Great Escape worth it while i'm in the area?

Wednesday, September 7, 2005 4:43 PM
I'm gonna be visiting family in Springfield, Mass Sept. 23-26 (Friday-Monday). We're gonna go to Six Flags (cough riverside). I've been there before. I was thinking about going to Great Escape since I've never been there.

How is the Comet doing? Do they run 2 trains, are there lines? I have always wanted to ride this, is it worth driving 2-1/2 hours ?

I would probably have to go on Saturday too... I'm a spoiled coaster geek and don't like going on Saturdays or waiting in line - is it worth it?

Other than Lake Compounce (had a bad experience there, they were only running 1 train on Boulder...) I don't think there are any close parks.

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Wednesday, September 7, 2005 5:05 PM
We just went to Great Escape for the first time on Saturday night and had a really great experience. Except for the dreadfully low capacity and hour wait for Nightmare and Alpine coaster being closed, the rest of the park was really clean, beautiful, and not too busy at all. The Comet was definitely a top 10 woodie for me and had different but amazing rides in both the front and back. They ran two trains and we never waited more than one train. It was worth the drive for me and we want to go back again. Besides Comet, the other coasters aren't too great, but they're enjoyable if you just sit back and take them for what they're worth.

Boulder Dash was running two trains on Sunday, but except for the front seat, the rest of the train is way too brutal and rough for me. The front seat is worth it every time and that's top 5 in that spot.

+Danny

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Wednesday, September 7, 2005 5:13 PM
rollergator's avatar Danny, there was only a ONE-hour wait for Nightmare....park was empty when I was there an it ran about 1:20....thank goodness there was a single-rider up ahead, I got on in about 45 mins...and as horrible as the capacity is, the ride is JUST that good!

The Intamin 'sled wasn't up to the level of Vibora, but it WAS really solid...despite the odd seating configuration (for a bobsled).

Comet, however, I have to say I was *mildly anticipointed*....I'd heard the complaints about the re-tracking...and the opposing views of course. Then I rode it for myself, and it just didn't have the *oomph* required to give me a thrill. Fun? Yes. Schmecklike? Not in the least. Only Hershey's Comet gave me less of "that Phurios Phoenix Pheeling"....

Overall, though, clean, friendly, well-landscaped, and quite a good park....despite the POS steelie they display out front to keep people away... ;)

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Wednesday, September 7, 2005 5:20 PM
matt.'s avatar You could always just give Compounce another chance.
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Wednesday, September 7, 2005 6:29 PM
Go to Great Escape and experience a charming, classic family park. You won't be disappointed. Just don't go expecting the thrills that say, SFGAdv. would provide.
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Wednesday, September 7, 2005 7:16 PM
Thanks for the replies guys. How is the park on a Saturday? I would go back to compounce, but I'm only in for a few days.
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Wednesday, September 7, 2005 9:25 PM
I live near the area, in Albany. I visit the park 3-5 times a year, mostly on weekends. All I can say is you can ride each ride at least 20 times a day and still have time to spare. The Comet always runs 2 trains, and the most you'll have to wait is 2 rides. So you can get on a bunch of times. Bring some friends, and have a party train as we like to call it, where the whole train is you and you're friends. The other rides are okay, but like Rhino said, don't expect anything big. The reason for this is the hight restriction set on the park from the local Lake George authorities (They had to fight to put in a 170 foot skycoaster). But, expect more in the future when the hotel is finished and The Great Escape holds the Six Flags name on it's front gates. Have fun, no waits whatsoever.
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Wednesday, September 7, 2005 9:36 PM
I can't express how great The Comet is. I could really ride that thing all day.

The Nightmare is very good IMO. The wait is usually no shorter than an hour but that's why there's a "running of the bulls" toward it in the morning. It really is a great ride. Schwarzkopf was the man.

Alpine Bobsled and Canyon Blaster are more geared toward families. Proof of this is in the lower height requirement (42"). To me, Canyon Blaster is better than your average family coaster. That ending double helix is awesome. Bobsled offers a unique ride experience. There's not too many of those around.

Steamin' Demon is the parks first roller coaster and deserves a visit. Best color scheme on a coaster IMO. Boomerang is also one of the adult coasters. The back seat offers an extremely intense ride.

May I also recommend Raging River, Poland Spring Plunge, Rainbow and Pirate? They are all major rides at the park and are a lot of fun.

Looney Tunes National Park has got to be the nicest children's area I've ever seen. Even if you aren't a kid, be sure to stop in and see how amazing it looks.

Don't go to The Great Escape like you would with another park. Take your time going around. Don't run from coaster to coaster. Enjoy some of the shows (I strongly recommend the Diving Show) and hit up the flats you usually miss at other parks.

Enjoy the free parking as well. ;)

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Wednesday, September 7, 2005 11:32 PM
rollergator's avatar

UBRhino said:
Enjoy the free parking as well. ;)

Have to admit thinking "Did I pass a parking attendant and not even SEE one?" Just not one there, LOL...free parking IS kinda absurd...in a good way... :)

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Wednesday, September 7, 2005 11:48 PM
Are you flying or driving? It's only about an hour north of 90 and well worth the detour to ride comet.
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Thursday, September 8, 2005 12:11 AM
I'm flying to Springfield, Mass. to see family, and I'll drive to the park(s). Thanks for all the info guys. I can't wait to ride the Comet!
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Thursday, September 8, 2005 8:34 AM
Free parking at a Six Flags park? Wow!
I visited 8 different parks this year and only ONE of them had a parking charge. That's a huge advantage of avoiding the major parks!
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Thursday, September 8, 2005 9:32 AM

+Danny said:
Boulder Dash was running two trains on Sunday, but except for the front seat, the rest of the train is way too brutal and rough for me.
+Danny

This coming from an SOB fan. What a wuss ;) Even Jordan (my 6 yr old daughter) like the back. Fast and furious and no follow-up coaster head. Dash was running one train Sunday morning and they put the second one on shortly after noon.

Great Escape sounds like a great park that we need to visit before it's flagged.

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Thursday, September 8, 2005 10:02 AM
Definitely worth a short detour. An old-time park with a classic family-owned feel, even though it isn't family owned. None of the attractions will impress your friends back home (unless your friends are coaster geeks, in which case comet and crackaxle would.) They serve a good dark beer that is local, IIRC, and you're going to be there during Octoberfest; the entertainment lineup looks like fun.

Get to crackaxle first thing. You'll save yourself some time, because the line will never let up---very low capacity.


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Thursday, September 8, 2005 10:40 AM
Fall is a beautiful time of year at Great Escape. This park is full of huge maple trees and if you time it right, the colours are spectacular. I've also found most staff to be extremely friendly and happy to have customers.

Comet - definitely worth the trip. Like all woodies, it performs best when the trains have done a few warm-up laps. IMO, it's not as good as the Phoenix, but it's better than the Hersheypark Comet. Capacity is good and SFGE puts their best crews here. In the fall, they start rehab on one of the trains, so you might find single-train operation. Despite this, I've never waited more than 20 minutes to ride.

Canyon Blaster - a very well-themed (but tame) mine train. Lots of fun with your eyes closed too.

Nightmare at Crack Axle Canyon - capacity less than 200 riders per hour. It's not worth any wait over 15 minutes because this darkk ride isn't very dark.

Alpine Bobsled, Boomerang, Steamin' Demon, Road Runner Express -- these are all clones of coasters that you have found in different parks across the country. The only difference is the staff attitude, which varies from tolerently smiling to cheerleader ecstatic. The Steamin' Demon (an Arrow Looper) entrance is virtually hidden by the western town, so those staff get bored and are very happy to have riders. If I remember correctly, riding on the left side is more comfortable than on the right side.

Non-coaster stuff: SFGE is a smaller theme park, so you won't find tons of flat rides. However, there's enough Mother Goose theming to keep most pre- and grade-school children entertained for hours. The shopping area is also a nice touch and worth spending a few minutes.

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Thursday, September 8, 2005 12:10 PM
rollergator's avatar 200 riders/hour on Nightmare? Doubtful! (Unless you work in PR for SFGE, that is...). Honestly, I'd say 120/hour would be average for that ride. 2 riders per "train", 2 trains on track, dispatch *about* once every 60 seconds...shame I loved the ride SO much, 'cause I could NOT see wiating thru that line again.

The Mother Goose stuff, the swan boats, and lots of other details really DO give it that "classic family-owned feel"...Brian Noble hit that aspect *square*. :)

I could ride Comet all day too...not forceful enough to make me ever get off. A good coaster to marathon, I'm not sure HOW you guys are getting thse so-called "excellent" rides on it. Good, smooth, fun, but NOT intense...Big Dipper at GL provided more *action*, IMO...

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Thursday, September 8, 2005 12:11 PM
The Comet is amazing, a classic ride. How it keeps its speed throughout is beyond me. Retracking has not negatively impacted the ride at all.
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Thursday, September 8, 2005 2:51 PM

rollergator said:
2 riders per "train", 2 trains on track, dispatch *about* once every 60 seconds...shame I loved the ride SO much, 'cause I could NOT see wiating thru that line again.

There are actually 3 cars on track.

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Thursday, September 8, 2005 2:57 PM
rollergator's avatar Hmmm, always? I could swear when we got back to the station that there was one car JUST hitting the lift, didn't THINK there was another one. This is a ride where a third train WOULD help alot...or even a *slightly* longer train...
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Thursday, September 8, 2005 3:47 PM
Remember though that you don't return to the station. You instead finish at the unload platform.

There was probably one just hitting the lift but there was also one in the loading station as well.

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