KickTheSky 100 - SFMM 8/18

Associated parks:
None

Tuesday, August 26, 2003 8:47 AM
ARRIVED: 9:30am
LEFT: 9:30pm

PARK APPEARANCE/ATMOSPHERE: Some parts of this park are really beautiful. An example would be up by the Ninja station where there are gardens and plenty of trees. Other areas of the park just didnt cut it for me like over by Batman (aka Concrete City) and over by Colosus/Scream/Goliath. The day I visited the park it was a sweltering 105 degrees so the misters and fans in the queues really saved the day. My question is why arent these all over the park as well, not just in the queues. I imagine with the scarcity of water in California that those misters must cost a pretty penny to operate.

RIDE QUEUE TIMES: Here is my biggest gripe with the park. First of all let us just get X out of the way. I was one of the first persons in the park, ran my a$$ all the way over to X and I got a two hour wait for the ride. A few people back is where they split the line to the other side so those people got to ride right away. With as slow as the line was moving, I fully imagine that those waiting at the end of the line when I left the ride were in for at LEAST an 8 hour wait. It is an hour wait when you get into the station! They really need to find a way to run this ride with more than one train without tearing the ride apart.

As for the other rides, most of them were running with one train. Rides like Goliath, Batman, Riddler's Revenge that can all run more than one train are only running one train. I bought a few FastLane passes to minimize some of the waits but on rides like Riddler's Revenge I still ended up waiting an hour even with FastLane. I was surprised to find that their newest coaster, Scream was a virtual walk-on (then again it was running more than one train, maybe if they ran more than one train on some other rides they would be walk on's as well). Colosus, Revolution, Viper, and Psyclone were also walk ons or near walk ons as well. One GOOD thing, however, was when I went to complain at the end of the day, they refunded me for a FastLane pass that I hadnt used. I wasnt expecting them to. The people in customer relations were also quite friendly and offered the explanation that they just dont have enough people to work in the park. My question is how does a theme park in a state with one of the highest unemployment rates in the country not have enough people to staff the park?

BEST EXPERIENCE: X. It really was a great ride. Just too long of a wait for it which kind of put a damper on the ride itself.

WORST EXPERIENCE: The wait for X. The heat is a close second though.

MOST PLEASANT SURPRISE: Parking lot trams!!!! I paid two dollars less than I do at my home park (Six Flags Great America) and I get a parking tram!!! If Great America wants to charge me 10 bucks, they better start coughing up a limosine to cart my a$$ up the front gate of the park.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT: The number of rides broken down. That day it was five. They were GoldRusher, Canyon Blaster, Deja Vu, Flashback, and, well I couldnt ride Goliath Junior :) I also didnt ride Superman as it was almost a two hour wait, and I didnt want to wait that long for a 15 second ride.


COASTER RANKINGS

WITHOUT FLAW:
None

REALLY QUITE GOOD:
X: (89) Really a very good ride. A bit rough in places but you really cannot beat the disorientation on this ride. The long wait puts it down in Really Quite Good versus Without Flaw.

Scream: (90) The cars on this rattle quite a bit, but the ride is still quite smooth. It isnt my favorite floorless but it is good nonetheless. I really do like the layout on this one. Makes me want to ride the Medusa this was cloned off of.

Viper: (91) I really didnt expect Viper to fall on the Really Quite Good list considering my experiences with Shockwave in the past. This ride feels like they took all the bad parts out of Shockwave and Viper was the result. I honestly have to say that this is one of the best, if not the best Arrow looper I have ever riden. There wasnt even much headbanging in the corkscrews on this ride. Really first rate. This is a ride I wouldnt have minded having at SFGAm instead of Shockwave.

Batman: The Ride: (92) As I have stated in previous trip reports about SFGAm, I am truly falling in love with Batman: The Ride. I used to think that Montu and Raptor cleanly blew the Batman clones away but I am really starting to get them. I really love the strong helixes where your feet feel like they are going to get ripped off from the extreme G's. I much prefer the one at SFGAm to this one, as the one at SFGAm has trees to interact with and a better midway visibility which I think this ride really lends itself well to.

Ninja: (93) Wow! I never thought a suspended coaster could be so much fun. Iron Dragon at CP is the only other one I have ridden and it is a serious yawner compared to Ninja. Really quite intense. The only thing that is weird is the lift at the end of the ride. Kind of anti-climatic.

COLD FRIES BAD
Riddler's Revenge (94) I am being generous rating it this good. I hate stand up coasters. They all make me sing soprano for the rest of the day and they all have excessive headbanging. This one is no exception. It is one of the better standups I have ridden, however, although that isnt saying much.

Colossus: (95) Had a few moments of airtime in the back but other than that this coaster was really boring. Not necessarily rough like many say about this ride. The roughness wasnt really all that bad. It was the long slow turnarounds that had me yawning and wishing for a hand to slap like on Gemini.

Goliath: (96) Can someone wake me when this ride is over? This coaster was a serious case for anticipointment if there ever was one in my life. I was expecting a great airtime filled ride in the back of this coaster and looking forward to the G's in the helix. Instead I got a lackluster first drop with little airtime after that and the helixes didnt really feel all that intense. I was really worried I would like this one more than Raging Bull but it is obvious that the Bull blows this one away big time.

JUST PLAIN AWFUL
Psyclone (97) I never thought a wooden coaster could get so rough. Extremely painful. I wanted to like this coaster too because it has a similar layout to Viper at SFGAm. Instead I was just praying for it to end so I wouldnt have to endure anymore pain.

Revolution (98) I never thought a steel coaster could get so rough, well actually I did (see Iron Wolf, worst coaster of all time). This coaster was just plain painful through and through.


MAJOR NON-COASTER ACTIVITIES:
Not much else to do in this park besides coasters. I did go on two water rides to cool off. One was a really boring rapids ride that had to be the worst rapids ride I have ever been on and then a log ride(with canoes) that was actually quite good. I saw DDR there but it was way way way to hot to play. I went to Mooseburger Lodge to eat lunch and found it to be quite good. I ended up asking for quite a bit of water while I was there (it was free, why not) and filled my water bottles up with them and some ice :)

BEST NON-COASTER RIDE:
I guess I would have to say the log ride I went on. I really wish I wouldnt have walked by the Bayern Curve they have there without going on it becuase that would have been it had I ridden it.

OTHER COMMENTS:
Overall I left the park feeling quite disappointed with my day. I was hoping to hit 100 at this park but left two shy of that mark. Long lines and inefficient operations left me with one ride a piece on each coaster and not much else for the day. I doubt if I will return to this park anytime soon, even if I am in the SoCal area. Maybe once they hit 20 coasters I might return just to ride some of the new ones.

Up next is Disneyland, the happiest place on Earth!


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Bob Hansen
Resident Airtime Whore

+0
Tuesday, August 26, 2003 9:12 AM
Sounds like another typical SFMM day. You've got to love a park that runs one train on their coasters in August. What a dump.

The last time I was there I remember thinking to myself how much I would rather be somewhere else. If it wasn't for the great cast of characters I was hanging with that day, I probably would have left.

There are still a couple credits there that I need (Scream and Deja Vu), but I'll more than likely skip SFMM the next time I'm in SoCal to spend more time at the Disney Parks or Knott's.

Sorry to sound like a hater, but reports like this make it really seem that SFMM is out to make your day suck. I'm sure they're not, but it does seem that way.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2003 9:39 AM
Ah hell, I forgot to add something to this trip report. An observation I made.

One of the excuses I have heard for Flashback not running was that it was too noisy and that the lifeguards couldnt hear over it. That being said, within a fairly close proximity is another coaster, Superman the Escape that sounds like a freakin jet taking off every time it launches. Tell me that Flashback is louder than that. I dare you, because I remember Flashback being at SFGAm and I dont remember it being that loud. Just my two cents...

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Bob Hansen
Resident Airtime Whore

+0
Tuesday, August 26, 2003 9:49 AM
Believe me, this happens to everyone.

"I wish I could have gone on Flashback because it's a ride I've never done and it looks interesting."

You saved yourself serious agony, and you should be thanking the park for keeping the ride closed. When I was there in Feb, I got to ride Flashback immediately after Revolution. As bad as Revolution was, as rough as it was, Flashback made it feel Goliath-smooth. Who knew that 10 MPH could be so rough...?

...and I'm with you on Goliath too. Any ride over 200 feet just screams out 'airtime,' especially if there's a straight drop and no OTSRs involved. Well, I guess there's an exception here.

I don't think that MM is such a bad park, and the rides have potential, but I think that GAm spoils us (it being my home park too) with two+ train operation. It almost seems like an aberration of the Six Flags chain after you visit parks like MM and WoA.

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"Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation." - David St. Hubbins, Spinal Tap
http://www.loopscrew.com

+0
Tuesday, August 26, 2003 10:54 AM
I actually have ridden Flashback, in it's Z-Force days at SFGAm. It was actually a good ride then. Don't know what happened to it now if it is as rough as you say it is.

I really am thinking SFGAm is an aberation. SFMM was my fifth SF park and SFGAm is the ONLY park of the lot of em that has semi efficient ride operations. I hope that SFGAm never catches up with the rest of the chain on the one train policy.

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Bob Hansen
Resident Airtime Whore

+0
Tuesday, August 26, 2003 11:39 AM
I agree with that last sentiment. I've been to four Six Flags parks (twice each), and only at SFGAm did I not become infuriated.

Between shut-down rides and idiot employees at SFMM, filth at SFWoA and a park overrun with gangs of foul-mouthed teens at SFKK, I wouldn't care if I never visited any of those parks again. In fact, I won't unless one of them builds something seriously cool.

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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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Tuesday, August 26, 2003 12:02 PM
While none of the other SF parks I've been to come close to SFGAm, SFMM and SFKK are the only ones I have serious issues with.

If it weren't for the fact that SFMM does have a pretty impressive coaster line-up (when they all are actually running) I'd actually consider it to be bottom of the barrell as far as SF parks go.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2003 12:29 PM

Kick The Sky said:

COLD FRIES BAD
Riddler's Revenge (94) I am being generous rating it this good. I hate stand up coasters. They all make me sing soprano for the rest of the day and they all have excessive headbanging. This one is no exception. It is one of the better standups I have ridden, however, although that isnt saying much.



Tastes are different - it's really tough for me to see my favourite coaster rated like that.
I'm not sure what happened to Riddler since I last rode it 3 years ago, but it was my absolute favourite of the park, actually my most loved coaster ever on the planet.
To avoid whipping and excessive harshness on the legs in the last (surprisingly intense) corckscrews, the trick is to ride it somewhere in the middle of the train, both the middle of the trains length as well as one of the two middle seats.
There, the forces hit you so damn smooth and perfectly calculated that it was a religious experience to me every time.
This coaster is such a perfect machine that it really made my eyes misty - I have yet to ride another coaster that does that to me.

I just love this damn thing ...I hope they kept it well over the years.
*** This post was edited by superman 8/26/2003 4:30:59 PM ***

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Tuesday, August 26, 2003 2:37 PM
My problem with RR is that the first half is just totally uninspired .... loop, dive loop, dive loop, incline loop, brakes.

My favorite stand-up, Mantis, is my favorite because it has two of those little "whoop-de-doos" that give you a dose of "sideways airtime." The other B&M stand-ups that I've ridden (RR, Chang, Iron Wolf) have only one each.

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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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Wednesday, August 27, 2003 11:52 AM
Oooh, Mantis has two of those sideways airtime bits? I thought I was the only one out there that loved that element. I swear, that's my favorite part of that ride, and the first four inversions are just the long lead-in to the bit that I actually ride the coaster for.
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Wednesday, August 27, 2003 12:04 PM
Well, the first one is before the fourth inversion... right before the midcourse brakes. The second one is shortly after the flat spin.

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

+0

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