Outsider's Perspective, pt. 2: SFA (5/28)

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Monday, May 30, 2005 10:18 PM
After a great day at Great Adventure, we hit SFA around noon the next day (Saturday). The entryway to this park is beautiful, and I appreciated the slightly smaller feel of this park compared to SFGAm and SFGAdv.

Off the bat, let me start by saying that SFA was at a slight disadvantage from the start, as I was a bit beat up from a full day of coaster-riding the day before. This weariness would only be exacerbated as we decided to hit Joker's Jinx first.

Quite simply, Joker's Jinx packs too much into too small of an area. I felt abused.

From there, we went straight to Superman, where we encountered absolutely no wait for the back train. What is going on here? The best ride in the park has no wait whatsoever at around 1 on the Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend? I'm definitely not back at Great America.

Now, I was initially not too excited about the lack of roominess of these trains. But, worse than this, the ride op clamped the restraint down hard and tight on my crotch. Not a millimeter of space. I mean, come on!

Superman is a great ride. I appreciated the intensity of the ride compared to the floatiness of the B& M's, though its tough to say one is "better" than the other. The first drop is money. Unfortunately, my ride experience was, I believe, compromised by the restraints, including the shin restraints. I also would have enjoyed the ride more had I not come immediately from my beating at the hands of Joker's Jinx.

Next-Batwing-one train operation. I think this is a better ride than Superman-Ultimate Flight. More thrillng, more variety. Solid ride.

Next, my favorite ride of the day: The Wild One. This was a sweet wooden coaster with great laterals, nice airtime, and that "out of control" feeling. I really enjoyed this one and anxiously headed to my next coaster, which looked terrific.

Unfortunately, it wasn't, and it ruined my day. Roar was the worst coaster I rode during my two- day vacation. No real airtime, just violence. I talked about how I enjoyed being "out of control" on Wild One, but this was just too "out of control".

Tired of coasters, we hit the rapids ride (solid) and then went to the water park.

Hurricane Harbor really redeemed the day. It was great. We started with Tornado. Great Ride! The drop before the tunnel was outstanding. We hit the four-slide deal, and the guy suggested yellow. Personally, I though red was the best (didn't ride blue), as Marge (yellow) was a bit rough. Went on the dual slide deal, and thought those were a bit better than the four-slide deal. All were fun. The wave pool was a blast. We finished with a second ride on Tornado.

My trip to SFA taught me the value of a good water park. After two days of coasters, I was burned out. Water parks offer thrills without violence, the ability to chill out on a lawn chair, and the refreshing element of water.

SFA is a solid park and I enjoyed it. The coaster collection was good, the staff seemed friendly, operations were fine, trees and shade were plentiful, theming was decent. I also like the fact that they have Subway in the park.

As I said before, I was surprised how dead the park was. Was this par for the course? If so, I would hit this park up all the time if I lived in the area.

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Monday, May 30, 2005 10:28 PM
Kevin,

Glad you had a good time. Don't know what the deal is with Superman. I've been to the park virtually every weekend this season and twice I've been stapled. I've also rode with Coaster Lover who's vowed to stop wearing his ACE Shirts because they feel they get him stapled even more. All I can say is stick your gut out as far as you can and don't pull it back in until the coaster reaches the lift hill. The've added a new restraint system that detects the proximity of the lap bar to your proper riding position or something. If the ride op doesn't get an indicator that everything is good on the train, she'll have someone check your restraint until she gets a signal everything is okay. I'm really hoping they can adjust these new restraints without having to wait for off season maintenance.

By coincidence, I was at SFGam today and toured your brand new waterpark. It looks great! I'm hoping SFA's is just as great at SFGam's.

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Monday, May 30, 2005 10:40 PM
Thanks for the advice, but I have no gut to stick out. I'm 6'0 and 157 lbs.

Haven't been to the SFGAm waterpark, but my only disappointment is that it doesn't look like we have any ride comparable to the Tornado.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2005 12:33 AM
Not yet, but it is all but confirmed that a Proslide Tornado will make it to SFGAm in 2006, they already have the splash-down pool completed. It is on the "island" created by the lazy river on the wave pool end of the park. As for Superman being empty, when did you hit the ride? There was a pretty good storm that came through the park around 2:30 which completly drained Superman's line. Before the storm the line extended out nearly to the maze, but after the storm it was a walk on. Add to the fact that it was the first day for Hurricane Harbor plus the fact that Superman was running two trains and is a capacity monster when doing so, then factor in that there was a forecast for rain most of the day resulting in a fairly empty park and you may see why Superman had such a short line.

As for stapleing on Superman, depends on the op. Sometimes I'm stapled, sometimes I'm not. I guess they figure that SFA's Superman is the only one of three SF Superman coasters with an untarnished safety record and they would like to keep it that way. *** Edited 5/31/2005 4:35:14 AM UTC by Coaster Lover***

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Tuesday, May 31, 2005 8:23 PM
See my thread on why I don't like S:ROS anymore. If you don't like Roar, I would stay away from Wildcat at HP. It's even more rambunctious than the follow-up. In fact, they have a lawyer-speak sign in front of the entrance talking about the ride forces etc. etc. I still love both of them with Wildcat having the stronger advantage. I totally agree about a good waterpark, which is why I had been advocating for a remodel of SFA's for years. I'm so happy we finally got it this year. You may be jealous of our Tornado, but you got two of the toilet-bowl slides and as they say on South Park-"You bastard!":)
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Tuesday, May 31, 2005 10:03 PM
I was looking at some of the specs on the coasters of this park, and was shocked to discover that Wild One was built in 1917! Just proves that the most recent coasters are not always the best!
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Tuesday, May 31, 2005 10:41 PM
Sadly, it's only a small portion of it's original size. You can see some photos of the old Wild One before it was reprofiles. The coaster was at one point and time ranked in the top 10 coasters in the country. In fact, when the owner's of Wild World bought the coaster at auction from Paragon Park, it cost more to move it than rebuilding it. In fact, purchasing Wild One might be the only good move the owner's of Wild World ever made.
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