Great Adventure 8/30..Toro Lives!

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Friday, August 30, 2013 8:48 PM

Toro re-opened today after a closure of at least two weeks. I had the three best rides I've had this season. The airtime on the last hill was more insane than usual..tried to (bleep) up my lower back. But I'm OK. Okay, now that THAT great news is out of the way...

I was originally supposed to have a half day (1pm leave) at work today. But my team was informed late Wednesday that our presence today would NOT be required. So I decided to meet my friend Jennifer for a few morning rides before the anticipated crowds arrived. There was a Scotty McCreery concert tonight, and of course, the Friday of a holiday weekend is a bit unpredictable. I didn't do much riding, but the crowd was pretty light. I was there at opening, and left just past 4:30.

Started the day with a front seat ride on the soon-to-depart Rolling Thunder. Ride has no speed and both operating trains are rolling advertisements for Twix candy. It was a rather pleasant ride, though.

After the Toro rides, we hit Medusa (I try not to use the "B" word) for three laps, switching seats after each into empties. I took one in Row 2 while Jen rode front. Medusa is not a particularly enjoyable ride in the front seat. Oddly the fire effect was off on my first ride in the back, but not the other 2.

I decided I would be willing to try the Safari. I've been going to GrAdv since 1974, and never went through it in any form. Jen's a veterinarian, so she was willing, despite having been on at least 8 times already. She lives about 15 minutes away, and goes often. She also has never fully recovered from ankle surgery late last year, and uses a cane, or sometimes a knee scooter. So she had a handicap pass, and used it only on the Safari. It was about 1pm, and she got a return time of 2:15. So we split up to eat. She headed to Best Of The West. We both have the meal plan, so I headed to the Coke Freestyle station to pick up a drink. Unfortunately, my Minute Maid Light Orange Lemonade (all Minute Maid, actually) was not available. I found Seagrams Diet Cherry Ginger Ale, which was very tasty. I headed for Superhero Snacks near Superman/Green Lantern. I had never had the sausage sandwich, and the meal plan made it something I wanted to try this season. It was God-awful. Very bland, and the roll was like cardboard. Fries were very good, though.

I met Jen at a smoking area near Toro and we headed to the Safari. I'm not much on animals, but I wanted to see what the experience was like. I actually enjoyed it for a coupla reasons. It was kinda hot in the park proper, but breezy, cool, and shady amid the trees. And I was surprised how much I felt like I was no longer in the park. That was a weird feeling. We didn't get off at the "midway camp." I don't know if I'd bother with it again, but I'm glad I did it once. Kira, our guide, was funny and knowledgeable (and looking rather cute in those shorts!)

We took the Skyride to the other end of the park after scoping out the line for Runaway Train..we skipped it, which I rarely do. The blue train has been painted lime green and is overlaid with ads for an insurance company. Jen Tells me this is VERY recent.

Waited about 15 minutes for our backseat Nitro ride. I still love the ride, but there was some severe turbulence on the first two drops today.

I realized my gray-outs are much more frequent as I get older.

Other than Toro, the coolest thing I saw today was a replica of Starsky and Hutch's iconic red Ford Torino with the white stripe for sale by the side of the road.

I'll be attending the ACE Riding of the Bull event next week as Jen's guest. Good to know the evening's centerpiece is healthy again. ERT, here I come..no volleying necessary.

Last edited by Mike Gallagher, Friday, August 30, 2013 10:01 PM
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Saturday, August 31, 2013 8:24 AM

Volleying will be necessary. With me! Hee hee...

Nitro is a great ride, but depending where you sit, sometimes it is kinda pothole-ish. I haven't figured out why this is because I usually sit in the same of a few seats (I would like to get a front ride on the upcoming trip), but some days it rides with a great deal of vibration and jerkiness.

I have heard such wonderful things about the safari. Considering that the drive-through safari in Animal Kingdom is one of my all-time favorite attractions, I kinda wanna do it. However, something about Six Flags being in charge of my safety through an attraction with wild animals kinda gives me the willies. If there is any time left during the ACE event, I might check it out, but I kinda doubt it.

Was Blackbeard running? I have yet to get that cred.

I had more, but just realized I am running late for an appointment. Great TR and see you next Saturday!

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013 3:06 PM

Bunky, I wouldn't worry too much about safety with the wild animals. They're fenced off from the area in which the safari vehicles travel and extra precautions have been taken with the ones most likely to attack humans - i.e., lions and tigers. Our vehicle had to wait for clearance before the fence could be opened to let us through because bears were too close to the gate and they didn't want the bears to get near the lions; this was more to protect the bears than to protect us but our knowledgeable tour guide told us that bears are easily scared off.

I never had a ride on Nitro that wasn't smooth.

You are so lucky to be able to go to the ACE event this weekend. El Toro was what got me interested in coasters and my favorite ride anywhere until Outlaw Run but I'm under doctors' orders not to ride coasters until further notice because doing so could result in a medical emergency with one of my eyes.

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