SF: Not So Great Adventure 5/27

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Tuesday, May 31, 2005 1:03 AM
I had such high expectations for this park....where do I start. I wanted to get to the park at a decent time because I knew it would probably be busy for Memorial Day weekend but I figured the crowds wouldn't be that bad because everyone would be in line for Kingda Ka.

Well we flew into Willow Grove for the air show and got there a little late so we ended up holding over Yardley for about an hour or so. We finally landed and got checked into the hotel and the two guys I was flying with wanted to go and get some grub. We ended up at Friendly's with a not so fast waitress. Or maybe it just seemed that way because I wanted to get going to the park.

We got on the Turnpike finally and made it to the park by about 3p.m. Not bad and the park looked awesome. Kingda Ka looked massive but what I really wanted to tackle was Nitro. I've ridden TTD and so I didn't want to waste my opportunity at SFGA waiting all day for KK.

I used my Magic Mountain pass and had no problem getting in. My friends got their military discounted tickets and we were off.

The first thing we passed was the Q-Bot/Fastlane line just to buy one of those. That line was enormous and should've given me an idea of what was to come.

We got in line for Nitro and the wait said 2 hours! I was in shock. The only line I've waited that long in before was X and it was worth every minute. Well we got in line and hoped for the best. An hour later we were in line for the second row. It should have been a lot less than an hour since they were constantly stacking all 3 trains. At least they were trying to run them all...

Right before we got on I noticed the girls for the front row only had three people so I jumped up with them and two other people were able to get on with my friends in the back.

Nitro: Where have you been all my life?! This ride looked outstanding in all the photos I've seen, but holy negative G's! It was perfect floater air over every hill! Nice positive G'd up helix and of course a wonderful 3 train stack upon arrival to sit and re-live each bump. Loved the restraints!

Next off to the chiller. Decided to skip Batman:TR because I've done about 5 of those even though I love the ride. Only Robin was running...I mean I think it is running. When you move about 5 feet every 5 minutes my advice to you is get out of line! Actually the line wouldn't have been that bad but we had a nice set of kids all pumped up on something right behind us. Oh well the bad part came when you finally get to the station. This place is a total cluster. Bad set up with two whole rows roped off for fastlane that was rarely ever used, so if you chose a row next to one of the empty fast lane rows, your wait went a lot quicker because they would fill those seats with people from the two rows closest to the empty fast lane seats. Did you understand that? Any way I chose the wrong row as usual...rookie mistake. This seems to always happen when I go to a new park. Finally got on after an hour and 15 minute wait and actually enjoyed the ride quite a bit, but they ride ops were just sooo slow. I guess you just get spoiled after going to the Point and seeing how it should always be done.

Next up Superman: well maybe not. Walked all the way over to Superman and started to get in line when I noticed 1 train operation! Are you kidding me? 1 train running on a B&M?! I tried to remember if I had ever seen that before...I don't think I have. Chock another one up to SFGA!

Next up GASM: well maybe not. It isn't a good sign when you are walking in where it says enter and tons of people are walking out that same place. GASM got stuck and we were on to see Medusa.

By the way, up to this point we hadn't seen a train launch on Kingda Ka at all, but we did find out in the Chiller line that some girls had waited 5 hours to actually ride the thing!

On our way to Medusa we walked through the new Golden Kingdom area. It looks really nice but some of the paths are fairly tight. We reached the area by Viper where my map said I could cross a bridge over to Medusa...not so my young padawan. Viper's demolition caused some boards to be put up and stopped us in our tracks. Rolling Thunder looked empty and might be the best ride of the day because it looked like our wait would be 5 minutes.

Rolling Thunder: My friends took the train before mine and my train stalled in the station for about 5 minutes or so until they got some malfunction fixed, then I was off! I was actually looking forward to this ride, but it needs some serious TLC! Can the real greaseman please stand up, please stand up? I think the left side is closed because I don't think the train would even make it over that huge first hill! So much potential, so left to die. AHHHHHHH

On to our fourth and yes final ride of the day, Medusa! I believe this is a mirror image of Scream and so I was looking forward to a good B&M before heading home. The line was long but went by in an hour much like the Nitro line with constant 3 train stacking.

One question: In this line and in a few others my friends and I saw/heard people doing patty cake/slap games all day long but the Medusa line was the worst...I have never seen that in any other park that I can remember. Is this an east coast thing or was it just some weird bad luck?

On to the ride. Medusa: you rock! Smoother than Scream and it had some nice touches with the trees around it instead of a parking lot.

Now on to my rant...Q-bot/fastlane wonderful idea, horrible implementation! You already read about The Chiller now the worst was Medusa! Every other train or so they would just randomly let the fastlane people run out and take whichever row they wanted...accept the front if I'm not mistaken. The problem was they would let these people run out as they were opening up air gates and others were still exiting the ride. Can you picture that mass confusion! There has to be a better way these people run and manage their rides. So in the 4 and a half hours I spent there I got 4 rides. I'm glad I had a season pass. Granted it was during Memorial Day weekend but the way they ran those rides just drove me crazy!

On a final note I feel sorry for everyone that stood in line for Kingda Ka all day because I watched it constantly, especially from the Medusa line and I never saw it even launch all day long! This ride will now be known as Kingda Kaka or King Kaka if you like! Good luck Six Flags Great Adventure: I'll be back when I finally hear that things have turned around or when Cedar Fair finally buys you out...this Buds for you Mr. Park With So Much Potential But Can't Figure Out How To Put It Togetheeeeerrrrrrrr!

Thanks for reading and look for some more as I head out to Dallas for work and do a Midwest Coaster trip at the same time.

Doug

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Tuesday, May 31, 2005 4:10 PM
I totally feel you there bud! I was there on the same day and it must have been a sign from God that we had problems finding the entrance to Kingda Ka. I heard people waited 5.5 hours and some were not even able to ride.

As for the Fastlane line fiasco, I was one of the fools there waiting for TWO HOURS....with 8 available registers and only two people working. Nitro and Medusa stacked every frigin' cycle...and as you said, Superman was only running one train. Horrendous! We got there at 1 and our first ride (Nitro) was at 4:30.

I have never...EVER felt so shafted in any of my Theme Park experiences...and everyone knows how much I love Great Adventure :(. Unfortunately, this time was not as great....at all! Still loving it though..

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Tuesday, May 31, 2005 4:28 PM
I feel for you S&Sfan. After going to SFMM last summer, rides on single train operation is not new to me. Glad you liked Nitro, it always delivers. Medusa is one of the better floorless out there, but Kraken is still tops for me. Im kinda surprised on the two hour wait for a q-bot. Im going there saturday with my brother and his friends, bracing for hell on earth. At least the weather will cooperate (according to weather.com). I was gonna call out sick during the week but I cant stand the thought leaving my co workers doing my work during a busy time. SFGadv is my first theme park and despite its frequent shortcomings, I'll always have a soft spot for it.
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Tuesday, May 31, 2005 5:00 PM
Sorry you didn't have a good time. Its a sad fact that SF does not train there employees to be great ride ops. The Nitro Crew kicks ass every year. I am shocked that Superman was only running 1 train. But being my home park I only go on week days in the early evenings so I avoid most of the crowds. Until SF gets there ride ops in a great training program and hire some people above the age of 16 to run a ride they are going to have this problem. I'm not knocking all ride ops. Some are really really good. So please if your a ride op don't take offense to it.
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Tuesday, May 31, 2005 6:24 PM
I pray that when i go in a week it is not half as bad as your saying. I'm going to the park for three days so i'll probably get on everything once based on what your saying. I'm sue if King Kaka was open the lines for everything else would have been like 25% shorter
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Tuesday, May 31, 2005 8:11 PM
^Love the signature. A couple of weeks ago a percussionist I was working with was using a mounted cowbell, and I figured it wasn't going to carry in the auditorium once it was filled, so you guessed it, it was labeled "More Cowbell" on the board. It makes me laugh everytime I think of Christopher Walken doing that skit.

Anyway S&S Fan, could you have possibly come up with a more played out topic title then "Not so Great Adventure"? Come on, it's only been used like 100 times:)

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Wednesday, June 1, 2005 12:00 PM
I am one of those silly people making the voyage from the midwest to SFGAdv this summer, and am dreading it (I am even originally from Philly). I even suggested to my husband to wait until next year since there will be another new coaster there, and why shuld we go there twice in 2 years. But he insisted, and I am so not looking forward to the crowds and the incompetence (and truly it is not the crowds so much since I just got back from the holiday weekend at CP).

This TR makes me dread this trip even more. I know... it's for the rides. I have to keep my chin up on this one.

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Sunday, June 5, 2005 11:12 PM
Nitro happens to be one of my fav steel coasters and until I rode Dominator at GL, Medusa was my fav floorless. If you like Medusa, you'll love Dominator.

"Kinda Ka will be known as Kinda Kaka or King Kaka" that is totally hilarious! Thanks for the laugh! :)

It's right up there with "No Thrill Dumpster"

Let's see, we have a coaster in Ohio that doesn't work, let's build a bigger and faster one in NJ...that also doesn't work.
That was real smart.

Give me a B&M ANY day! :)

Jo
'00 '02 '03 Raptor Crew

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Sunday, June 5, 2005 11:39 PM
Well UBRhino, I may not have read every TR from GAdv, but every one I've read, only one person, Ernhardt, who had a special pass, actually rode the thing, and many haven't even seen it run. That to me sounds like about zero uptime. Until the major snafu, Dragster at least ran a few trains most of it's first couple of months.

But on-topic: people, don't dispair! I've been to GAdv from Pittsburgh 3 times in the last 4 years and have never experienced this kind of service, and it was on a Saturday and two Sundays. Best advice: if it's pouring, still go! Everything stays open (well except KaKa, but that won't be open anyway so, no change, right?) and the crowds are non-existant. Maybe I'm just lucky, but I figure after 3 times, it's a little beyond luck. The place is not run as well as it could be, I'll give you that, especially the FastLane stuff, but it's not always the insanity described above. In fact the only park I can ever remember running into something like that was a couple of times at Cedar Point ... and yes, on those days, operations sucked there too.

Just wanted to chime in and say it's not all bad! Plus chalk up another Nitro fan ;) Hear that Gonch? ;)

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