PGA March 28th (long and boring)

Associated parks:

Wednesday, April 2, 2003 9:13 PM
I made a typing error in the TR title, the visit was on 3/29/03 not the 28th... sorry :)

Park: Paramount’s Great AmericaDate: Saturday, March 29th 2003.Rides and Number of Rides: Drop Zone (4), Demon (1), Vortex (1), Grizzly (1), Psycho Mouse (1), Stealth (1), Delirium (1), Sponge Bob 3D (1), Top Gun (1), Centrifuge (1), Runaway Reptar (1), the Skyride (1)Overall Rating (0 being average): -4

Trip Report: Note- My rating system is a little different. It is on a scale from -10 to 10, 0 being average. The day starts off at zero and can get plus a point or minus a point for certain things. You will get the idea after you read the report. (Thanks to Lorenzo Tulipano for this excellent rating system!)

Arriving at the park 30 minutes before Opening Day at Paramount’s Great America, both Lorenzo and I were really psyched up about getting back to the park. It had been a terrible 9 months since we had visited, and I was interested to see if the rides were as I remembered them. Thinking ahead, we bought tickets online to be able to enter the park more quickly without waiting to buy tickets. What a big flop this was, as our tickets had not registered within the computer yet (as with just about anyone else who bought tickets online) and this caused us to get into the park about 20 minutes late. Having to go through security twice in one day with as much stuff as I bring is neither fun nor easy. -4 points

We had planned on riding Demon first but because of our late entrance, we ran straight to Drop Zone in time to see the first load of people falling to their *almost* deaths. Being my first Intamin Second Generation Drop Tower, and Lorenzo’s first time on Drop Zone, we were pretty pumped. Well we walked right on and grabbed the side facing out over the whole park. Well I was freaking out as we got in and secured ourselves, there were only 3 other people on the ride with us! Did I mention my strong fear of heights? Well I guess now is a great time to do so, looking up that tower really got my heart pumping. Then with little warning, we slowly accelerated up the 100% grade. The view was great but I was sweating pretty strong. Lorenzo was freaking out as well; of course this didn’t help me. We got to the top and waited what seemed like ages (in reality it was about 4 seconds.) When the decent starts you get airtime, massive airtime followed by a harsh unforgiving stop and slowly glide into the station. WOW!!! This was so much better than I thought it would be! We did two straight rides after this putting our arms and legs straight out, improving the ride even more. +3

After this we went over to Stealth to get a quick ride before lines got too bad. We opted for back row and waited about 10 minutes with one train operation and slow crews. The ride was even better than I had remembered, still not as good as X-Flight but gave a good experience with great Gs and not too rough. +1

After this we wanted to ride Delirium… broken down. “So early?” we both thought, but didn’t think much and decided to ride Sponge Bob 3D. While the 3D stuff was cool, the sound wasn’t very loud (I want loud!) and the wait was fairly long. Still, a great ride many family members will enjoy. No gain or decline

Top Gun was sounding pretty good at this point. I hadn’t had the smooth, great experience on this ride yet that so many talk about, so we went ahead and waited for the front of the blue train. I took far right because Lorenzo hadn’t “skimmed the lake” yet, needless to say he sat far left. The ride starts off with a great first drop and loop. The Gs through that turn after the loop are GREAT, a little rough right there though. I must say, this is my favorite inline twist. It is just so fast and smooth, I love it. The little break as you fly over the station is needed at this point, but of course it doesn’t last for long. The entrance to the corkscrew has a little jolt, and then through the top has another little jolt, and THEN the exit has a huge jolt. Man! That thing really hurt and was just how I remembered it. The helix was great but hard to enjoy after the head trauma. Well, so much for that. Guess what happens at this point? The coaster breaks down and we are stuck on the drake run for about 10 minutes. Well, at least we rode it. No points gained or lost

After head trauma, what else are you suppose to do? Ride Delirium of course! We went down to find mechanics climbing down underground to fix the floor, it wasn’t working right. So we said screw it and waited for it to open. 10 minutes later (and after a very sincere apology from some guy who was wearing nice clothes and appeared to be with public relations) we were securing ourselves into this beast. While not even close to as intense as it was when it opened, it still had about 4 good swings. +1 for the ride and apology (we then rode the skyride up to near Psycho Mouse)

Runaway Reptar was calling to me at this point. I had never been on Green Slime so this was my chance to ride. After about a minute of begging the ride op to let us ride, we found two kids to ride with us. This coaster was a lot better than I thought it would/could be and the kid’s commentary was really funny and cute. That was fun. No gain or loss

I really wanted to ride Psycho Mouse, but Lorenzo wanted to take a trip on Grizzly. Ok, whatever, I rode it again, hated it again… lets us pray this thing burns down sometime soon (not hurting anyone or anything of course) and they have to replace it with something people like. -2 points (now at an overall score of -1)

So after this we walked over to Demon noticing that Invertigo wasn’t going to be opening at all. Too bad considering it is one of the best rides in the park. Grabbed our backseat on Demon with a pretty short wait, and had a heck of a time trying to just get it. The lift is steeper than I recalled and the train really “dances” on the track a lot. This was so weird watching and feeling the train swaying side to side and just going on a straight piece of track. Still with that jolt going into the corks being the only bad one, the corkscrews on this coaster are so perfect and are possibly my favorite inversions ever. This ride would really be perfect without that one jolt and the “dancing.” +1

Now just about dead from thirst, we went looking for drinks. Where there were drinks the lines were insanely long, other places the soda machines were not plugged in. So we found some machines by the bathrooms where Vortex is. Of course this machine ate $3 and gave us no drinks. What a rip. I know this isn’t PGA’s fault, but when you were as thirsty as we were, this really pisses you off. -3

Drop Zone was calling us. Even with a 20 minute wait, we needed one last ride. We picked the side opposite of what we rode the first time. It was just as good, but I think I prefer looking down on Stealth rather than Psycho Mouse. Speaking of the mouse, it was time to ride. After what seemed like a quick 20 minutes there, we got into our car. It was just as Psycho as I remembered it. AIRTIME! Arrow makes the best mouse by far. Followed by a quick ride on Centrifuge, this was quite fun. +1

It was almost closing time at an early 6pm. Vortex, my favorite stand-up coaster, needed some “lovin’ from daddy: so we went up to finish off the day. While in line there were about 20 people line jumping and the fights were starting to break out in the station. It was bad, and security was called. Big -3 there. Then we finally got on the front seat of Vortex and had a bumpy but super intense ride. It was pure insanity and why I love this ride so much +1. The -3 and +1 brought this time to be a total of -2

I then bought a Stealth sweatshirt claiming it is the only flying coaster in the world and we left the park. It was lots of fun, but lacked from previous visits. The overall score was -4 which is just below average for when I rate, so it didn’t do too bad. I love Drop Zone and Vortex! Anyways, thanks for reading.

*** This post was edited by GoliathKills 4/3/2003 2:28:13 AM ***

Wednesday, April 2, 2003 10:28 PM
Head trauma on Top Gun? I never even noticed the ride being rough.


Wednesday, April 2, 2003 10:46 PM
Yeah, I have yet to get a smooth ride on it. It hurts more than an Vekoma SLC because there is no padding on the B&M restraints...
Thursday, April 3, 2003 5:39 AM
My Top Gun rides were B&M smooth also. Vortex on the other hand...
Thursday, April 3, 2003 8:59 AM
I didn't read the TR, I just wanted to lol at the title! :)

"No honey, the monkeys have already done enough damage on this trip." - Guy coming out of front gate at SFGAd


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