Our first stop was the always dependable Roar, oops did I say always dependable? It was having some kind of breakdown, so we exited down the ramp. This is where we also notice that there are also five mechanics working on Wild One (sadly the ride never opens). This is where we ran into two enthusiasts, Mark and Mitch from Harrisburg. We all take a look at the new Coaster Conquest, a trading card box that is at all the coasters plus Typhoon Seacoaster. For $1, you can get a card with a picture, stats, and courage value. After you ride, you stamp the bottom of the card at the exit. I can just see it now at the Coaster Zombie Invasion; “I’ll trade you a Batwing for a S:ROS”. We go over to Joker’s Jinx instead of Roar and we don’t wait too long. It definitely seems smoother since the wheel replacement a few weeks ago, but my sister wishes that the ride had the Flight of Fear treatment. The four of us go to check out the line for Batwing, and we pass on it. So we go and ride S:ROS instead. Mark disappears before we ride, so the three of us ride in the last two rows. The crew is working at their normal turtle-like pace. I usually like to ride near the front, but the back was pretty good also. I especially like the pull over the first drop. We separate from the two enthusiasts, and go back to Roar. The crew on Roar is kicking butt the whole time we’re in line. They’re making every dispatch, expect for one, and they only missed that one by about 30 seconds. The girl on the right side is handling Fast Lane, checking lapbars, and also handling peoples loose articles with incredible skill. She’s actually running to make dispatches, something you never see at SFA. Maybe they should swap the Roar crew for the S:ROS crew...
The Rodeo (Breakdance), or the cow ride as it’s known around here, is our next ride. Again we run into a very slow ride op. Part of the problem is the multiple modifications that have been made since the rides installation in 1999. You can’t release your own lapbar, and there are also little doors at the bottom of the cow that must be closed by the operator. Typical of SFA, there’s only one person operating the ride. At least they didn’t change the program on the ride, as this is my favorite flat ride at SFA. We walk across the path and ride The Tilt (Tilt-A-Whirl) next, and it’s still a lot of fun. Mind Eraser is our next destination and they have a whopping two people running the ride. We notice the “trash dump” beneath the station and marvel that the stream beyond the trash is still crystal clear. I do give credit to the ride op though who was whipping people into shape about sitting on the rails and smoking. He told one kid to shut up who back talked also, which I thought was cool. We rode in the front row and it was interesting to watch the train move through the different blocks (4) on the control panel.
After lunch, it’s onto Two Face the Flip Side, or as it should’ve been called today-Two Face in the Hood, as the crowd was very rough. Four people in particular were obviously home-schooled (sarcasm) as their language was sheer poetry. Every cuss-word in the book was heard loud and clear. We’re close to getting to ride, and then they make everyone get off the train. I couldn’t see any obvious problems with the ride, so what’s the deal? They cycle the train once and the people made to get off are allowed back on. Then two security go the back of the train (facing the pizza place), followed by more security and more security. They forcibly remove three girls waiting to ride, and one of the girls is led away into plastic handcuffs. My guess is that the “breakdown” was just a decoy. Pretty smart in my opinion.
We decide to try Batwing again and what’s this I see? There’s a train parked on the brakes, and another one parked in the station. They’re running two trains, but out of the same station. This ride has flexibility I tell you. The line is moving much faster as a result, and with an almost full queue, we wait only 50 minutes. In strong contrast to Two Face, we encounter the mellowest crowd of the day. The presence of a security guy is helping also. We pass Krypton Comet (Chaos) which has broken down. Would Chance Rides please come and fix this ride? Many of the seats don’t work and it frequently breaks down. By this time it’s around 7pm and we go and ride Roar again. The crowds have noticeably thinned out, and Roar is a one-train wait. Lastly we hit The Octopus, and even my sister is asking why they only have one person operating it. Excellent question, especially when the ride op loads the ride, and then leaves to use the bathroom! At least the bathroom is close by.
As we were leaving, we noticed that several people had parked on the hill by the exit, in spite of having a half-full overflow lot (below Mind Eraser). Just brilliant I tell you. Of course it would help it they would actually run the Tram that they bought two years ago to transport people from the far away lot. The park as a whole seemed a little cleaner today, and we did see people sweeping over by Wild One. Don’t get me wrong, the trashcans were still overflowing by the end of the day. The bathrooms amazingly are the one bright spot at SFA. They are relatively free of graffiti, and are actually inviting to use. The one cool surprise today was the T-shirt I bought was half-off, even though it wasn’t marked as such.
FYI: The park isn’t open on September 9th like the original 2001 calendar stated (it's correct on the website).
Intamin Fan said:
Lastly we hit The Octopus, and even my sister is asking why they only have one person operating it. Excellent question, especially when the ride op loads the ride, and then leaves to use the bathroom! At least the bathroom is close by.
Are you serious?..He just left his post and used the bathroom?
Dayuum, Your HOT!
"I wasn't always this cynical, but then I started kindergarden..."
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