Sunday, July 8, 2001 5:40 PM
My girlfriend and I decided to visit Santa Cruz and also check out the Boardwalk. I sort of grew up in Santa Cruz, I went to Jr. High and High School there, so I am totally familiar with the Boardwalk. However, I haven't gone back there since then, (to the Boardwalk that is) and that was about 6 years ago.
Giant Dipper : Still the best medium-sized coaster out there, in my mind. I guess the Coney Island Cyclone has a cooler drop, but this one packs so much into every square inch it's unbelievable. I may be biased since it is the first wood coaster I really loved. You start off with a small dive to the left into a pitch black tunnel, head forwards a little then hit a turn to the right. For some reason I can never anticipate when that turn will happen. Still in the darkness, you hit some brakes and slowly make your way towards the hill, out of the darkness. Here you also get this major oil/machiney smell, certainly the most recognizable one for all coasters. This extended darkness for the beginning (almost 20 seconds worth) is why this one is one of the best.
After climbing the 70' hill, you hit the nice first drop, climb back to the left, continue with the left turn up the second hill, and then dive to the left with some great lateral air. Then comes a the first of the many head chopper drops and bunny hops this coaster has. I love the head chopper drops in the structure because they are those type that you can't see all the boards until you are at the bottom of the hill, making them all seem perilously close.
After the second left turn, it drops suddenly, evens out to the right and dives again, which are what I think the two best airtime moments on the ride. Screw airtime, this is better. If you have your hands up and are in the last seat, you will fly into the lapbar!
Which is the final good point about this ride is that it doesn't have individual lapbars, or seatbelts. Only the old dual-seat linked kinds (front and back seats are linked) with few positions, the lowest one is still quite high. This is the kind of airtime that coaster purists demand. Thigh-bruising airtime damnit!
They actually put in an electronic control system. The old hand brake is there but only for show. I remember rookie RO's screwing up that brake, which meant an extra ride for you! Yes! I heard it was quite hard to pull.
The only drawback is that you can't choose where you want to sit. Well, sort of. It has an old-school loading station (uh, extremely old-school) so after one train leaves they just count out 24 more people to figure it out for themselves. So if you let a group of people go by, you can be first to choose. I am assuming that this is why this coaster is not on the ACE classics list, and it bugs me. I guess if it starts to get out of hand the RO's intervene but I've never seen it happen.
Hurricane : I still miss the Jet Star they used to have here. An original Schwarzkopf Jet Star I! I loved that coaster! Not one inch of wasted space. But now they have this odd Hurricane coaster from SDC. There used to be a Galaxi by SDC at the Fun Forest in Seattle (this is not mentioned on RCDB for some reason) and I didn't really like that boring coaster.
This one is like a more thrilling Galaxi, but it's still weird and oddly paced. The first few dips are obnoxiously small, then suddenly there is this diving drop that twists sharply to the right, and quickly climbs back up while continuing the twist. That immediately makes the coaster worth going on, but if this isn't a family coaster, why didn't it do some other thrilling stuff early on, with more height? (like Jet Star I, hint, hint)
It finishes off with two helixes, the first goes down but wavers a little up and down at points to make it extra rough and scary, the second goes up, and is banked a little too much while losing speed, also with a few minor head chopper incidents with the structure.
Worth going on, but confusingly designed like most SDC coasters.
Chaos : A Chance Chaos, I've never gone on one. Great fun! Those few times when you flip face down towards the ground while near the ground are just great. Almost equally great are the warning signs to keep your hands on the handles. Wow, my forearms will get completely severed? Ouch!
Typhoon : I think it an ARM Skymaster. Or one like it (Sartori Kamikaze?). Anyways, these aren't quite as cool anymore now that there are those Zamperla-type ones where your feet dangle. But this one was a little dirty and covered with enough cobwebs to make it scary anyways.
Haunted Castle : it's been fairly changed since my last visit, but whatever. A cool single-level dark ride.
Crazy Surf : I think this is a Sartori Crazy Surf. This could be a cool airtime-induced if it didn't have that godawful curved bar between your thighs. What's that all about? Ouch, after about 1 minute of that you want off, but they keep it going to watch you shift uncomfortably in your seat during the small stops.
Ghost Blasters : A shooting-gallery dark ride. Uhh. I guess this is an okay idea, but you spend the whole time looking for targets with the lights on. I barely remember the ride. I got 1550 points. Is that a lot?
Other rides of note are an OLD Eli Wheel. I couldn't make out the date, I think it was in the 20's. It was one of those old cable driven kinds, fully manual. The operator accidentally left us in there for an extra go. He was running itbackwards as well. There is also a huge bumper cars but it has the central divider and the one-way system (boo). There was another blacklit bumper cars that was new but there was a long line and it was so small it looked like most people spent most of the time bumping into their neighbors, not being able to get anywhere. They took out the car ride. Why? Oh, and the cave train now makes no sense whatsoever. The only cool part is that there is one of those nausea-inducing spinning tunnels, but the waterfall cave is gone. Now it's a bunch of blacklit cavemen, sort of like the Flintstones or something.
Still, it has good rides and coasters, the food isn't as bad as other theme parks because admission is free, and an all day pass is only $27.95, which you can usually get discounted another $5. I remember when that was alot but now that everything else is $50+ at times, this isn't bad.
*** This post was edited by djansi on 7/8/2001. ***
Monday, July 9, 2001 7:38 AM
Don't forget about the carousel. I think it's the only one where you catch rings on horses that go up and down.
I loved the Giant Dipper and the greatest wood coaster tunnel on the planet.
The loading and also the lapbars are keeping it from being an ACE Classic.
Hello, My name is Dan and I'm a coasterholic.
Monday, July 9, 2001 12:12 PM
The fiber-glass bucket (semi-divided) seats are another part of what disqualifies it as an ACE classic. They will sometimes let you wait for front or back.
Tremors, my 100th coaster.
Ghostrider, stopped counting laps at 100.
*** This post was edited by boblogone on 7/9/2001. ***
Monday, July 9, 2001 2:34 PM
"The fiber-glass bucket (semi-divided) seats are another part of what disqualifies it as an ACE classic. They will sometimes let you wait for front or back.
Yeah, I guess the seats are semi-divided. Not nearly as bad as many other woodies i've ridden but they're there.
And I forgot the carousel, thanks for reminding me. I didn't get a chance to ride it because my girlfriend didn't want to wait for the outside horses. But I have been on it many times before, and somewhere at my parents house must be a stash of those rings. heh heh... I think there is another Loof carousel with the ring toss somewhere in Washington. I must have been about 7-8 years old when I went on it, but it was similar to the one in Santa Cruz, I think it had a plastic rings instead of the steel ones at Santa Cruz (both were originally brass rings.)
Saturday, September 22, 2001 1:48 PM
hey djansi!!!! I love your Trip Report! Oh and you lived in Santa Cruz? I live in Santa Cruz and I love it soooo much, The SCBB is one of the best parks I have been to and The Giant Dipper is definitly my favorite woodie, oh and boblogone, They always let you wait for the front or back, and you CAN pick where you sit
Tuesday, September 25, 2001 9:30 PM
I love the smell in the tunnel. I know it's probably mold or something but I can't get enough of it!!! :)
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