SFA 9/25 10 rides for $11.14 in less than 3 hours

Associated parks:
None

Saturday, September 25, 2004 9:46 PM
So my friend Matt calls me and asks if I want to go to SFA for their “Bring a Friend for $9.99” deal. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the message until around 2pm. So I booked down to Millersville and we promptly left for Largo. Getting into the park at 3:40, we were on a mission to ride as many rides as possible before the closing time of 6pm.

First up was Roar. It was pretty good, but the last turn needs some reworking. That was the only part that was really jarring. Matt wanted to look at our ride photo, but I said “We don’t have time”. We were going to ride Joker’s Jinx, but there was a blue shirt in the station, so we quickly moved onto S:ROS. On our way, the Chaos got stuck, which I predicted because it was unbalanced. Sure enough it gets stuck and all the people riding were all together on one end of the wheel.

Matt warned me to get any thoughts of the New England version of Superman out of my head. I appreciated that they removed most of the queue. Why they couldn’t have done that five years ago is a mystery. While waiting to ride, I said “Place your bets if the guy in the black shirt is going to ride”. We both said, “Survey says no”. Sure enough, he was denied. Now granted he wasn’t that large of a man, but with the new restraints, he stood no chance. So anyway, S:ROS wasn’t bad, but it’s just not New England. We looked down at Batwing and the line, and said “No”.

We then hopped onto the Chaos and managed a weak five inversions. We’ve done eight before. Since Joker’s Jinx had reopened, we took a spin. I had forgotten how close all the supports look to your head. It would fine if it was just one or two, but seems like almost every support is inches away from you. We were going to ride Iron Eagle, but guess what? It broke down like it always does. Tower of Doom was being tested so that was out of the question. Two-Face was closed and there was a sign suggesting that we try either Wild One or Tower of Doom. Obviously we only had one choice, and a fine one it was.

Wild One really took me by surprise today. The return leg was absolutely insane, especially since we were sitting in the third row. Some of the air actually scared me. So where do we go next? How about a ride on the Breakdance? They really need two people operating this. It takes far too long for one person to go around unlocking all the restraints, and some of the cows weren’t accepting riders. Our ride, while short, was great! We had lots of changes in direction, which can be a crapshoot. On our way out I was very pleased that they had changed the exit and put an magnetic lock on it. I know there was easily two or three times that I rode the Rodeo and the exit door blew right open. I pointed that out to the guest relations last year.That was a major accident just waiting to happen.

Since we skipped the “punishment” in New England, we next rode Mind Eraser. We sat all the way in the back. We actually had a fairly decent ride, not that I would want to re-ride it again. Going back the other direction, we took a spin on the Octopus. And I do mean spin. If you don’t do well with spinning rides, this is one to avoid at all costs. During our ride, I noticed a strange blinking orange light at the operators booth. I wonder what it’s for? It stopped once the ride was over. On our way out, I was once again pleased to see the same style of gate as at the Rodeo.

Running out of time, we headed back to Gotham City and re-rode Joker’s Jinx. It didn’t look like we’d have time, but were the last people in line for Penguin’s Blizzard River. The attendant called for two more people and we boarded with a party of four. Talk about one brutal ride. I had to close my eyes at the end because we had spun so much.

So, what were my overall impressions? Some things that should have been taken care of years ago were finally corrected. Storage bins coordinated to the train color-check (some coasters previously had no storage bins at all); new picnic tables by Joker’s Jinx-check (there was no where to eat before, except on a bench); better signage on the Gotham City bathroom so no mistakes are made according to your gender-check; better queue systems at Joker’s Jinx and S:ROS-check; mirrors on Rodeo and Octopus for ride operators benefit-check

So here’s were I rant. Most of the ride operators were so slow. At a time of year when you think they would be at their fastest, they weren’t. Dispatches were painfully slow. The yellow color on the Panda Express Chineese restaurant looks really ugly on the back of the building. It looks like they painted the scrambler the same color. They only painted half of Iron Eagle while they had it apart. The Rodeo is still scratched to hell with graffitti.

My biggest pet peeve however seems to never go away. In the second parking lot behind the waterpark there is a natural path that people want to take to get into the first parking lot. This involves climbing over a wooden fence. The park insists that people walk all the way around the fence to get to their cars. It makes absolutely no sense at all. How hard would it be to put in a small path that everyone wants to take anyway? Or even easier, just remove that section of fence.

Both Matt and I agreed that SFA is in serious need of a major ride for next year. Oh well, I got my $11.14 worth.

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Saturday, September 25, 2004 9:52 PM
If the ride operators are that bad. Imagine how owful it will be at SFGADV next year.

Are the Superman in Darien Lake and in SFA alike? More so than the one in NE.

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Saturday, September 25, 2004 10:06 PM
The S:ROS are exactly like each other except for one goes left (SFDL), the other goes right (SFA). New England's version is a completely different animal altogether. You can check out pictures here and at RCDB.
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Saturday, September 25, 2004 11:05 PM
No actually the Superman at SFA is shorter than SFDL's and the drop is slightly less steep. SFDL's is 208 feet with a 205 foot drop and SFA's is 200 feet with a 197 foot drop.
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Sunday, September 26, 2004 12:27 AM
Gigaforce 1 Having been to SFA for the 1st time this year I found the ops. to be much more painfully lethargic than any op. ever at SFGADV. I actually witnessed an op on mind eraser delaying the dispatch so he could continue looking up a girl's skirt and commenting to another op about the view.
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Sunday, September 26, 2004 3:49 AM
Giga, SFA's ops have nothing to do with how SFGADv will handle their new ride next year. SFA and SFGADv are two seperate parks. I visited SFOG and SFSTl this year, and their ride ops were splendid. Perhaps that's a sign of things to come at GADv?
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Sunday, September 26, 2004 6:35 AM
Two Face is Down for the Season

While at the park yesterday, I asked a manager about Two Face. He said they needed to order a part for the ride and it wouldn't be back up this season. It seems there are so few of the Vekoma Invertigos that parts need to be ordered for them.

Ride Ops

I thought the ride ops have improved over their performance in July and August. I didn't sit on the break run of Superman as long as I did earlier in the seasons. Batwing dispatched in a decent amount of time. I finally got a ride out of the second side of the station. The only real problem I had with crews was on Wild One. Even the crew on Joker's Jinx seemed to improve.

Joker's Jinx

I closely observed this ride today. This coaster will forever stack on the break run. You hit the break run before the other train has even arrived back at the station and the air gates open.

Other

Coaster Lover and I both noticed the magentic lock on Rodeo and thought it didn't do a particularly great job of locking the exit gate when the gate closed.

Water Canons on Renegade Rapids are out of order and they don't have a sign anywhere around them saying so. The park needs to address this issue. People are putting quarters in the canons and they are taking people's money.

I agree about Roar. The last turn was bone and teeth jarring today. Something needs to be done, it's getting pretty bad.

I had a decent ride on Mind Eraser in the front left side. However, I willn't be riding every time I go to the park.

Finally got a ride on Batwing out of the second side of the station. On the train where you could still see the wheels were yellow and got a really decent and smooth ride in the right middle seat. Coaster Lover said the right outside seat wasn't bad at all. *** Edited 9/26/2004 10:35:48 AM UTC by coasterguts***

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Sunday, September 26, 2004 12:29 PM
Not only do they need a 2nd op on rodeo but also on octopus as well....for some reason they've got the slowest ops in the entire park always assigned to that ride.

How's everything looking for FF? I hear that its supposed to be pretty good this year although not much in the way of attractions have changed from last year,also it's too bad to hear that two face is down the rest of the season so it looks like Batwing will be the closest thing to an invert I'll be riding for the rest of the year.

Lastly what's the deal exactly with chaos & most of the seats not functioning? I sometimes wonder if the park bought it used or if SF simply shipped it from one of their other properties as it's never run with a full load(all 18 cars occuppied) since it was installed in 00.....not suprisingly that's what causes the imbalances from time to time that stop the ride in mid air.

I'll be heading to the park on saturday,hopefully I'll be able to get some good night rides aboard supes & have some decent weather to do it in,Florida has fallen victim to yet another hurricane who's remnants hopefully won't cause as much trouble as Ivan's did by the time it comes up our way.

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Sunday, September 26, 2004 8:37 PM
Ride of Steel, you're splitting hairs. If you don't know what that means, it means you're being really picky. To the average person, both S:ROS at SFDL and SFA are exactly the same. He asked if they're alike. If you've forgotten lessons from Sesame Street, that means that to the average person they look similar. In fact, the majority of people on this board consider the SFA version to be a mirror clone regardless of its height. Titan at SFOT has an extra helix than Goliath does. If you showed people the two coasters side by side, they probably couldn't tell the difference. An even better example would be to put the former Shockwave from SFGam and Great American Scream Machine side by side. So one's a little shorter. They're still alike.

Oops, forgot to address BFSFA's question. I didn't see a whole lot of preparation for Fright Fest yet. There was some stuff put up, but not a whole lot. The biggest thing I saw was the Zambora Ilusion show building in Coyote Creek.

That's got to hurt that Two-Face isn't open, especially since they'll be mothballing Joker's Jinx for the fall soon. Both Matt and I agree that the park just felt soulless to us, like it had no energy. It's a sharp contrast from Hersheypark for example. I have to admit that I've crossed over to the darkside, but I think I'm onboard with BFSFA's point of view that SFA needs a major new ride next year. It doesn't have to be a new coaster per se, but a major flat ride such as an Afterburner/Revolution would rock. *** Edited 9/27/2004 12:48:06 AM UTC by Intamin Fan***

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