Great Weekend at the Great Escape 5/23-5/24

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009 2:47 PM

I decided to get a SF season pass for the first time this year. There are some relatively close SF parks that I have never been too so I thought it would be worth it. (Great Escape, SFNE, and SFA)

The only SF park I have ever been to before is GAdv. I'm not a big fan of that park as it is too unbalanced for me. I decided on GE as my "home" park since this is a more "tame" park I can bring my mom here for free (on certain days) and she won't be bored out of her mind. I was also eager to go to a SF park that is on the right track toward the "family-friendly" vibe and wanted to ride Comet to compare it to my belvoed Phoenix.

We left PA around 8AM on Saturday and started the easy drive on I-84 and I-87. Around noon, we arrived at the park and got in the season pass line. The longest line the whole day, about 30 minutes.

I walked inside and instantly loved this place. I looked at all the little houses in the front of the park. I liked the little schoolhouse and the general store. I also liked that some of them were fairy tales. Jack and the Beanstalk, Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary, etc. I have to say that "Goosey, Goosey, Gander" had to be my favorite as everytime we walked by the geese were quiet for me but when my friend walked by they started squawking OBNOXIOUSLY LOUD. It was hilarious.

I loved the Swan Boat ride. Are there any other boat rides like this where you can fit 10 people in a boat? We also did Thunder Alley, but our radio didn't work, just static. The tulips along the ride were cute. We also did the Storytown train, sky ride, and Alice in Wonderland walk-through here. The rabbit season walk-through wasn't open yet for the season so I'll have to come back to do this. That suspension bridge looked like a lot of fun. We also stopped at the petting zoo. I had read on the map that they had this but forgot about it until I saw it. It was a great surprise when I found it and we got to pet teh alpacas, goats, sheep, and cows. The turtles were great too.

We went to Ghost Town next and rode Steamin' Demon. Short, not memorable. We then did the Condor. The only other one I have ridden is Hershey's and this one was not nearly as good. They don't even start spinning you until you're like 10 feet in the air. A good ride but not as good and intense as it could be. We rode Canyon Blaster, a cute little mine train with good theming. Definitely the best theming on a mine train I have ever seen. Log flume was next. Again with the theming! Best theming I have ever seen on a log flume. Yeah, there were some old parts of rides that you could see, the old rainbow ride and some of the boats for the rapids ride, but for the real theming of the ride with the old west buildings on the right hand side and then the tunnel at the end of the ride was nicely done. Inside the tunnel were wax figures working in a saw mill and at the very end before the drop was a guy spinning around on a log above your head. When I looked at the pictures of the park, I always saw the main sign for the park but never realized that it was part of the log flume.

After this it was over to the Fest Area of the park where we rode the Ferris wheel and saw Alpine Bobsleds running. I was getting excited to ride this until we got in line and people were coming out of the entrance. It went down right before we got in line. :( And it didn't reopen all weekend. So back to the Comet. Saved the best for last. I've heard this thing is temperamental. Well I must have caught it on a good day because this thing was fantastic! The thing was flying! Intense, fun, and just a great ride that is very re-rideable. The crew was also good, not great but good. Comet was not as good as Phoenix, but still had a lot of air and I left with a smile on my face from ear-to-ear.

Too cold to go in the waterpark this weekend but it looked like a lot of fun it is was 10-15 degrees warmer.

Overall: extremely friendly employees, only one ride down (Alpine Bobsleds), great family atmosphere, hardly any lines, pretty decent operations. I loved this place and would go back in a heartbeat.

Last edited by KnoebelsGrandCarousel, Tuesday, May 26, 2009 3:15 PM
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Tuesday, May 26, 2009 3:19 PM

Comet wasn't really "performing" on my lone visit a couple years ago. But Nightmare, even with an almost hour-long line, made up for the lackluster rides on the woodie. The bobsled was also a big hit.

Question: Do they still have the princess carriages (horse-drawn)? I saw those as being an integral part of the "Disney-fication" that Shapiro was touting back then...even if he used another term. ;)

Last edited by rollergator, Tuesday, May 26, 2009 3:19 PM
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Tuesday, May 26, 2009 3:32 PM

Yes, the Cinderella horse-drawn carriage is still there. I saw a bunch of little girls hugging Cinderella and getting pictures with her but I don't remember any kids actually getting inside the carriage for a ride. The miniature horses were cute and even when the attraction closes at 6PM, the stable for them is in Ghost Town and you can pet them if they come close enough to the fence.

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Wednesday, May 27, 2009 12:20 PM

I am a sucker for Comet. Phoenix is king, but I could ride Comet all day and not get bored.

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