Northern California Part 2 (Even more fun!)

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Monday, July 16, 2001 8:03 PM
This was my first trip to PGA.
On the third day of our trip we drove on over to Paramount's Great America and arrove at 9:20 A.M., since I had read that you can enter the park early to ride some of the coasters. We thought we would get on Stealth early. Silly us.

After shelling out 40 bucks (my first time in 3 years paying General admission to go to a park :() we tried to get to Stealth, but that whole section of the park was roped off, and they said it would open at ten. Therefore, we went over to Vortex.

Coaster #64- There was nobody here at the Vortex station, simply because the park had just opened. We walked onto the back row, and got ready for a very short stand up ride. The thing broke down right away. It took them over 15 minutes to fix it. I thought, great, this park is going to be one mishap after another. Luckily, that would be the last mishap that was the park's fault. They fixed the ride, and we rode. In the morning, short but sweet. I really like the turns before and into the corkscrew. This ride was fun but a little shaky. Still, a fun if not too short ride. 6.5/10

Coaster #65- This was my first participation in a "running of the bulls". About 100 people were lined up, ready to run to Top Gun and Stealth. We were some of the first ones to get to Stealth, and we got on the second train, first row. Wow. This ride was so much better than I expected after mixed reviews. The twist at the top into the drop was amazing. I put my arms out and flew. The loop was one of the strangest elements ever. The corkscrew was a little shaky, but it's have to expect that. This ride is simpy incredible. 9/10 (would be 9.5 without a maximum height limit)

When we got back to the station, I realized one minor thing didn't return with keys. "Oh for the love of all the heck...oh my goodness gracious...oh...NO." I couldn't form a complete sentence Here we are, 380 miles from home, and all my stinking keys are gone. How are we going to drive home? They can't check under the ride until the park closes. While I realize they can't, I like closure, and I panick. I freak out. My friend sees me go insane for the first time.

We sprint to guest relations and file the report. They say come back at 10. I ask what I do if they don't find the key, and they give me a card of a locksmith. I call him, and find out it would be 80 bucks (NO!) for a new key to my car. I have the cash, and tell him if they don't find my keys, I will call the place at 10. *phew* At least I now know I will get home safely, even if they don't find my keys. We walk back into the park, now ready to relax and have some fun.

Coaster #66- We proceed to Top Gun and wait 20 minutes for the front. The Top Gun theming works much more for me than the Batman theming. It fits the coaster, and it is quite nice. Then comes the ride. YES, YES, YES, YES, YES!!!! Is that enough Yesses to express my thoughts while riding this thing? Probably not. YES YES. There. This coaster is...amazing. Shocking. I don't care what anybody says. So fast, so furious, so powerful...I was left speechless. The drop was amazing, the loop was so much more intense than either loop on Batman, and the interesting double turnaround pulled so many g's... then the inline twist. This thing was so forceful. Every single time this twist took my breath completely away. Then we flew over the station and into a very tight corkscrew. The little helix over the lake has to be one of the best elements on any coaster. It feels like you are flying over the ocean in a real jet. This thing was insane. Definitely better than Batman IMO. Why was this thing never cloned? Oh well, PGA truly has an original (is it the only one?) to be proud of. Only three inversions? Who cares. This thing is extreme to the end. Perfect. 10/10.

After going on the Seventh Portal, an OK motion simulator, we rode Greased Lightning.

Coaster #67- Okay. I wanted to cry. This was pathetic. The acceleration at the beginning was very, very weak. No excitement whatsoever The loop was the only fun part. The brakes were so strong, that it looked like a joke going (literally) ten feet up the back spike. The front car didn't even go up at all. This was an embarassment to the Shuttle loop name. 2.5/10. (side note- Montezooma's Revenge gets an 8.5/10 from's really that much better)

Coaster #68- Psycho Mouse. My first Wild Mouse. I actually liked it. The turns whipped around so fast, it seemed like the car was going to fly off the edge. The drops at the end were fun too. 7/10.

Coaster #69- I thought the Grizzly could be redeemed. I had read so much bad stuff about it, I figured I might like it. After all, I like Psyclone. Boy was I WRONG. After a kind of fun first drop, this thing literally crawls. It isn't the roughness that I don't like. I love rough rides. This coaster doesn't do ANYTHING. For any MST3K fans out there, halfway through the second turnaround, I screamed "Do Something!" Unbelievably boring. This is the second coaster I have been on (the other being Batman the Escape at SFAW) that I truly believe needs to be torn down NOW, no questions asked. 1/10.

Coaster #70- Invertigo was a smooth Vekoma! Actually, it was quite fun. I loved how fast the lift went, and facing other people was priceless, especially since they were scared members of the GP. This was quite disorienting, and it makes me sad, because I know Deja Vu will be even better, yet I can't ride it. *sigh* 8/10.

Coaster #71- The Demon had horrible trains. The OTSR's kept falling down after being opened. Other than that, the ride was okay. The drop was fun, and so was the first loop. The unnecessary straight track between the two loops was a little rough, as was the second loop and turnaround. Then the dip into the very cool water-filled tunnel was great, as was the surprisingly smooth corkscrew. Fun but kind of painful. 6.5/10.

At 3 we ran to lost and found, because we were HUNGRY, and our lunch was in my car. After they showed me 5 sets of keys, I saw mine! I couldn't believe it. I was overwhelmed and excessively thankful. The rest of the day was even more joyous. We also rode some more non-coaster rides. The log ride, the sky tower, and the action factory.

This park was very nice. The employees were very polite to an obviously panicked individual, and were helpful in the process of finding my keys and what to do if I didn't find them. This park surprised me, and I liked it much more than I thought I would. Good job Paramount.

Coaster Count-

Psycho Mouse 1
Grizzly 2 (don't ask)
Invertigo 1
Demon 3
Vortex 3
Greased Lightning 1
Stealth 4
Top Gun 4 (front seat each time, baby)

By the way, I'm working to get 100 coasters in my Track Record by the end of the summer. I think I can barely pull it off. Wish me luck!

*** This post was edited by saviourmachine on 7/17/2001. ***
Tuesday, July 17, 2001 10:25 AM
Dang, I gotta get to PGA on a not-so-busy day. The only time I went (last October) it was PACKED. Top Gun (front row) took almost 90 minutes, Vortex was 45, and Stealth was ***gasp*** 3 HOURS!! Lucky for me I "ran with the bulls" and got on in about 20 minutes.

Good luck on the track record! Where else are you going this season?

"X" marks the spot in 2001!
Tuesday, July 17, 2001 10:30 AM
In two weeks my family and I leave for a 10 day trip to Virginia. While there they are (very nicely) letting me go to BGW, SFA, and PKD! When I get back, I plan to go to DCA for free, hopefully ride X, and also get on the Scandia Screamer. Then I plan to take a quick trip to Vegas strictly for the coasters, hitting Desperado on the way. If I get on everything, I think I should barely be able to pull it off! *** This post was edited by saviourmachine on 7/17/2001. ***
Tuesday, July 17, 2001 10:34 AM
I know you are local to KBF, have you hit Adventure City, 2 miles South of KBF on Beach? Two coasters to add to your record. Looking at your track record, I don't see them. Or... (I hate to mention this) are you too tall for them?

"X" marks the spot in 2001!
Tuesday, July 17, 2001 10:45 AM
Heh heh...I have never tried, but I think I'm too tall. I might go check that place out someday, thanks for the tip. In case I can't get on the rides, I can always run on over to Knott's! :) Maybe I should bring my little cousin with me, that might increase my odds of being able to ride.
Tuesday, July 17, 2001 10:46 AM
I live by PGA and so far this season the longest ive waited for:

Stealth was 20 minuets
Top Gun 10 minuets
Psycho Mouse 10 Minuets
Demon 5 minuets
Greased Lightning No wait
Vortex 10 minuets
Grizzly No wait (i wonder why...)

The other attractions usually have little to no wait as well. If you can go on a weekday.
You can ride ALL THE COASTERS in under 2 hours easy.
Tuesday, July 17, 2001 11:06 AM
I agree with you about B:TE @ SFAW. I think the only good think about it is the only standup in texas.
Tuesday, July 17, 2001 7:24 PM
I went on MEMORIAL DAY and the park was less crowded than an Augest weekday!

Steel top 5
4. Riddler's Revenge
5. Goliath
Wednesday, July 18, 2001 5:18 PM
PGA was a nice, less crowded day on my trip also. Top Gun was my 100th coaster. Invertigo and Psycho Mouse both were big surprises.

Stealth, on the other hand, was decent, but a little rough in spots. I'm not spoiled by X Flight, but you can easily feel the differences in both coasters. First, Stealth did not recline very smoothly in the station. The train seemed to shimmy a little going up the lift, but the rest of the ride was just like X Flight, right down the G's going in and out of the loop. The corkscrews really didn't do anything for me and prefer the in-line twists better.

I agree that Grizzly needs to be replaced. I practically yawned the entire time. A nice CCI or GCI would be a nice addition to the park.

X Factor

SFWoA: An Unofficial Guide

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