SFA, 10/5 - Mr. V goes to Washington

Associated parks:
None

Friday, October 10, 2003 9:05 AM
The last day of our east coast trip (link to previous TR's here) found us outside of our nation's capitol. After a wonderful, healthy McBurrito breakfast, it was past the biggest friggin' modern church I've ever seen across the street, and into SFA. (Note: I've been to cathedrals all over Europe, and this monster in D.C. was bigger than most.)

We wait for opening and security screen, behind probably the swiftest folks in the area (yes, moron, keys will set off a metal detector. Didn't you notice that happen to the person in front of you, and the person in front of him?) and into the park. A bit of a walk back, and it's on....

Superman: Ride of Steel
Highs: Fast, fun hand choppers, and the infamous third hill air.
Lows: Really slow ride-ops make one-train operation worse, I guess an empty field is better than over a parking lot.
The Verdict: Another solid effort from the boys at Intamin.

If you go for this baby, make sure you sit on the right side. Both helices have sweet arm choppers that remind me of the tower cross-beam of Xcelerator. Since we were back in that area, we stroll over to what the station letters say is "B_TWING" (I would guess thanks to the hurricane), or more commonly known as ...

Batwing
Highs: I think I'm starting to like all of the 1/2-flips.
Lows: OK, if rough ride is *square* wheels, this thing had *triangular* wheels.
The Verdict: Definitely the more interesting flyer layout, but the trains don't hold a candle to B&M.

This was a pretty neat, as I got to ride both kinds of flyers in a two-day span. You definitely get more of a "two-pulse" of g's in the Vekoma loop, as opposed the the continuous crush of the B&M pretzel. As they are right now, I'd take a B&M train on the Vekoma layout. What this really does is make me look forward to the next iterations of B&M flyers. I think they have an opportunity to get wickedly creative. Past the one-day dormant (grumble, grumble) Joker's Jinx, it was over to....

Two Face: The Flipside
Highs: The face-to-face seating is totally cool.
Lows: I officially hate the Vekoma OTSR design. I mean, what's with the special ear-smackin' flaps?
The Verdict: Fun, fun, fun. I don't understand why there aren't more of these.

Of course, being in close proximity to all that white wood, and after having read this thread, I was eager to hop on...

Wild One
Highs: Cool double-up/double-down, great ending helix
Lows: A little rougher and not as much air as it looked like it promised
The Verdict: Cool, but I bet it was much better before the re-profiling.

A fun little jaunt through the nicely themed pirate section of the park brought us over to....

Roar
Highs: Really sweet twisting first drop, high banked turns everywhere you look.
Lows: More rough than powerful
The Verdict: Looks better than it rides, but still not bad.

With the wood out of the way (and what we later calculated as my brother's #100!:)), it was one more for our full credit load, so off to....

Mind Eraser
Highs: Ummm, nice tucked-away location so that it didn't bother any of the respectable real coasters?
Lows: O, how doth I dislike SLC's, let me count the ways....
The Verdict: Yet another typical Vekoma Hang-n-Bang.

OK, it was at this point that I realized something odd. Both of the "head-liner" coasters, S:RoS and Batwing were only running one train, while both woodies and the SLC were running two. What's up with this nonsense?

We head back towards the big boys, and caught a couple more laps on S:RoS, this time in the back. Man, the third hill air is tasty! I wish the third air hill on Millie was like that.

Overall, we had a really nice day at SFA, but then again, absolutely no waits and a sunny, 70 degree day in October tends to color your perspective. It sure looks like they have tons of room for expansion, so who knows what the future way bring?

Later,
EV
-----
"Everybody has desperate days of quiet questioning.
Everybody has times when they feel like they don't fit in."
- Color Theory, So Many Ways, 2001

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Friday, October 10, 2003 10:07 AM
So you were there on sunday the 5th? I was there myself & had a damn good time.

The park wasn't anywhere near as crowded as it is on saturdays & with the exception of S:ROS almost all the coasters & flats were walk ons.

Roar has gotten noticably rough this year & I hope they either re-track it or fix up the trains because it gave me a headache,it was once the best woodie in the park but now I'm not so sure.

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Friday, October 10, 2003 10:38 AM
I agree with everyone about Roar!. The notice the roughness of the aqua/green train more and like the black train better.

I agree with Sunday's being the better day on the weekends to go. The park really doesn't get busy until about 1:00 when all the church let out. My tenedency is to visit on Sundays. Saturday's aren't bad but that is usually the day the park elects to have large events like free concerts and stuff which just adds to the crowd size (not a bad thing but I'm their to ride rides not watch a concert).

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Friday, October 10, 2003 3:59 PM
Same here,but if they hold concerts on saturdays then a majority of peeps might actually listen to the concert instead of queue up for the rides,which means more overall ride time for the rest of us.

I don't know about anyone else but back on sunday I rode Roar in the black train & it was just as rough in the black train as it is in the blue/green one,so it's got to be a track issue with the ride,then again the trains might just need some new padding to help absorb the vibrations of the track.

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Friday, October 10, 2003 8:01 PM
I've been in the huge monster church across the street to help load out from a sound job there. Words cannot describe the size of the place. Speaking of sound, they have a monster EAW (for those in the know) flown speaker system, and the sub-woofers absolutely crush. The old church sits behind the current church, and is no slouch either in size.

Back to the subject at hand, I have no idea why they're running one train on S:ROS and Batwing (I think they were running two on Batwing tonight). They seem to shift trains each weekend on S:ROS. Tonight it was the blue train. There is a brand new guy working S:ROS, so cut him a little slack (although I don't know is he's the one causing the slow loading) I was happy to see that they've posted signs on both Iron Eagle and Joker's Jinx saying they're closed for the season.

Three out of four coaster enthusiasts (shout-outs to VACoasterFreak and Themedesigner) I talked to tonight said that the haunted house (Hall Manor?) next to Roar was pretty good.


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If someone makes a post and you post-quote it right beneath it, you're wasting bandwidth. Think before you press the button.
*** This post was edited by Intamin Fan 10/11/2003 12:02:41 AM ***

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Monday, October 13, 2003 10:57 AM
I think they were replacing the brake fins on the blue train last sunday which explains why it wasn't running,I took a look at the blue train while walking down the exit ramp & could clearly see all the wheel assemblies.

Normally you aren't able to see all of them as they are somewhat concealed by the brake fins,also remember how they've had a bit of trouble lately with the blue train getting stuck in the brake run(9/6 was a case in point) everytime the blue train hit the brakes it would either crawl ohh so slowly into the station or just park itself there & refuse to budge.

I took a ride on PBR last week & for some reason that thing didn't spin at all! my guess is the raft wasn't heavy enough,but on the next ride we were able to get that thing spinning like crazy,hell I'm suprised it's still open this time of year & if it's open on the 25th & the 1st then I'll gladly take it for a final spin before the season's through.

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Monday, October 13, 2003 12:56 PM
The blue train wasn't running last night either and we couldn't get PBR to spin much either. Batwing began having problems again this weekend. I was there Saturday night and Sunday night. The train got stuck with the seats in the down position, they switched sides, sent the train out for one spin and the seats got stuck in the down position with people in them. It was pretty interesting watching them back everyone out of the queue line so they could switch sides of the station. Decided not to ride Batwing last night. Did get a couple of spins on S:ROS even with one train. In fact I took my first night rides on S:ROS. The coaster was awesome yesterday. Night ride was obviously extraordinary. Roar was another excellent woodie at night as well. If only they could get that final turn fixed so it isn't so rough.
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