Saturday, April 14, 2001 2:05 PM
On Good Friday (4/13 not 4/14) PKD was packed and didn't seem quite ready for the crowds. I don't know actual numbers, but the crowd looked much like a Saturday in July. Unfortunately, the coasters often didn't have all trains running. Waits were long for nearly everything. 1.5 hours for Volcano, the longest line I've ever seen for the bobsled (Through the whole queue and beyond), 20 minutes for Grizzly which is often a walk on. FOF with only one train was 40 minutes even though we went first thing in the morning before the crowd built. (The line started jsut 20 feet from the the saucer, but still took 40 minutes.) I don't want to think about what the wait for FOF must have been like in the afternoon. The lines were even long for the water rides which is unusual for April, though it was unseasonably warm. The line was short for 7th Portal.
The highlights were the improvements to FOF and the new Seventh Portal film. While there are still considerable lateral jerks, without the OTSRs your head doesn't get beaten up on FOF. Some changes also seem to have been made to add some colored lights to the building. This gives some warning as to what is coming next, so you deal with it better.
Seventh Portal is the best film that I have seen in a motion theatre. Great 3-D effects and animation. One word of caution, this film is definately too intense for most young children.
The major negatives, were coasters not running and not all trains running on those that were. Volcano was down for the first several hours of the day. FOF ran only 1 20 seat train on a nearly 5 minute cycle bringing the capacity down to about 250 riders per hour.
The kids tried the Skycoaster and had to stand around and wait until 40 minutes after their scheduled time. Then the video they wanted to buy didn't come out.
Worst of all, Hypersonic was down almost the entire day. It was not listed at the gate as being out of service. Every time that they started to test, a thousand people would line up only to be disappointed. It was after 5 PM when they finally opened it, then at 6 PM sharp the park slammed the gates in the faces of hundreds of customers who had waited many hours and spent a lot of money in order to ride it. L. L. Bean is probably rolling over in his grave at the thought of that kind of customer diservice.
The customer service office was most accomadating in providing free passes for a return visit. However, I will have to make the 300 mile round trip again in order to ride. I hope that the others mistreated in this manner were also able to obtain passes.
*** This post was edited by Jim Fisher on 4/14/2001. ***