Boomerang and Scrambler to enjoy?

you sound jealous that not everyone loves your precious park.

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Thursday, August 14, 2003 11:52 AM
I'd rather go to a clean, enjoyable park that actually cares whether I have a good time or not instead of a park that cares more about what's in my wallet.
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Thursday, August 14, 2003 12:21 PM
Yeah, all those independent parks like Holiday World, Kennywood, Indiana Beach and Knoebels that only have boomerangs and scramblers are the SUX0R5!!!11

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A day is a drop of water in the ocean of eternity. A week is seven drops.

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Thursday, August 14, 2003 1:15 PM

James said:

kRaXLeRidAh said:
Ew. Small independant park anyday? What are you for? Long quite walks on the midway with the occasional Boomerang and Scrambler to enjoy?

you sound jealous that not everyone loves your precious park.


It's not "my precious park". I consider Knott's more of my homepark than Magic Mountain, but seriously consider what you're going at. Magic Mountain/Great Adventure/Cedar Point vs. Knoebles/The Great Escape. There's more to do and see.

Please, I'm not anymore fanboy than you are.

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Thursday, August 14, 2003 1:15 PM

James said:

kRaXLeRidAh said:
Ew. Small independant park anyday? What are you for? Long quite walks on the midway with the occasional Boomerang and Scrambler to enjoy?

you sound jealous that not everyone loves your precious park.


It's not "my precious park". I consider Knott's more of my homepark than Magic Mountain, but seriously consider what you're going at. Magic Mountain/Great Adventure/Cedar Point vs. Knoebles/The Great Escape. There's more to do and see.

Please, I'm not anymore fanboy than you are.

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Thursday, August 14, 2003 1:16 PM

3r1c said:
I'd rather go to a clean, enjoyable park that actually cares whether I have a good time or not instead of a park that cares more about what's in my wallet.

Yeah, keep thinking that. All parks care about what's in your wallet, that's what they exist for. The caring if you have a good time or not is an act to get you to come back over and over.

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Thursday, August 14, 2003 1:41 PM
Yes, the bottom line is money.... of course it is. We know that. Still, a park should resolve itself to be the best example of customer service in its area. There is NO excuse for any park, be it SFMM or Holiday World to abuse the relationship with the customers/clients/patrons. The fact is we pay for the privilege, but they pay us back with crappy service and attitude. You know as well as I that many of the larger parks are notorious for this. It isn't just Six Flags, nor is it always Six Flags. Just in this reference.

No offense, but your comments are fanboy in nature, even if you vehemently deny that you are one. Personally, I don't care, but you can't protect the honor of a park if it doesn't have one to begin with.
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They're not even sure it's a baby.

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Thursday, August 14, 2003 2:15 PM
How was it fanboy in nature? If this trip report was "First Trip to Jackson NJ - SFNJ not too shabby!", I would have said the exact same things. And what's to protect?
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Thursday, August 14, 2003 2:20 PM

kRaXLeRidAh said:
Ew. Small independant park anyday? What are you for? Long quite walks on the midway with the occasional Boomerang and Scrambler to enjoy?

Well at least one of those parks might have a scrambler that hasn't been closed for the past year... And maybe more than 2 other flat rides as well. :)

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The Trip: CP, SFWoA, PKI, KW, HW, IB, SFGAm, MiA and LeSourdsville too.
8 Days- 10 parks. May 2003

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Friday, August 15, 2003 2:35 PM

kRaXLeRidAh said:
It's not "my precious park". I consider Knott's more of my homepark than Magic Mountain,

Knott's is more of your 'homepark'. Well, based upon your posts on Magic Mountain, one would beg to differ. You jump on anyone that has anything negative to say about your 'precious park', maybe that's why no one takes your posts serious.

After all, you are the same person who posted a negative thread about one of the members of Coasterbuzz aren't you?
*** This post was edited by James 8/15/2003 6:36:24 PM ***

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Friday, August 15, 2003 2:46 PM

James said:

kRaXLeRidAh said:
It's not "my precious park". I consider Knott's more of my homepark than Magic Mountain,

Knott's is more of your 'homepark'. Well, based upon your posts on Magic Mountain, one would beg to differ. You jump on anyone that has anything negative to say about your 'precious park', maybe that's why no one takes your posts serious.

After all, you are the same person who posted a negative thread about one of the members of Coasterbuzz aren't you?


Oh give me a break, I think I'm the only person here who thinks that Six Flags bashing has gotten beyond ridiculous. I mean, not even a single good thing can be read about these parks here. That's just sad. Not even the slightest bit credit to any of them, at least that's what I see.

A fanboy is one that constantly praises its park, and argues that it is better than park X. I won't do that. But when people make stereotypical remarks and it gets really old and tiring, I have to say something.

Please explain what you mean by the last sentence in that post of yours. I have no idea as to what you're talking about. Plus, it seems as if you're trying to make yourself bigger than me by saying something like that - something personal. Let's not make it that way.



*** This post was edited by kRaXLeRidAh 8/15/2003 6:46:35 PM ***
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Friday, August 15, 2003 4:35 PM
Why would you quote someone who posted directly above you?

Anyway, I agree with you, SFMM seems like it has taken a lot of crap recently. During my first trip there (this year on a Saturday) it took 1.5 hours just to get into the park. Lines were enormous the whole day, Ninja and Psyclone ran one train each, it was hot and crowded, I missed 5 coasters, and yet I still managed to enjoy myself. Maybe it gets tiresome for people who live close by, but I found it to be a great park.
*** This post was edited by PT300 8/15/2003 8:35:33 PM ***

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Friday, August 15, 2003 7:10 PM
You're talking about how your sick of hearing about all the six flags crap, and I must agree too. Then again Craig was only talking about SFMM, he didn't mention anything about the Six Flags Chain. I'm sorry but I love my homepark SFGAm, and I like other SF parks but I gotta admit (just an example. The park was nice but i'm not used to its slow operations, so please don't take offense) SFWoA was a pain in the butt with its operations. I just hate it when people talk about Six Flags parks in a negative way because some are not that good, but a lot of people think that they're all bad.
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Friday, August 15, 2003 7:59 PM
You have to think about all the GP that goes to the park day in and day out. They aren't enthuasist so they don't look at every aspect. What they do and what most of us have to realize is go and have fun. I have fun every single time I go to my homepark SFGAm and I think it's great in every aspect. They are going to be parks that are worse than other's but every chain has it's small parks and it's bigger parks. If you read people's TR they alot of times go... "I've been to this park before and had a bad time but this time around it was great." Your going to have bad experience once in awhile but that's buisness for you it happens. To tell you the truth about Six Flags is that alot of the parks they bought we be nothing if it wasn't for them. The parks are living up more and more to there quality all the time let it be a Six Flags, Cedar Fair, Parmount Park, etc..
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