SF Great Adventure 9-2-07...CP<--CP Beat It??

Associated parks:
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Wednesday, September 5, 2007 4:40 PM
Another trip to GAdv with another girlfriend who has never been...I usually don't write TR's, but I'm bored here at work with a coaster hang-over from the long weekend, so why not?

We also made brief stops at Dorney on Saturday and Monday, which was your typical Dorney with station-only waits, something you appreciate with CP and KI being your most frequented parks!!

As for GAdv, had virtually no waits all day with gold flash pass! This can also be a curse since going on ride after ride can take its toll, but for a 1 day park visit it's the way to go. The crowds were moderate, but NOT crazy (since there's no flash pass for midways unfortunately).

As for rides, first was El Toro just since it had been too long since last being on this! We got multiple re-rides in the front and back car during Rise and Scream, and just when they were stopping this my girlfriend wanted one more ride, which we were forced to ride in the middle since that's all that was open....unfortunately, the finale was rough as expected for the middle and we both got slight headaches.

As for the increasing roughness of this ride that some people have talked about, is it getting slightly rough in spots even if riding in the front or back? Yes, but I still think it's nothing to be concerned about yet. And after recently going to HW I asked my girlfriend if she liked Voyage or El Toro better cuz it's so hard to pick the better one, and I agreed it's probably apples to oranges as ET has the better drops and is smoother while Voyage has more air and seems to last longer. I'm hoping the next Intamin pre-fab will provide a clear winner!!

Next was Kingda Ka which we foolishly rushed over for to ensure a ride, only to have from what I saw flawless 4 train operation for the rest of the entire day!! So we waited a little longer than we should have to first get on when we did, but what really pissed me off was them running Gak (green train) at the station closest to flash pass!! My girlfriend had never been on KK (though has been on TTD), but I reluctantly boarded Gak expecting a putridly rough ride, and it was and a slight headache resulted. However, for the rest of day we successfully maneuvered our way to the other trains which were all fine.

So I asked her again if she thought TTD or KK was better, and she thought not having OTSR's on TTD was better and TTD's location was no contest as with KK barely anyone can see you launch, even if you're in the station!! However, she liked how KK's four train station spread everyone out, and how you build up speed on the launch (on a side note, does KK's build up launch provide more reliable operation? I didn't see one rollback all day, and rollbacks seem like a daily event for TTD!) Something else she claimed is it seemed KK's top hat was longer than TTD's so while you stay at KK's top longer, TTD's drop seemed a little more steeper, quicker, and intense (but she still wasn't able to see NYC! :)

As for the other rides, it's a little unfair riding Medusa the day after (and before) Hydra, but this is probably my favorite floorless! Pleading didn't get me out of riding GASM, and what a POS this is! How Vortex at KI (my home park) can be two years older than this and run so much better I have no clue!? Also, after multiple Firehawk rides this year I still like it better than S:UF from a comfort standpoint. BTR...all I can say is Raptor complainers don't know what a real rough invert is! Nitro was great as always and makes me wonder what MF would have been like had it been built by B&M as Kinzel mentioned instead of Intamin...I think it would be 10x better, but no way CF would ever dream of no seat belts on it!

Other highlights, we saw the Temple of Tiger show which my girlfriend completely loved and got tons of great video footage of (however, I thought the gay jokes with the emcee were a little inappropriate, especially for a younger audience!) Also, despite Chiller being down, as I've mentioned before, this dead area of the park provides a nice getaway from packed, tiny and meandering paths in Golden Kingdom, Plaza del Carnaval, and the Boardwalk.

My girlfriend and I also thought the ride ops were hilarious! Were they professional? Not a chance! Were ride operations slow? Without a question!! But the Medusa op with his Heinz ketchup spiel was a riot and he should be the next Marc Summers and host Double Dare! (which, yes, ketchup sponsoring a coaster is the cheesy equivalent to like an ultrasound gel sponsoring my sister's pregnancy!), and the best was the Nitro op with a Jersey accent saying "If you got a cell phone in your pocket...good luck with that!" We also got the high-five/applause exit, which was nice.

Overall, in many ways SFGAdv operations this year has almost approached Disney in many regards, and I hope it continues next year!! I still can't decide if I like CP or GAdv better? On the one hand I hate CP's long lines and over the top safety and rain policies, and with the exception of a few on-ride photo ops, most of GAdv's employees from the ride ops to security to food services were all very friendly and helpful (and this is Jersey!!), plus there were virtually no ride break-downs (a guarantee at CP), and there's a certain laid-back style I like where you can randomly toss your loose articles to the other side of the ride platform and just have them sit in the middle of the ground without anyone caring (just don't smoke in un-designated areas!)

I've had very similar experiences with all my GAdv visits this year, and maybe those have been exceptions and no doubt non-flash pass usage might result in a different experience. However, the one thing I do like most about CP is how CP and its guests "get" coaster riding and what it's all about, and will try to fill trains! No joke, on a day that was fairly crowded with queue lines, each train was probably at least 20% empty, and many with 2 empty seats together!! Plus, at CP getting off and back on a ride is more accepted and better understood. CP also has hot water for bathroom sinks...uh-oh, didn't want to mention the bathrooms!!

Take the good with the bad I guess, but I'm looking forward to many more GAdv trips next year!! *** Edited 9/5/2007 8:50:22 PM UTC by tigellinus***

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Wednesday, September 5, 2007 5:00 PM
Good TR I cant' disagree more about GASM though. I rode it prob 30 times this year and I took one ride on Vortex in June. All I can say is wow Vortex was alot rougher in my opinion. My buddy who is dead even with the OTSR and not an enthusiast agreed as well.
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Wednesday, September 5, 2007 8:07 PM

tigellinus said:
ET has the better drops and is smoother while Voyage has more air and seems to last longer.

Is it possible to have more air than El Toro? Wow I gotta make it to Indiana! ;)

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Thursday, September 6, 2007 8:33 AM

OP AWESOME said:
Good TR I cant' disagree more about GASM though. I rode it prob 30 times this year and I took one ride on Vortex in June. All I can say is wow Vortex was alot rougher in my opinion. My buddy who is dead even with the OTSR and not an enthusiast agreed as well.

Yeah, you know what, with using Flash Pass we were assigned seats (I think 8-3/4) which was very middle and it might be worth another try in the front or something...and while Vortex was pretty rough for me too in June (and April and May), it's been a lot better since July!!


Ride of Steel said:
Is it possible to have more air than El Toro? Wow I gotta make it to Indiana!

Just in time for the CoasterBuzz Fall Affair!! While some people have said Voyage has slowed down this year and the air has decreased, it's still pretty floater-air filled and HW always gives you like a foot of space with your lap bar! :)

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Thursday, September 6, 2007 8:49 AM
We're still using the KK unofficial train names? yuck.

I'm glad you had a good time @ SFGADV. I will really put Vortex back to the test next month at KI to compare the roughness of GASM.

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Thursday, September 6, 2007 10:17 AM

Something else she claimed is it seemed KK's top hat was longer than TTD's so while you stay at KK's top longer, TTD's drop seemed a little more steeper, quicker, and intense

The time you spend on the top hat at CP varies. One ride you will fly over, another ride it will seem like a rollback and you will hover for what seems like a few seconds.


I didn't see one rollback all day, and rollbacks seem like a daily event for TTD!

And everybody wants one!

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Thursday, September 6, 2007 6:09 PM

CHILLERLC1 said:
We're still using the KK unofficial train names? yuck.

Maybe not....but the people I know who GAdv is their home park still call them by it.

However, I think ET's trains may only be referred to now as "A" and "B" since I believe ET's crew this year is entirely different than last year's and when discussing ET with them they referred to them as "A" and "B" and as did I....no "Jorge" or "Hector" was ever referenced and their use of "A" and "B" seemed too natural for any name deviation.

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Monday, September 10, 2007 4:13 PM
I really want to ride KK, but now I realize having CP doesn't totally leave me missing out (thanks to TTD). I still really want to get to SFGA.
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Monday, September 10, 2007 4:35 PM
^^CP still doesn't have El Toro!! Though Maverick is a close substitute... ;)
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Tuesday, September 11, 2007 12:37 AM

tigellinus said:
^^CP still doesn't have El Toro!! Though Maverick is a close substitute... ;)

Well, CP DID have Blue Streak... argh.. I'll stop. Even when I worked on it, it was still my favorite ride in the park.

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