SF Great America 7/25/07 - last Wednesday

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Tuesday, July 31, 2007 2:38 PM
I promised someone I would post a trip report, sorry it took so long. Went to the park last Wed with a non-coaster geek friend. But he still has a pass. Hmm... Six Flags sure knows how to sell passes :)

We got to the park somewhere between 2 and 3pm. Always good to see Maryann, fellow ACEer, at the parking gate. She said, yep, park is pretty much packed, and man did it look it!

Luckily, because I am priveleged, I get to park up front - part of the deal buying season pass parking. The $60 covers parking for all the park. (Well, cept for Kentucky Kingdom. Kinda ;) When we went to KK, the girl said 'that covers every SF but this one'. When we stopped at the park on the way back (a couple hours before the 'accident' yikes) we ran into 'execs' who said we can get refunds on those $5 fees. So one of em pulled out a $5 and handed it to me. That covered that days parking.)

Made our way to basically the front row and got in the park. People everywhere. We went to Whizzer, about a 10 min wait. Running 3 trains, still one of the top 2 coasters in the park (Viper, my opinoin...) Lots of single riders, guess that's cool now. The teens getting on before us were like "come on dude, I'm not gay" before gettin in separate seats. Of course being the big mouth, I said "I am" and then told my friend Rich we should ride together, those trains really book when they're full. The ride ops are very happy here, "what time is it?" - "Whizzer time!" But geez, get the train out! Don't stack em until people say "whizzer time!" This was going on at other rides too.

Orbit next. I was not really feelin like waiting for any of the coasters. I'm spoiled. But went to Demon anyway, and waited 15-20 mins. Pretty darn long for the Demon! That first drop never dissapoints with it's signature snap (yes, the drop WAS reprofiled when it was changed over to the Demon). 2 trains.

Looked over to the Eagle, couldn't believe dual trains going up the lift. And again. And again. Wow! I told Rich if we wanna race we better get over there fast, they usually send ride ops home later in the day. "Corporate cutbacks" an Eagle ride op told me. Nice ;)

Went past the gift shop - kinda by the food court (not sure what its called, I know.. after all these years). The shirt prominitely displayed in the doorway "I'm huge in Japan" and another about my "Balls" right behind it. And all this 'my family comes here too!' stuff. Hmmm... must be some sort of mix-up? Damn hypocrites.

Walked around, all the lines were too long. Iron Wolf had a short line, but I didn't wanna get beat up. Rich wanted to ride V2, about a 20 minute wait.

Rode some flats, sat in A/C, went back to the car to get free pop.

Went to eagle in the early evening. That has to be the single longest walk to any coaster anywhere. It's really rediculous. It used to be bad enough, but is like 2 times as long since they moved the entrance.

Walked all the way up to the stairs. Red side first. All the season pass holder teens, as usual, spitting all over the place. Humping eachother. More gay jokes and retard jokes. Lots of AC/DC and Ramones shirts (bought at Target or something like that, it's a shame, I used to really get made fun of for wearing my ORIGINAL rock/punk shirts...) O well, times change I guess.

Eagle. Still racing! Uhoh! Lap bar stuck. Ride ops send only the blue. So they're outta sinc now. They are so damn slow up there, it would be nice to wait an extra 30 seconds to race the trains - it improves the ride a bunch!

By the time we got on it was racing again. I know I've said it a million times, everyone knows. But GCI could come in and really fix this ride. (ok, if you wanna here my rant, see below). The ride was actually one of the best rides I've EVER had on the Eagle. I couldn't believe it. The old brake hardware at the top of the drop is all gone, beautiful freshly painted blue catwalks only.

The ride was fast, brakes at the helix (the first one) were minimal. The trains stayed very eerily neck and neck for most of the big helix. I dunno how this happened. Must be a combo of brakes and square wheels.

The run back was particularly great, trains crossing over and under, as was meant. We got right back in line and rode blue. Pretty good again.

(FIX THE EAGLE - well, we all have our ideas right!? This ride was built as the biggest and best and all that. When it opened it had a HUGE reputation. If they would put some money into actually changing some things, this could be one of the best coasters anywhere. Get rid of the twin helices at the end of the ride. They never worked, the trains basically have to stop first. Have the tracks come back together under the lift and go off to the corner of the park, where all those pine trees are. I dunno, we could do anything here. Just lengthen the ride, it clearly has alotta pep before those brakes.

Redo the station so you come up in the middle, instead of have 2 separate entrances. This would be better for crowd control as well. Change the trains, GCI's would be great of course, wonder if they can make them longer? And 3 trains on each side... as the ride opened. Keep the trains, whatever, get rid of those damn 'eagle wings'. If people wanna put their arm out and get hurt, let em! Magnetic brakes, new system, all that. A nice marketing campaign, this ride could be better than new, dependable, and truly kick butt (all the time.)

OH! and move the rest of the park up to the ride. Could put a lot in there in the next few years. A new Eagle entrance, in front of the ride this time. You could have either tunnels over or under the train to get there. And a very far off wish - bury that 20 foot ditch the Eagle's first drop is dug into. Put some stuff over it, a road, midway, ride, whatever. It would create a nice tunnel(s) for the Eagle as well. Of course, the return run would dive down in there as well. END of EAGLE REDO.)

Rode the Columbia Carousel, haven't done that since I was about 8. It's looking pretty dated up there. Smoky mirrors, dirty carpet, very 70's.

Triple play was listed as the only ride to be down for the day, there was a crane by it early on. It opened later, that was cool. So here you have SFGreat America with every single ride open, wow!

Did Giant Drop later in the night, after a brief shut down, we got on 2 times with almost no wait.

Didn't bother with Raging Bull. Id rather get pushed around in a La-Z-Boy.

Back to Whizzer, 5 minute wait. Still better than ever. The recent rehab did good, can't ever remember this thing going so fast.

Ended the day, getting in what looked like a long Viper line, before 10pm. Got in that 3rd seat. Wow. Still can't believe this ride isn't talked about more or rated higher. It's fast, smooth, has strong curves, and some of the best floater airtime anywhere. In addition, and maybe most important, it has custom PTC lapbars.

They are ratchet bars, but there is a shock thingy that hold the lap bars up, pretty hard too! And, they only go down so many clicks. So it's impossible to get stapled. Anyone know more about this? Did Great America do this? The Eagles lap bars are diff, but stay up similarly. Geez, wish PTC made this standard. It just makes sense. Holidayworld take note!

Got 3 rides in a row on Viper, empty seats in the last few trains. Great!

Overall? Great day. So good, I'm going again tomorrow. I've never seen so many costumed characters walking around, even when I was a kid. They even have a face painted scarecrow over by yukon(is it still?)/Iron Wolf, and a Jester in Mardi Gras.

The employees are nicer, funner, and more safety concious than ever. But slow as molasses. I mean slow. Get the trains out, we can talk later!

Unfortunately, the prices are all still rediculous. You can always get cheap admission and season passes, but how about the way you charge everyone an arm and a leg once they're in the park!!!???


Stop giving out season passes to kids who come there to spit, swear and act out. Don't give out so many free and discounted admissions.

Try free pop. I don't wanna hear it. If Holidayworld can do it, they can too. It's all BS mainly. and stupidity. Holidayworld is extra smart by having caffeine free pop and gatorade.

Enough ranting from me. I'm glad I live by the best Six Flags park. If they didn't have Whizzer and Viper, I wouldn't go. They are doing much better than previous years, but still need to work on the capacity and some sort of free pop or something like that. Treat your guests properly. The screaming corporate hallucination of 'come in cheaply' then 'pay our your ass' once you get in is very clear.

Still have not ridden the Ragin Cajin. I've been in line for it 2 or 3 times, but the line just stands. It reminds me of when El Toro first opened with one train. It's ok, I've been on other spinning mice ;) Too bad Great America couldn't have pulled a 'cool-smart' move and buy 2 of em, side by side. Done some of it indoors, something a little creative, and more WAIT friendly in such a huge park.

OH YEAH. And the flashpass thing is still stupid. It's just wrong. Fair and all that, maybe, but just all around wrong. Those rediculous signs "why wait, get a flash pass!" are a huge slap in the face to paying people, who don't have lots of extra cash. *** Edited 7/31/2007 6:41:37 PM UTC by J7G3*** *** Edited 7/31/2007 10:29:35 PM UTC by J7G3***

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Tuesday, July 31, 2007 4:21 PM

J7G3 said:
Didn't bother with Raging Bull. Id rather get pushed around in a La-Z-Boy.


You're kidding right? That is easily the best ride in the park and one of my favorites anywhere. *** Edited 7/31/2007 8:21:39 PM UTC by WildStangAlex*** *** Edited 7/31/2007 8:21:58 PM UTC by WildStangAlex***
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Tuesday, July 31, 2007 5:11 PM

WildStangAlex said:

J7G3 said:
Didn't bother with Raging Bull. Id rather get pushed around in a La-Z-Boy.


You're kidding right? That is easily the best ride in the park and one of my favorites anywhere. *** Edited 7/31/2007 8:21:39 PM UTC by WildStangAlex*** *** Edited 7/31/2007 8:21:58 PM UTC by WildStangAlex***

No. The ride is good. it's comfortable. it has 3 sets of trim brakes. the viper and whizzer are more exciting, year after year, to me.

Raging bull is great for lots of folks. It has capacity, it's not painful, and looks nice. The first drop in the back is crazy. But I still get a bigger kick out of the drop the bottom out from under you Demon drop.

top 5 wood

Cyclone - thunderbolt - legend - cyclops - voyage

top 5 steel

mindbender - shockwave - whizzer - greezed lightning - magnum

see we all have different opinions :) raging bull is quite dull to me.

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Tuesday, July 31, 2007 5:24 PM
Been a few weeks since I went and I haven't been around thanks to my husband being down and out for some surgery. When did Drop re-open?
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Tuesday, July 31, 2007 5:32 PM
I do like the 1st drop on Demon, but it isn't worth practically killing myself over. Viper has to be one of your favorites at the park, too, no? It has a fantastic bottom-out feeling, not to mention some of the best air.
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Tuesday, July 31, 2007 6:00 PM

WildStangAlex said:

J7G3 said:
Didn't bother with Raging Bull. Id rather get pushed around in a La-Z-Boy.


You're kidding right? That is easily the best ride in the park and one of my favorites anywhere. *** Edited 7/31/2007 8:21:39 PM UTC by WildStangAlex*** *** Edited 7/31/2007 8:21:58 PM UTC by WildStangAlex***

No way, I completely agree with J7G3. I've never heard anybody agree with me on it either! Whenever I'm cresting a hill on Raging Bull I think to myself, "I think I can, I think I can, I think I can."

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Tuesday, July 31, 2007 6:23 PM

WildStangAlex said:
I do like the 1st drop on Demon, but it isn't worth practically killing myself over. Viper has to be one of your favorites at the park, too, no? It has a fantastic bottom-out feeling, not to mention some of the best air.

Heck yeah! Viper is a top 10 woodie in my book. It's fast, smooth, great air, and the lap bars dont (and cant!) pin you in your seat like most PTC's...

I think Demon is a great ride, yes rough. It's pretty popular, real sentimental for alotta peeps. I gotta great idea for a 'new demon' not much bigger or faster, but smoother, more rideable, higher capacity and better overall. Imagine an Intamin (no shoulder bars please), maybe 5 or 10 feet taller, more tunnels (including a long one before the lift, make 3 trains make sense) ... and it would still be the Demon, but 'new'. I know, ain't gonna happen, any time soon anyway.

Kenmei - not exactly sure when the Drop opened back up, but a ride op said she thought maybe the week before last. *** Edited 7/31/2007 10:25:05 PM UTC by J7G3***

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Thursday, August 2, 2007 1:56 PM

WildStangAlex said:

J7G3 said:
Didn't bother with Raging Bull. Id rather get pushed around in a La-Z-Boy.


You're kidding right? That is easily the best ride in the park and one of my favorites anywhere.

You should try Goliath at SFOG, or Superman at SFA. WOW! Those are rides of what a mega coaster should be in my opinion. I don't like Raging Bull. It's just boring to me. My explanation is the fact that during the course of the ride, you do a lot of the go on your side thing, and plus that darn brake at the top of the second hill.

After the lift, you go straight down, and next you have that darn sided helix. That's stupid in my opinion. Than, you go up that hill, and you have that stupid brake. Than, I think it goes on it's side, and it's goes for yet another sided helix which is just boring. Finally, you get to the bunny hops which are somewhat fun. They could be bigger. The last part is more helixes. If you want a lot of forceless helixes, this is your ride. Now, Superman at SFA is just nuts in those helixes. It makes me have tears in my eyes because it's just so darn fast. I haven't been to SFNE, but oh MY GOD.

And you have to remember about SFOG's Goliath that I thought that ride was going to be another Raging Bull. Oh, my GOD. That's an awesome coaster. So, that's something great in my opinion. I'm not a Titan, or a Goliath (SFMM) fan though. I haven't been on Nitro, or Apollo's Chariot.

I do like Whizzer, and Demon. There are better seats on Demon. If I tell you, than you would take my seats, and my seats would be more packed. I enjoy Demon a lot, and I can ride that most of the day. I did Ragin Cajun once (or twice), and I don't care for it. It's just a little painful. I don't get the point. I do enjoy the other non-spinning mice though (like Dorney Park, and California Adventure).

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Thursday, August 2, 2007 2:14 PM
Aw come on ;) After riding the Demon for 25 years, I know where my fav seats are ;) hehe :)


2nd to back of course...

I've been on Superman at Darien and Superman at SFNE and Goliath at SFOG, probly more, but im so confused.

Superman at SFNE is certainly a great ride. But I was 'hurt' when a ride op bounced up and down on my lap bar. I had to get a "rubber gloved behind the curtain check" from a male medic. That was fun, and a huge waste of time. Almost had to to to the hospital though. My heuvos hurt for 3 days after.

Love those Intamins...

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Thursday, August 2, 2007 2:16 PM
What are you confused about, and did you like SFOG's ride?
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Thursday, August 2, 2007 2:20 PM
Just so many supermans and goliaths.. and so many B&M's... I was just thinkin about all the mega coasters I've ridden, and may have left off a couple. Basically, it's not even worth it to think too deeply about - specially if they're gonna be all the same like Goliath - I'm just a downer on B&M in general, please forgive me.

Goliath at SFOG was a great ride. It was fast smooth, had airtime. Comfortable. Everything that is B&M I guess. Just kinda all the same. And any joy was ruined by that god awful crew they had.

Rather spend time on steel coasters like Mindbender, shuttles and Whizzer. They're still great after all these years.

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