PBR & Two Face's return SFA 5/25

Associated parks:
None

Sunday, May 25, 2003 9:11 PM
Usually at this time of the year it's really warm and sunny. We've had no such luck in the Baltimore/Washinton area lately. The forecast has been basically been rain, rain, and more rain. Today was no different, as it was raining really hard in the morning. Not letting that stop me, I called GoWithGravity and asked him if he still wanted to go to SFA if the weather let up. Well, around 4pm he calls me back and the rain has let up for about two hours, so we decided to make the trek down to Largo, MD. We also had GWG's friend Jeff-a self-assesed non-coaster enthusiast along with us.

We started out on the Flying Carosuel (swings), a ride so larthargic you could fall asleep in the chair. We suggested Wild One as the first coaster of the day to Jeff. He wants no part of it. Oh well. GWG and I rode towards the back and it was out of control as usual. Our next stop in the Southwest Territory was at Two Face which has been lying dormant until last weekend. It wasn't in perfect condition as a couple of the seats were tied-off, namely the seats we were going to sit in, so that meant that each of us went separately. God, it felt great to get back onboard. I missed having my head feel like it's going to be crushed from the G's on the return trip through the loop and the cobra roll/sidewinder.

We ran into Sam Marks and crew, and he told me that Penguin's Blizzard River was running today, but it had broken down. I wasn't giving up hope yet. We made our way over into Gotham City and rode Joker's Jinx, and then stared at a dormant PBR. I did however see people working on it. In the meantime we all grabbed a ride on the Krypton Comet (Chaos). This was the only other ride that Jeff got on, and surprisingly he went back for seconds with GWG. It was during this period that I noticed them sending up empty boats on PBR. There is hope I thought. Finally, two ride ops came down and moved a bench out of the way that was blocking the entrance. Yes!

So here's the review: The ride area is actually quite well-themed. The multiple umbrellas will provide some much needed shade once the normal summer weather kicks in. It had bothered me at one point that the slide was red, yellow, and blue, but now I don't care. Walking up to the station there are two penguins at the turnaround. These aren't just any old penguins. Like the elephant on the Wild Thorn Berry River ride at PKI, they both spit out water at random. Getting inside of the station, there are only two places to load. Getting into the boats is kind of challenging, but they feel quite firm. It's so bizzare not having any kind of safety restraint. The only thing to hold onto is a strap on either side of you. Going up the lift you can feel every movement of the conveyer belt, which is split into several sections. 60ft. doesn't seem that high, but when you look over and you're almost as tall as Joker's Jinx, you realize you're getting up there. Anticipation built as I had no preconceived notions. Dropping off the lift, the spinning started almost immediately. Every couple of feet there is a square patch that made the boat rotate. Even though I knew the simple layout, it was quite disorientating at times. There was also one moment where a splash entered the boat. Just like a rapids ride, it was a game of chance. After the drops, you go under a water curtain, which wasn't too extreme. Of course, that could change come summertime. The time from the top of the lift to the bottom was 45 seconds, which about the same time as most coasters. Everyone seemed to come off laughing so I think it was a solid investment for the park. It's nice to see a family-oriented ride after all the extreme rides that have been put in over the years. My only concern is the capacity. When you're only loading 12 people at a time, it's going to be slow going.

We rounded out the day by riding S:ROS, Batwing, and Roar with it's new chaser lights. Out last adventure was to play DDR which has been upgraded from 2nd Mix to DDR Extreme. And yes, it has freeze arrows for those who don't like them.
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If you have a problem with clones, the solution is real simple—Stop traveling.

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Monday, May 26, 2003 3:28 AM
Good trip report Intamin Fan! Glad I got on Blizzard River before it broke down. I felt the line (out to the steps when I rode it) moved a long pretty quickly. You said it's suppose to hold 12 people. That is going to be a tight fit. I saw them squeeze 7 people in. They were also sending boats up without people in them or with only two or three people in them (as was the case with my boat we only had four). This will need to be worked out before summer, particularly if the queue line gets long.

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www.sfafans.org

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Monday, May 26, 2003 11:06 AM
Come on this is SFA we're talking about here so you know that capacity isn't a top priority,still it's great to see that the new ride is getting some positive reviews.

As for Two face who knows what's wrong with the train now. It was extensively rehabbed during the offseason so I don't know why it's having trouble this early in the season,what I do know is that it vallied between the loop & the 2nd lift last sunday(good thing I rode it on saturday because it was real smooth). :)

Did you guys have any breakdowns over at Roar? last weekend the damn thing was having several blocking problems & kept stopping the train on the lift with the other one in the brake run,also did you notice anything different on the go karts near Two face? they finally added new open sprint karts this year,I can't wait to take them for a spin..

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Monday, May 26, 2003 12:24 PM
When I said they could only load or unload twelve people at a time, I meant for both boats in the station, not just for one, as each boat is supposed to accomodate six riders. Roar didn't have any problems when we rode, but we only got one ride in.
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If you have a problem with clones, the solution is real simple—Stop traveling.
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Tuesday, May 27, 2003 4:53 AM

BATWING FAN SFA said:
Come on this is SFA we're talking about here so you know that capacity isn't a top priority

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I NEED TO BRING A FEW THINGS TO YOUR ATTENTION...........

SFA Added 2 rows of seats to Mind Eraser (cause they don't care about capacity?)

SFA spent tens of thousands of additional dollars in training for ride ops...(cause they don't care about capacity?)

SFA bought 2 new trains (where only one ran before) and an entire new safety system for The Wild One (cause they don't care about capacity?)

SFA runs 2 trains on every coaster it can (some trains needed additional maintenance this year due to late parts, or late suppliers) (cause they don't care about capacity?)

SFA has PTC completely re-build the parks PTC trains EVERY WINTER even though PTC recommends rebuild every 2 years (cause they don't care about capacity?)

SFA has worked diligently to increase the number of boats that Typhoon Seacoaster can run (cause they don't care about capacity?)

ALSO.....

Park management, does not sit in their offices and plot out what they can do to SCREW the guest each week. They DO meet to see what they can do to improve the guests experience while at the park.

NOBODY can walk into a park and snap their fingers and make everything perfect. SFA management knows that! If you walked in and demanded perfection from the current staff most would walk out! then where would you be? SFA has taken giant steps forward in customer service and also in addressing capacity issues, they STILL have a ways to go before they'll approach the "tradition of service" that their closest neighbors have, but I can tell you something, they are getting there, and once they do, I'm sure we'll have all new issues to whine about.

We've got one of the best improved parks in the SF chain thanks to the current management, and the knowledge they have for the business.

We have a park that is clean, pleasant, and has pretty good entertainment, along with a good deal of special events, and (personally) a greater selection of rides than ANY of the competition to the south.

I see nothing positive about dogging them on capacity issues as long as they continue to improve.

One guaranteed way to RUIN your park visit is to wear that little "park inspector" badge when you enter!

SAM
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never met a coaster I didn't ride (except Junior Geminii) :(

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Tuesday, May 27, 2003 6:04 AM
I'm looking forward to riding PBR soon. Things are a little different for me this year, as I'll be buying my Six Flags season pass at SFKK this Sunday. I've been saving up for SRM so I haven't had the cash to buy a pass and visit SFA yet, and passes are cheaper in Kentucky. So, after this weekend I can visit my homepark any time. :)

BATWING FAN SFA said:
also did you notice anything different on the go karts near Two face? they finally added new open sprint karts this year,I can't wait to take them for a spin..
Honestly, after visiting Speed Zone in Dallas, SFA's karts are about as exciting as your typical theme park old fashioned Model A replicas. SZ's formula-1 karts are unbelievably fast! If you want to ride some really good go-karts around here, take a ride out to Sterling, VA. There's a great indoor track that has high-performance karts. They actually provide a fire suit, helmet and gloves, as well as a training briefing before riding. It's a little pricey, but very fun.

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-Mike
Have you ridden a Toboggan?

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