SFEG 5/1/2004

Associated parks:

Well, I planned to hit up Lakeside on opening day, to get my first pictures of the Cyclone with my new Digital Rebel EOS 300D. Sadly, when I drove up to the entrance at about noon, the attendant told me it wouldn’t run until 6:00pm. Poor planning on my part, I guess… I had plans for the evening (I live in Colorado Springs, about an hours’ drive away), so I headed over to Six Flags Elitch Gardens instead.

Overall, the experience of visiting this park is much nicer than it was last year. I have visited SFEG twice this season, and both times the rides appear to be staffed better than they were last year. The park was also noticeably cleaner than it was last year. The only thing I could do without is the gauntlet of employees trying to take my picture as I entered the park. On to the coasters…

The Mind Eraser (Vekoma SLC) was a walk on! Light crowds, and yet they were running both trains! And the ride crew was friendly, fast and efficient. Am I dreaming? Someone pinch me!

I rode Sidewinder (Arrow launched loop) for sentimental reasons. There were only two people running this ride, and they took their sweet time. Riders were not allowed to lower or raise their OTSRs… did some mechanical part break? It seemed terribly inefficient to have them walk down the length of the train raising and lowering them.

The Flying Coaster (Zamperla Volare) was a walk-on as well, and despite my taking an inner seat, it banged my head even more than I had remembered. Ouch! No wonder it was a walk on… It looked like one “gondola” was dismantled.

Halfpipe (Intamin Half Pipe) appears to be nearly complete, and the “skateboard” is on the tracks, but all that exists of the station is a concrete slab with some supports. It should be completed over the next week and a half, as the ride is scheduled to open on 5/13.

Twister II (wooden John Pierce design) was only running one train (the "B" train), so it had about a 10-15 minute wait. There were three employees running the ride, and they did a fair job of running it. I thought the ride was running significantly worse than the last time I rode it (two weeks ago) -- it seemed to jackhammer up and down throughout the entire ride. And they still haven’t painted the timber that was replaced over the winter.

All in all, a decent two hours...


Kevin Knapp, Colorado Springs, kknappcyclone@aceonline.org
Remove "cyclone" from e-mail address to reply *** Edited 5/3/2004 12:38:55 AM UTC by Kevin Knapp*** *** Edited 5/3/2004 12:41:25 AM UTC by Kevin Knapp***

Good TR. Sidewinder has to be operated like that because of the foot pedals that lock and unlock the restraints. The pedal on each car has to be manually pulled up for the restraints to go down. It makes things slow, but that is how it has to be run. Sorry to hear about Twister, as I hoped that all of that retracking would help the ride. Twister has never been smooth, but I wouldn't like to see it get any worse. Anyway, glad you had fun. You'll have to stop by and say hi when I get home from school in a couple weeks. I will be lurking somewhere between Mind Eraser and the Big Wheel. :)

“Non sibi sed patriae” "Not self but country"

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