SF Great Adventure - Sunday June 11, 2006

Associated parks:

The day was very beautiful. Weather was perfect - sunny, breezy, passing light clouds, no threat of precipitation.

Straight to the day ...
** clarification - my companion for the day was my fiance.

The carousel needs rehabilitation badly. Most if not all of the horses have no tails, which leave the horses looking completely obscene. The paint on anything is so rough and worn down and cracked, that it's just barely still recognizable as rooster or horse. The ride length is deplorable - only 2 or 3 rounds and then it's done. It needs to be a longer ride length, and the carousel needs to be beautified in a major way.

The big wheel looks like a rolling rust death trap so we passed it. A good number of the cars have paint peeling off in big sheets. There are significant rust patches near every bolt and every hinge. The wheel itself goes a bit disturbingly fast - big wheels are supposed to be relaxing, not thrill rides. This ride looks completely unsafe. Does anyone care? It's a picturesque aspect of the park.

The music express or what it's name is - it needs to go backwards too. It only goes forwards and the ride duration is less than an average radio song. That's just not enough.

The shows were looking very promising. We loved the dolphin/sea lion show 'Island Party' even though it's still a work in progress. I really respected that even though they're still bringing it together, they still have shows to the public to show them the animals and interact with them. Made me feel appreciated and valued.

The tiger show was great!

(Usually I don't do this much non-coaster stuff, but my companion was not a thrill seeker).

But in future park trips, I'm going to make the tiger show and the dolphin/sea lion show part of the day because great shows need to be encouraged. I hope many people on coasterbuzz will encourage these shows too. I'm not a kick-up-yer-heels, yee-haw, sing-and-dance show kinda person. These shows are animals demonstrating and being appreciated, and that's gotta be encouraged. Go see Super Dog and Trap Jaw at the dolphin/sea lion show (Island Party)- they're awesome.

GASM was awesome in the front seat. Fast and fun.

Medusa was running three trains although a bit of stacking, but the line moved fast. Medusa was running superbly.

NO coaster was running only one train. Very impressive. And there wasn't a huge crowd in the park. Even more impressive that they weren't slacking to only one train.

One of the first rides was Texas Twister, and that's a short and sweet intense packet of fun to get someone in the mood for the day. It's really a crowd pleaser! For most of the day, it had a line of people comparable to a coaster.

KK was up and running all day. Love it's horn!

El Toro was running. I was told by park staff that it was running for commercial tapings. i considered trying to get on the coaster, but was told it would be a 3 hour minimum wait. I didn't want to put my companion through a 3 hour wait for me, so I'll catch El Toro some other visit.

RT is down for 2 more weeks. I told the girl at the gate that it simply wasn't fair that some new coaster comes along and causes her established coaster to go out of commission for so long, and she appreciated it.

RT looks absolutely horrible though. Downright decrepit. On the verge of crumbling away into dust. RT needs an undeniable, unambiguous amount of investment into it for one off-season to bring it into the great, sparkling, wooden racer it could be. Think of the capacity! Think of the charm. One side could be white with blue trim - the other white with red trim. It could have old-fashion white lights strung along the sides for night-time dueling. it's a downright shame. Please make it great or take it out, but please stop breaking my heart.

Six Flags has done a great job on bringing more charm to the park. The street performers gave strong attempts to remain jovial even when more beligerant people in the crowd acted like primates. Kudos to the performers for not letting it visibly get them down overall. I know that the little kids really appreciated the experience! It was very obvious to me.

I loved the additional interaction, the show of we-value-our-park-and-will-show-it element brought in. I saw more families there than in 2003. I hope it continues to go in that direction. I hope that the crowd at the park can catch up to where the park itself is going, because now it seems that the park is becoming higher quality than the crowd. Come on people - stop vandalizing, stop shouting like neanderthals, discipline the line jumping - try a bit more decency and respect for others. because one day when i bring my future children to the park, I'll shout right back at ya and you may be shocked at what I say.

On a final note, Houdini's was open and it was crazy good. I had to shut my eyes - my non-thrill companion showed me for a wuss. It's been years since I've been on a ride like Houdini's (hershey used to have one under a different theme) and I was very very glad to experience that additional flavor.

People feeding the geese and birds. Hershey Park has it right - what Six Flags needs to do is put up a bunch of bird-feed machines, like gum ball machines. For 25 cents, you get a handful of feed for the birds. Otherwise, you have many well-meaning kids trying to throw anything at the birds to give them food. Siz Flags can make a bit of money and also set a good example like Hershey Park. 'Don't throw your fries or bits of cheesesteak on the ground - throw these nice discreet brown pellets that the birds love.' Think about it.

Conclusion: To SFGreat Adventure - I love the flavors and colors, but there's alot more work to be done. To the SFGreat Adventure crowd - Let's all encourage what the park is trying to do and help it carry forward, because we'll really benefit from it if we do.

- J

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