SFA 6/21 The Seacoaster tests

Associated parks:
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Saturday, June 21, 2003 7:05 PM
I get a call from my friend Shannon "Are you coming down to the park today?" Yes, I'm coming down. How many ACER's are there (for the add-on day of Coaster Con). She says 231. I figured I come down and check it out, even though the weather forecast was bleak. I arrive at the parking lot and it's a sea of cars, so I park almost back to the parking booths. "Dumbass", I say to myself as there's always parking closer to the main enterance, and sure enough there were about 10 spots open. Oh well, at least it kept me on my walking for fitness plan that I've been following.

As I entered the park I started seeing some ACEr's leaving. It turns out the ERT was in the morning, and I arrived about 2pm. The first coaster of the day was Roar, and as usual it was fun. I talk to two ACEr's beforehand and found out the ERT was all of Gotham City, which was better than what was originally advertised.

After my ride I run into Shannon and Sam Marks and crew. It never takes long to run into Sam. I learn that Joker's Jinx had a small problem during the ERT. It apparently didn't have enough speed in the launch and stopped in the brakes before the first part of the cobra roll. They tell me that it took six people to pull it back into the station, and after a test run, everyone was let back on.

After talking for a while, I hear a distinctive sound in the background. A hydraulic/piston sound that only one ride in the park makes, and that's the Typhoon Seacoaster. I'm happy to see that they are testing the circuit, but sadly that's all was to be today. They were apparently training employees on the ride, and were hoping to have it up and running on Sunday.

I separate from the crew and check out the line for Joker's Jinx. Yikes, it's way too long, plus I hear the station is flooded once again. Something tells me that a downspout or a drain in the station would take care of that problem. So, I went and took two rides on S:ROS instead. I started my timer on my watch and both times waited an average of 15 minutes. Not bad considering how crowded the park was. The crew was making some of the dispatch intervals also, which is a good thing of course.

Next, I went to check out Batwing. It looks like they had been operating both stations, but by the time I arrive they were only using the right station (facing the station), which is unusual, so I passed for today. So, I went to check out my new favorite ride, The Penguins Blizzard River. I start my watch and knew I wouldn't get anywhere near the 15 minute waits for Ride of Steel. Luckily I had two coaster enthusiasts behind me to shoot the breeze with. After 40 minutes, I got on and noticed a very omnimous sign in the background, black clouds and lightning. I saw Sam and crew in line and they had just made it to there boat when they started shutting everything down. They were denied their ride. Not soon after, all hell broke loose. I've never seen such a mass exodous of people in my life. We ran under the tarp that covers the overflow queue on Joker's Jinx only to find out that it wasn't rainproof, so we ran into the station itself, which was already flooded. The rain got so intense it looked like a hurricane at times. This wasn't helping out the situation in the station, as the rain was blowing sideways.

After waiting a long period for all the lightning and thunder to calm down, they finally started reopening the rides around 7:30. Ahh...the clouds have dispersed. We can ride the rest of the night with few crowds. We all go and take a ride on PBR since we're already wet. They had the pipe with the water spouts on today and the misters. The next stop was S:ROS again. It looks like several of the ACEr's had stayed afterall. I looked over at Batwing only to see people traveling in the wrong direction of the station. Oh well, I'll ride it next time. As we waited for our crew, Sam points out a new piece of themeing to be added to PBR. There's a water tower (I can't remember what it said) that'll be attached to the metal frame at the top of the lift.

Everything is going great, until I notice more lightning in the background. Oh no, not again. The wind started picking up as before, and the clouds got dark once again. I decided that I would run over and attempt a ride on Two-Face and Wild One, which were both walk-ons, thankfully. Sure enough it started raining and I'm questioning my parking space out near the entrance booths. Luckily, it wasn't raining as hard as it was earlier, but the lightning was intense. All I can say is "What have we in the Maryland/DC area done to deserve all this rain?" The weather forecast thankfully is looking much better for the rest of the week, and it actually might crack near 90 degrees. Unbelievable.

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If you have a problem with clones, the solution is real simple—Stop traveling.

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Saturday, June 21, 2003 7:36 PM
Hey it's not just you guys - here in MA we've barely had any sunny days at all, and even if it's not raining it's cloudy and grey out. Ick! I've only managed to get out to SFNE once, and i had better weather in April for Great Adventure's opening! (One good note though - S:ROS absolutely hauls butt in the rain - one of the most amazing coaster experiences i've had. Don't know if the one there is the same.) And i'm dying to see the new hurricane harbor, but not in this weather!

That sucks about Batwing - i rode X-Flight last year and it was one of my favorite coasters. I hope to hear a full report on the Seacoaster. Forgive me if i'm wrong, but is that the ride that looks like a huge water slide but has river rafts going down it, like the one in Houston? Regardless, you made SFA sound like a park i never really think about but now would definitely consider visiting.

peace

~me

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S:ROS; SFNE. Ride it, and you'll understand.

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Sunday, June 22, 2003 2:16 AM
The top for Penguin's Blizzard River is maroon and white and says Blizzard River with (I believe) the Penguin's Logo on it. Saw that today as well.

Batwing was running two trains today and they had both sides of the stations open, I suppose hoping to impress ACE or to give ACE more ride time. But by 10:00 am fate set in and only one side was open. When I checked around 11, the line didn't look to bad.

S:ROS was hauling butt today. Especially the blue train. The best ride I have had all season. I did notice the lines were longer than normal for some of the rides today. So, I did a lot of walking. Anything with a line longer than 15 minutes I skipped. So, No Two Face, No Wild One (all though I could've if I wanted to walk back over to that side of the park) and the line for Joker's Jinx just kept getting longer and longer and longer, eventually spilling out of the station and out the entrance. So, no ride on Joker's Jinx.
*** This post was edited by coasterguts 6/22/2003 6:17:56 AM ***

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Sunday, June 22, 2003 5:28 PM
The Typhoon Seacoaster is a prototype ride from Intamin. It's the longest ride in the park clocking in at roughly 7 minutes (the second longest ride at the park is Iron Eagle at 5 minutes and change, by the way). It combines a log flume with a dark ride in sections, and even goes in reverse after one of its three turntables. It takes roughly six people to operate the ride, so it only seems to run during the summer. Last year they even managed to get eight boats running at one time, an amazing feat considering the rides troubled past.

In the "careful what you wish for department", ever since they put the lapbars on Jinx, it's become really popular. I too missed out on a ride on Jinx, although I could've gotten one after the first storm, as I hear roughly six thousand people left the park. All I know is it wasn't hard to find my car:)
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If you have a problem with clones, the solution is real simple—Stop traveling.

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Sunday, June 22, 2003 6:34 PM
Sounds like we both had the same situation happen regarding the weather & ride shutdowns.

I was there last weekend & we had a storm move through in the afternoon which help to clear the park out a bit but later in the evening with only 20 minutes till closing it looked like a storm was coming in so what did they do? they shut the rides down,I was in line for S:ROS hoping to get one more lap in for the evening,oh well better luck next time.

It's good to hear that TSC might be up & running soon & maybe it'll reduce the crowds on PBR,about that canopy that's supposed to be added to PBR's lift did they ever add it to Diablo falls yet? so with this new add on to the ride it looks like we'll be getting soaked on both ends now.

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Monday, June 23, 2003 1:34 AM
I don't think the canopy at the top of the lift hill for Blizzard River is anything more than just a canopy. Don't think your going to get wet from it.
*** This post was edited by coasterguts 6/23/2003 8:31:13 AM ***
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Monday, June 23, 2003 4:49 AM
How are the crowds at SFA on a Sunday? Also, does anyone have experience going to SFA on July 4th? If so, how do the crowds generally look on that day? Thanks.
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Monday, June 23, 2003 5:09 AM
I went yesterday and things weren't bad at all. The longest line I stood in (coaster wise) was probably 15 minutes for Wild One and Joker's Jinx (I usually sit in the middle of the trains so waits for the front or rear would probably be a little longer). The trains were being dispatched in 1-2 minute intervals.

4th of July.... They do have a fireworks display and a Jazz Concert the same day. I have never been to the park on the 4th so I can't say, but I would anticipate a crowded park and hope for the best, unless the weather is cloudy and rainy.

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Monday, June 23, 2003 5:10 AM
Okay.. since Vipper is going to take all of the heat for asking a "how are the crowd's" question... I may as well second the question... just how are the crowds on a Sunday. My wife and I were looking at our schedules for the remainder of the summer and we see that Sunday afternoons and evenings are about the only times left available for park trips and SFA is on our list of day trips that we want to do this year.
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Kind of hard to take a post as objective if a park or coaster name is part of the "user name"
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Monday, June 23, 2003 6:20 AM
The crowds are not bad on Sundays. Usually the better of the two days on the weekends. Particularly if they have events on Saturdays. My wife and I routinely go to the park on Sundays and don't have any problems. Like I said before, I was there yesterday and there were no big problems. All of the coasters were running a couple of flats were down (Rodeo and Tea Cups) other than that, everything was running pretty good. Stay clear of big radio station events and you should be fine.
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Monday, June 23, 2003 7:50 AM
sorry , but the top on the lift will more resemble a barrel made from corrugated steel, rather than some type of canopy.

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never met a coaster I didn't ride (except Junior Geminii) :(

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Monday, June 23, 2003 4:55 PM
Is 4th of July crowded? Absolutely. Sundays can be bad, but if you arrive early enough, a lot of people are at church during this time.
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If you have a problem with clones, the solution is real simple—Stop traveling.
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Monday, June 23, 2003 6:43 PM
Yeah I went on sunday april 13th because we couldn't go on opening day & you bet your bottom dollar it was crowded.

Coasterguts:when waiting for the middle of the train to get a shorter wait time you usually spend just as much time trying to get past the bottleneck of people waiting for the back seat as you would for the front seat,Roar is probably the only exception to the rule however because the line is split right down the middle of the station.

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Monday, June 23, 2003 6:49 PM

BATWING FAN SFA said:


waiting for the middle of the train to get a shorter wait time you usually spend just as much time trying to get past the bottleneck of people waiting for the back seat as you would for the front seat,Roar is probably the only exception to the rule however because the line is split right down the middle of the station.


Sorry, haven't experienced that problem. S:ROS as an example, if I take the middle of the train instead of the front, by the time I return, the same group of people (minus a couple that left on the train after me) were still in the station. Difference being, There was a one train wait ahead of me when I got to the middle queue lines, vs. a three to four train wait for the front or rear for that matter.


*** This post was edited by coasterguts 6/23/2003 10:50:15 PM ***

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Monday, June 23, 2003 7:19 PM
See that's the thing on average everyone's waiting for the back on S:ROS & sometimes you can't even get through that last switchback before the gates to go to any other row because it's so crowded.

Of course when it get's that bad you usually hear the lead op say "if your'e not waiting for the back seat please keep the line moving" that sometimes helps to clear things out but not always.

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