Rolling Thunder LIVES...SFGAdv Opening Day

Associated parks:

Saturday, April 5, 2003 4:36 PM
Six Flags Great Adventure

April 5, 2003

Opening Day

Wow, what a day. I could not have asked for better weather, cloudy, with occasional rain, and a high in the high 40's to low 50's. This made for a very empty Great Adventure. Needless to say, every ride was pretty much a walk on, with many, including Nitro, allowing for easy re-rides.

After getting some breakfast, I picked up ApolloAndy in Princeton and headed off to the park. We got there at about 9:45. I was disappointed to see a sign indicating that the season pass entrance would not be open until June 21, so we got a close spot to the main entrance and headed in.

The entrance security seemed to be more present this year then last. I feel it is pretty much useless, it is really there for just show. Well, I hope they decide to have more security throughout the park as it gets busier in the season, rather then have it all concentrated on the front gates.

Andy and I headed straight for Batman and Robin: The Chiller. This shuttle coaster tends to have a long line, so it is best to get it done early. Only the Robin side, with it's cobra roll, was running that day. The LIM launch was great, and the zero-g roll is just something to behold. I think, however the best part are the lap bars, which I fit in much better this year, I must have lost weight, since I had trouble last year, and there were no apparent changes.

After two laps on B&R, we headed for Nitro and proceeded to get three circuits on it without getting off. This remains my favorite steel. It is not intense, but has just this incredible floater airtime, and this day was no exception. This is one coaster that is most definitely better in the back then the front.

By the time we were on the third circuit it had started to rain pretty hard. We headed for Batman: The Ride, but they by this time it had been closed due to the now heavy rain falling.

We headed out to the car so Andy could get his gloves and I could get my extra jacket, and then headed for Rolling Thunder where the group from Great Adventure Source was meeting up. We get there, and find no one else is there, so we go hop on Rodeo Stampede. I like this flat ride a lot, and Madd_Cow_Disease (from Great Adventure Source) was doing a great job running the thing, varying the speed to get some good spin on the cows.

After saying hi to Madd Cow, we headed back to Rolling Thunder where the group had finally gathered. We would have then gotten on a re-tracked Rolling Thunder, but it was closed, so we made our way down to Medusa.

Medusa seemed to be a little rough today. I don't know why, but I actually got hit by a good deal of head banging. It may be that it is early in the season and with the cold day the steel may just have been a little tight. I don't really know.

Well, anyhow, we headed along the back of the park to Nitro for another fantastic airtime filler ride.

After Nitro, Batman was open and just asking to be ridden. I consider the clone to be one of my favorite inverts. It is more intense then most of the inverts, with its nice tight layout. After Batman, we headed towards the front of the park, taking yet another lap on B&R. Still fun.

Rolling Thunder was finally open, and let me tell you, it is a much better ride now. They repainted most of the ride and re-tracked the outer turnaround. The only other thing I could have asked for is it to race, but it looks like they haven't quite finished work on the ride side track, which instead of having the level turnaround of the left side track, has a fan turnaround. I am look forward to seeing this coaster race once again. For now, the ride seemed much faster, and even offered up some good airtime. The outer turnaround still squealed, but was smooth. The trains have also been repainted and have a new logo put on the front that shows the coaster racing.

Next we headed for the Boardwalk area, and the Great American Scream Machine. On can always hope that the ride has gotten better with time and mantience, but it hasn't. Event he first drop is painful, and the ride doesn't get any better from there. I think it is time GASM was retired.

Superman: Ultimate Flight is still under construction, but the track is all up and has been run. We did not see it run today however. Just the station needs finishing and the landscape must be put in place. Other then that, it looks like everything will be ready for the April 17th opening.

At this point the group started to split up, with some of us staying together and roaming the park a bit, taking in some of the smaller rides and the Mine Train. Andy and I finished the day on Nitro, four more laps for me. I had actually expected to end the day with a night ride on Nitro, but the park closed at five instead of eight due to the weather. That was OK, there were so few people there it was better then any ERT I have been on. It seemed like we had the place all to ourselves, and I really had a good time.

The overall look of the park was still kinda bad. It was dirty, I even noticed litter as I entered the park. The Batman queue was muddy and full of puddles, even long after the rain stopped. There was still graffiti here and there, including on the Nitro trains, that should have been cleaned up in the off season. The ride ops were very good on this day though, fast and efficient.

All and all it was a good day, and I think all had a good time in the rain.

"If you make it too smooth, it'll be like sitting in your living room."
-Bill Cobb - Designer, Texas Cyclone
*** This post was edited by Black 7 4/5/2003 9:38:05 PM ***
*** This post was edited by Black 7 4/5/2003 9:40:38 PM ***

Saturday, April 5, 2003 4:44 PM
Thanks for the TR! Was any other coaster than Superman closed? Viper? Skull Mountain? My father is flying out next weekend and I'm going to take him....hope he get's to ride everything!

- "I used to be in the audio/visual club, but I was kicked out because of my views on Vietnam........and I was stealing projectors" - Homer Simpson

Saturday, April 5, 2003 5:08 PM
Are you kidding me? I thought Rolling Thunder seemed alot rougher than usual.

Coaster count:32
top3 wood:Boulder Dash, Wildcat, Thunderhawk
top3 steel: Steel Force, Nitro, S:ROS@ SFNE

Saturday, April 5, 2003 5:57 PM
I was fortunate enough to go to Six Flags today with my school.

It was awsome.

There were no lines whatsoever. The Chiller and Nitro were both walk-ons! Medusa was kind of rickety. It made the ride so much more intense. I was impressed with the new and improved Rolling Thunder. Still nothing spectacular, but it preformed well. I was dissapointed that Viper was closed. Also, we were next to get on GASM and it broke down. Superman is beautiful and I cannot wait until it starts running. We didn't ride Skull Mountain. I'm not sure if it was open.

I also thought the staff was quite good. They were a little pushy on the Chiller but in all, they were really quite pleasant. The security has also been beefed up. It took a good half an hour for all 45 of us to get into the park.

We were only at the park for 3 hours. Our bus arrived at 2 and the park closed at 5. That's ok though. We had more than enough time to do everything and we got free passes to come back to the park!

Did anyone see us there? We had a girl in a wheelchair in our group. She busted her leg yesterday at Virginia Beach. You might have spotted us.

It's going to be a great season at SFGAdv. this year!

"Life is like a roller coaster; there are ups and downs and it's over all too fast."

Fight Back at:

Sunday, April 6, 2003 4:15 AM
ApolloAndy's avatar Viper was down, as was Mach 1 (oh no!). ErUPtion isn't done, and pretty much everything else was up. Skull mountain was open at some point, but closed when we got there and Blackbeard's was having problems and going on and off.

How'd you get free passes? Do you just go up to guest relations and ask? I went and didn't explicitly ask, but expressed my dismay at the early closing, and didn't get anything.

Be polite and ignore the idiots. - rollergator
"faster, cheaper, and more often" that's somebody's new sig -UpsideDawnGrrrl
My shirt in my photo seems to be for "Aging Bull"

Sunday, April 6, 2003 6:42 AM
All we did was take our ticket stub up to guest relations. Some of my friends got a free pass with just giving up part of the ticket stub.

When I got up there she wouldn't give me a free pass unless I had the whole thing. I don't see what the big deal about that was.

I may have gotten one because I was with a group. I know that doesn't sound like a logical excuse. The only other explanation could be the short time period we were in the park.

We had to drive from Virginia Beach to get to Six Flags. It was 2 when we entered the park. This means we were only there for 3 hours. If we had gotten there when the park opened, we might not have gotten free passes.

"Life is like a roller coaster; there are ups and downs and it's over all too fast."

Fight Back at:

Sunday, April 6, 2003 3:07 PM
Nice TR! I was about two spots ahead of you in line to get in. I saw you talking with Andy. iw as going to say hi but I wasn't sure if I should have. I'm to lazy to write a report so I will just add some comments.

Eruption's towers were done but they are still having construction at the bottom. It looks nice with the flags on it.

I unfortunately didn't get to ride the new and improved Rolling Thunder. I did get the first ride on Nitro in the third seat.

This year they just open the bar at 10:00 then let everyone got to the rides themselves. I don't like this because whoever gets there first will probably get to win the running of the bulls. It's no big deal though.

They took the only DDR Machine of the park out. Now they have two brand new DDRMAX2 7th mix machines right next to each other. They are also set back a little bit so people don't have to watch you if you can dance:) But, unfortunately one was totally off and the other was on and it was eating your change and the buttons on the machine weren't working so I didn't get to play:(

I will be at the park the 17th for Supermans opening. I can't stay for the ERT but I'll be there for the opening at 1:00. I'll be looking for Andy and Black7.

-Sean Newman
*** This post was edited by SFgadvMAN 4/6/2003 7:15:06 PM ***

Sunday, April 6, 2003 3:14 PM
Dude, if you ever see me, give a shout out. I am always up for some more company. Besides, it is cool to put a face to a screen name.

Of course, I will be there for S:UF opening, by that night anyway. mmmmmmmm, ERT :)

"If you make it too smooth, it'll be like sitting in your living room."
-Bill Cobb - Designer, Texas Cyclone

Sunday, April 6, 2003 3:17 PM
Black7- Were you the one behind me talking to Andy? I will next time. I was about two spaces ahead of you. I was wearing cargo pants and a Nike Windbreaker. I'm 14 if your wondering. I'll look for you on the 17th. Maybe I'll email you and get a meeting spot.

Edit: While I was on B&R I was screaming at some ride-op to give me a roll-back. He said he was an enthusiast and said wasn't allowed to. If you are here post something.

Sean Newman
*** This post was edited by SFgadvMAN 4/6/2003 7:23:57 PM ***

Sunday, April 6, 2003 3:27 PM
That is funny. I kinda wonder what a rollback on B&R would be like. I was disappointed the Batman side was not running. I have not been on that side since the new restraints were added.

"If you make it too smooth, it'll be like sitting in your living room."
-Bill Cobb - Designer, Texas Cyclone


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