Rolling Thunder of a different kind [SFGAdv 8-1]

Associated parks:
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Saturday, August 2, 2003 3:49 AM
Rain deter me, never. Most people want a nice, clear day to visit the amusement park, not me. Give me rain, lots of it, but no thunder or lightning. Why? No lines of course, because again, most people like a nice clear day for visiting an amusement park. Well, this particular visit was half that, I got the rain, in bucketfuls, but also some thunder and lightning. OK, I can live with that.
I got to the park at about 5:30, greeted by a long line of cars leaving the park, and an empty parking lot. I love the season pass holders lot at Great Adventure, and I really have to hand it to the park, this is a nice feature that they went out of their way to create that they didn't have to do. I parked right by the gate, and headed in. Then I saw it, the first of many bolts of lightning. Well, it was going to be a little while before I rode Nitro today, if at all.

I took a walk through a very deserted park. Most rides were closed but the enclosed rides were open, so I took my first ride in quite some time on Houdini's Great Escape. There was no wait. This is a pretty cool haunted swing, and well worth a ride. The illusion is very well done, complete with a table in the room who's cloth swings back and forth and has a lamp who's shade does the same.

I also rode Skull mountain, the only coaster running at the moment, in the last seat. The last seat is the only one worth riding, as it gives a great surprise (well, not anymore) pop of air on the first drop. The rest of the ride remains very lack luster.

I had not eaten, so next I went into Granny's Cafeteria to get a bite. While a bit expensive, I got three pieces of chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, and a biscuit for about eight bucks. The food was actually fairly good, and the service was friendly. This brings me to another point about the park, the service. I have actually seen it get better over the past few years. The employees for the better part are much more helpful and friendly then they once were. I don't know if this is due to a Six Flags program or just better people, but I hope they keep it up. I did not run into one mean employee on this trip, and for that I am pleased. To this end, as I was eating a manager came out and announced to the people sitting out the rain on the patio that the rides should be opening soon, that the storm appeared to be clearing. It was nice of him to do that.

After eating, I decided to take in Great Adventure's new show this year, a troop of African Acrobats, the Black Mumbo? They were very entertaining, and their performance was just 20 minutes long, so it is a good quick show to catch. They have some great fire acts that they do, jumping through flaming rings and limboing under a flaming bar. If one gets the chance they should take the time to catch this show.

Now the whether had finally started to clear, at least a bit, so I headed over to what is usually my first ride, Rolling Thunder. It was not open yet, but Viper was, so I decided to embrace the pain and take it for a spin. Yeah, ouch. OK, Rolling Thunder is open. I got in car one, seat two. About five other people were in the back of the train. This back heavy train makes for a real rough and tumble ride for that lead car, and I loved it. I rode the coaster twice more later, with the same setup, and the same results, a great ride each time. It even had a great deal of airtime in the first three hills, as well has the two after the turnaround, thought the rest of the bunny hops back were still slow.

Medusa next. They were running two trains, with really no need to. I rode twice, both times were pretty smooth, though the section of track just before the block brakes is getting a bit rough. I enjoyed the ride, and felt it was running better then last I rode it in the spring.

Now I walked to the other side of the park and hopped on Nitro. Here is where the fun really begins. The station crew was really pumped tonight, and doing a great job. there was little to no wait, even with just one train running. Most interestingly, it had started to rain again, no lightning though, just rain, and a bit heavy. I got on, rode to the top of the lift, and then found out that, at 80 MPH, rain really hurts. I actually rode with my hands in the air, but my eyes shut the entire time. What a cool experience. I think most other riders had the same experience, and everyone was having a great time, cheering and clapping on the way back to the station. I rode a total of six times, and all but one ride it was pouring down rain. The ride crew even was saying to the folks in the station that "On this ride, you WILL get wet." It was great.

I stayed until closing, only really getting in two hours of ride time with all the rain, but with no lines, and the people that were there so very enthused, it was some of the best ride time I have had in a while. The park had a very surreal feeling to it, walking along the rain drenched pathways, void of the normal summertime throngs of people. It was almost magical, and I was glad I decided to make the trip.


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Ask yourself; When was the last time YOU visited Conneaut Lake Park?

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Saturday, August 2, 2003 9:09 PM
Sounded like a good decision to go. Some TRs make it sound like SFGAdv is busy, even on weekdays.

I'm looking forward to my first trip up there, whenever that is. I can't wait to give Nitro a spin.

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OoOoOo....Boulder Dash *Drools Excessively*
"That helix turns me on" - Nightride at CoasterCon

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Saturday, August 2, 2003 11:50 PM
That trip sounded great. We rarely get rainy days out at SFMM, and unfortunately the only rainy day that I've been there was exceptionally crowded. For some reason, the rain isn't enough to drive the crowds away there, but it is enough to make the park run single trains on everything.
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