Northern California Part 1 (long but fun!! :) )

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Monday, July 16, 2001 7:13 PM
My friend and I just took a whirlwind trip up to Northern Cali this weekend, and this is the first part of my report. I know my trip reports can be long and boring, but please stick around, I would appreciate it, and there are some nice stories.

After rolling into our Union City hotel, we drove over to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, which was the first time I'd been there. I was pleased with the cheap price of an all day wristband (18 bucks with coupon) and we were off to Giant Dipper.

Coaster #60- The line for Giant Dipper was about 20 minutes, but they were unfortunately running only one train. The tunnel at the beginning with the slight drop caught me by surprise. The first drop was a little disappointing, but the rest of the ride rocked! Absolutely amazing airtime! I thought I was going to whack my head on many of the wooden beams. What can I say? This thing is a classic that is still running great, despite the morgan trains! 8.5/10

We walked up the stairs to go on hurricane, but it was closed during a Sha Na Na concert going on by the beach. After a ride on a cheesy yet fun haunted house, and a log ride that was okay, we walked over to the kiddie land.

Coaster #61- The Sea Serpent was a kid's coaster. Not much to gets pretty close the ground at times. 1/10....7/10 for kids

Coaster #62- The Hurricane was back up and running. This thing was pretty fun. One of the drops tells me that flashback at SFMM could run without OTSR's. This thing twisted and turned in a couple of unimaginable ways. Some turns were banked almost 90 degrees and came very close to the cement. 7.5/10

I loved the Beach Boardwalk. Much to do, and it's by one of my favorite places...the beach! It's a combination of my love for coasters and the ocean. A wonderful, beautiful park.
Coaster count-
Giant Dipper 2
Hurricane 2
Sea Serpent 1

I will now tack on a short Marine World Report, since I've done one from there before.

This was now my second trip to SFMW, and I was excited for Medusa, Roar, and....V2 baby! After going in the park, where a confused ticket taker didn't understand that we could use our Magic Mountain passes at Marine World(She must be new), we walked to V2.

Coaster #63- This ride has a tragically low capacity, and the crew was running very slow. We finally got on the ride, and we were strapped in. Some ride op tried to figure out how tall 6'6" was, after I was strapped in. I told him it's 78 inches, because I know, but he still wanted to figure it out himself. It took him a while. He said, "You can't ride this if you're above 80 inches." "I'm 78 inches." "Are you sure?" ... *sigh* Anway, the ride was fun from the second row. Somewhat good acceleration, but the twisting up the spike was great, as was the flying out the back of the station. Could have been better, especially since there were no holding brakes on the back spike. Still, a good ride. 7/10

Roar was running nice. In line for this ride, I thought that this park could easily turn into one of the best. It was after that ride that the day took a turn for the worst.

We found out in line for Medusa that there is now a thing called "fast lane". If you buy a ticket for 10 bucks, you can basically cut. What it caused was chaos. Ride ops were just loading every train with fast lane people where ever they wanted to sit.

The front row was almost always taken, and therefore my friend and I could not get on the front row to Medusa. Lines weren't moving at all. From the "60 minutes" sign on Medusa, we waited....115 minutes! No joke, I timed it with a stop watch. It was absolutely horrible. All of the regular customers were absolutely enraged.

The line for Kong never moved...we got out after 10 minutes of waiting. It wasn't even that crowded! I am seriously writing a letter of polite disgust to SFMW. I've said it before: It was absolutely one of the worst theme park experiences of my life. They only sold 1000 of the "fast lane" passes.

The ride-ops didn't even know how to do it right. Earlier they were loading each train half fast lane, half regular. Later on, they ran three trains (Even though they were stacking 2 in the morning), and put all fast lane people on every third train. With the marking off of wrist bands and loading of people, it literally took them about 7 minutes to load each "fast lane" train. It was a joke. Has anyone else experienced this and do you agree?

I hope this is a passing thing. Yes, they make 10000 bucks a day, but they get everyone else mad. It is basically 10 bucks to break a park rule. The rides themselves were great. It is a shame to see gems like Medusa (9.5/10) and Roar(also 9.5/10) run so poorly. Although we did have fun (the rides are great) it was seriously a hinderded trip. Fortunately our trip to PGA(part 2) made up for it.

Measely coaster count (we were there for 10 hours)

Medusa 3
Roar 3
V2 1

Yep...that really is all we got on.
*** This post was edited by saviourmachine on 7/17/2001. ***
Tuesday, July 17, 2001 8:55 AM
I love that twisting drop on Hurricane!

Too bad you had such a bad experiance at SFMW. Fast Lane has had nothing but negative reviews.
Tuesday, July 17, 2001 10:13 AM
Thanks to that pitiful 10 hour ride-count, I am now 100% convinced. Six Flag's $10 FastLane system BLOWS! If anything this lame comes to SFMM, there will be problems with angry guests, and fights. I guarantee it! It just seems so poorly thought out.

"X" marks the spot in 2001!
Tuesday, July 17, 2001 11:51 AM
Soggy- I totally agree with your diagnosis for what will happen to SFMM if "fast" lane is added. People at SFMW were booing, yelling, and overall just plain angry. I believe they were 100 percent justified. I even participated in the booing at one point, it was so bad. They were not being impatient, because I think Six Flags was treating them like crap just to make a few extra bucks. If this thing comes to Magic Mountain, it will only be a matter of time before someone is killed. I sincerely mean that, considering some of the people who visit this park. It's a disaster waiting to happen.
Tuesday, July 17, 2001 12:18 PM
Yeah heres a way of thinking it. Pres. Bush is proposing to allow illegal foreigners to have jobs here but snuck into the country illegally.Six Flags has fastpass for line jumping but is illegal in park rules. BTW, SFAW Fastpass is free.
Wednesday, July 18, 2001 8:33 AM
I have been to 2 SF parks this year. In New England it is free and the fast pass people have assigned rows in the middle of the train, usually only two rows. So that was not so bad, got pushed back once on Mind Eraser because of it, no big deal. At Great America, the pass costs, not sure how much. Most of the rides that used it, the fast passers were put into line right before the stairs to the station. This was not bad either, since they still had to wait long for the front or back. From what you said, MW does it crappy, they need to standardize what each park is going to do and how they do it if they are gonna make it work. Course I am not about to spend more to line jump. I think they should be gotten rid of. But some organization of it would help.
Wednesday, July 18, 2001 5:10 PM
When I was at SFMW they did not implement the Fast Lane deal and it also has had bad reviews here in Ohio.

Glad you enjoyed SCBB, also one of my favorite places. That one turn on Hurricane is awesome! And the Giant Dipper is fantastic.

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