SFAW - 4/11/03

Associated parks:
None

Sunday, April 13, 2003 8:34 AM
I was able to visit Astroworld a bit on Friday night as part of a private event. We were only given three hours there, and a whole bunch of personal circumstances made my time there even more limited than that. As a result, I only rode three coasters, but that was all I needed, I think, to confirm my initial impressions of the park.

Astroworld is *small*, but not in a good, Knoebel's sort of way. It's no wonder this park doesn't see new rides often, as there's just no room for them.

SWAT was operating, but it was cycling really slowly, and it looked to me like it was having some weird problems. Maybe it was just a part of the ride cycle, but hanging from my seat, staring straight at the ground didn't look appealing *or* fun to me, so I skipped it. My short time there wouldn't let me come back to it.

XLR8 -- I like suspended coasters. They're not adrenaline machines, but they're fun. They haven't turned half the train around to face forward after Frightfest, so I was able to ride this backwards. Like the Big Bad Wolf, the ride is much better after its second lift hill. The length was nice, too, as long coasters are so hard to find these days. It wasn't 3 minutes long at 70 mph, sure, but it was still a welcome change. (:p :p :p)

Greezed Lightnin' -- There's so much to like about these Schwarzkopf shuttle loopers. Riding in front, you get such an amazing, extreme variation of forces. There's plenty of high g's going into the loop, a bit of floating airtime at the top of the spike, and frightening hang time at the top of the loop on the way back. This is the perfect low-cost, small-footprint coaster. Why don't more people try to get themselves one of these instead of boomerangs or SLC's? ...assuming they were still being built, I guess.

Texas Cyclone -- There was some airtime here! Not much, admittedly, but it was nice to find something in the park that was unique and fun to ride. ...though, I'd have kept riding Greezed Lightnin' if I'd stayed by that part of the park over Texas Cyclone. Still, the constant announcements by the ride op that the train needed 18 people in it to operate (read: make it through the course) was a bit saddening. That made my expectations very, very small, so maybe it was easier to enjoy the ride. The ride was fun, overall, but it didn't blow me away. It had some airtime, some fun laterals, and it tracked really well.

Overall, I left the park with a really poor first impression. It was small, crowded, with long lines (even though there was probably only about 7,500 people in the park) and the employees were rude and obnoxious. Texas, in and of itself, left me with a really bad impression and so I probably won't go back there for a long, long time. But, at least my visit to Astroworld shows I'm not missing much.


*** This post was edited by Chernabog 4/13/2003 2:12:24 PM ***

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Sunday, April 13, 2003 10:12 AM
Er, typographical error ;)

That should read, "It wasn't 3 minutes at 70 mph..."

I'll correct it. :P


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Sunday, April 13, 2003 2:21 PM
Sorry you didn't have a good time...

Do you mean Texas, as the state itself, or the parks there? SFFT and SFoT I know aren't nearly as bad as SFAW. And if you mean the state itself, you were in Houston... and that says something.
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Sunday, April 13, 2003 2:34 PM
...originally, I'd been planning to stay around until Monday and take a trip out to Six Flags Fiesta Texas as well. It certainly looked like a better park.

But, I was there competing at the Astrodome/Reliant Center in a robotics competition, so my time was limited and, after all of the bad stuff that happened this week, I wasn't about to stay around any longer and let more bad stuff happen.

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Thursday, April 17, 2003 7:58 PM
Yeah, i had similar feelings about Astroworld, although i was there when i was younger, so it was a little more impressive to me then. I'm glad you chose to ride Greezed Lightnin' though, and i totally agree with you that it's a spectacular ride. The launch is totally different than any other ride, and the lack of OTSR's really lets you enjoy the airtime on the spikes.

I also remember enjoying Ultra Twister a lot, although it made me incredibly claustrophobic. Too bad you didn't get to ride SWAT - i want to hear what people think of it, as well as the new water ride (i forget the name right now).

good TR, and i have to say Houston isn't what ALL of Texas is like - there's some good things to do and see in Texas. Next time try San Antonio.

~me

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peace, love, coasters

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