SFGA 10/19 Praise the QBot!

Associated parks:

Sunday, October 20, 2002 12:12 PM
There is crazy, and then there is Hannibal Lector crazy. That’s what I call going to Great Adventure on a weekend during Fright Fest. With my companion Shannon in tow, we arrived at 12:45 (park opened at 12) on the parking lot. Not too shabby at first. I park in section G in front of Scream Machine, my best parking spot ever, or so I thought. As we get out of the car, we run right into the construction sight for Superman, which is huge, and has a long walk around to get to the entrance. Oh well.

Shannon suggest we’re going to need QBot. I suggest we see how things are first to save money. Walking over to Nitro confirms her suspicions. We need QBot. After filling out a registration form, handing over $20 bucks, and a driver’s license, we get a blue plastic puck with a screen and two buttons. A sign in the booth says you damage it, the replacement value is $275! My God. What the hell’s in this thing, I wonder? We were also offered the optiion of a premium QBot. What’s that, I ask? For an extra fee (don’t remember), it’ll cut your time in half. No thanks.

We first go over to Skull Mountain and zap in our first time. Since we had to wait a little bit, I initiated another member into the Frisbee club. God I love this ride, and I think it’ll fit in my backyard. The program is not as long as Fiesta Texas, but hey, it’s still a Frisbee. We then rode Skull Mountain, which had an awfully long wait. Praise QBot.

Zapping in our time for Nitro and Batman the Ride, we headed over to Boardwalk, were we got a fairly decent ride on Scream Machine. I wish I could remember where we sat as was not to be the case later. Having more time to kill on QBot, we ride the Topspin, which I thought was running quite well today. Oh oh, we need to haul butt to get our Nitro ride, an awfully long run. One nice thing is that they do give you a 10-minute window, so you’re not SOL if you’re not there exactly on time. The QBot is smart too. It actually tells you if you’re there too early, and then when your getting close, and then when you’re ready to ride.

Thankfully, I been to Great Adventure quite a few times and knew where all the Fastlane entrances where (the exits). That’s probably my biggest gripe is that some of the walkways are just not meant to have people traveling in two directions. This became painfully obvious when we went to ride Batman the Ride and it’s claustrophobic exit ramp. Luckily at the station platform, they have a “holding pen” for all Fastlane holders, so you’re not blocking the exit gate. We actually managed to get the front row and God I love this ride, and so did Shannon (her first Batman the Ride).

Having yet more time to kill before Chiller, how about a ride on Stuntman’s Freefall? It’s been a while since I’ve ridden this. Wow is that elevator fast! Then we rode Frisbee ride #2 of the day. Heading to Chiller, we ride Robin, the only side running today. To say that I was shocked at how different Robin was with lapbars was an understatement. There wasn’t one jarring moment on the whole ride, something I couldn’t say about Flight of Fear at King’s Island (and I’ve ridden all 4 spaghetti bowl coasters this summer).

It was time to slow down a little bit, and we rode Blackbeard’s Pirate Train, a really decent junior coaster. Then heading down yonder, we eat in the western section (and pass a closed Huss Jump-one of my favorite flats), and passed the Mine Train. At this point the lines a little long, so we pass and then get our time for Medusa. Viper was closed. What a shame (sarcasm). We decided to pass on The Rodeo since we got one back home (SFA). We also decided that the horrible sqealing that was Rolling Thunder was not worth the one-side wait today. After riding Raven, Legend, and Beast this summer, I just couldn’t bring myself to get on it.

Again, needing to kill time before Medusa, we ride Houdini’s Great Escape which I always love. We waited a short 25 minutes also. It’s getting mad crowded at this point. Next up was Medusa and we were a little early again. One thing SFGA is in desperate need of is more benches. If you have to wait for your QBot time to come up, at least give people a place to sit. I laugh at Shannon as she tries to talk to her mother as the train passes through the zero-g roll on her cell phone. Could they turn these things down a notch? I ask the attendant if we can get front row. He says, sure, but is has about a 10 minute wait. Not a problem. And then a lady groups us with two other people and we wait one train. Medusa, I love you. Nuff’ said. Shannon can’t believe the lifthill size compared to Dark Night at New England also. We head back to the Mine Train, which had a shorter line, and it was awfully dark tonight, especially with the purple lights on the lifthill.

Since I talked Shannon into getting a nighttime ride on Nitro, we got a 9:30 assignment. When we got our time, I hear a girl say Batman the Ride has a 3-hour wait! And the crews our hauling mad ass (also on Nitro). I cannot imagine the calories they burn everyday.

We headed back up to boardwalk where we again couldn’t justify a ride on Rotting Lumber, and QBot says we all ride reservations were taken. Our last ride, Nitro had a fairly late time vs. our current time, so we needed things to do. There was Frisbee ride #3 (for me anyway), and then the Enterprise wheel, and the Terror Trail, which lasted all of a minute. We had about an hour to kill before Nitro, and and here come’s the biggest mistake of the night-a 2nd to the last row ride on Scream Machine. My head was bouncing back and forth against the headrest and we were both hurting. My lower back still hurts. I suggest one more Topspin ride, but it’s uncertain if we’re going to make it back to Nitro in time, so we pass.

Getting to Nitro, the Fastlane line is fairly long. I’d say 20 to 30 people started to accumulate, plus a few handicap individuals. Again, the exit ramp is not designed for this. Luckily they had added the third train also, because I had no idea how they were going to get the people out of line by 11:00. So they let all of us Fastlane holders on one train, and Shannon and I head for the back. I was expecting the GRRP reaction (boos), but no one does. Impressive. The back is where all the action is. Yeah baby.

Remembering to return our QBot, we left extremely happy customers, and we got to watch the fireworks show also. You can argue that QBot is a scam, whatever, but just remember, whenever you buy a park t-shirt (which I’m sure every enthusiast has at least 10), you probably paid around $20, and the park got free advertising. Now who’s the sucker?

Dude, you're getting an Intamin!*** This post was edited by Intamin Fan on 10/20/2002. ***

*** This post was edited by Intamin Fan on 10/20/2002. ***

Sunday, October 20, 2002 3:23 PM
Nice TR! I am going there next weekend and I am going to probably get a Q-Bot if the lines are like that. Also did you hear anything about Fearanoia.


Sunday, October 20, 2002 3:39 PM
I saw many people with Fearanoia patches. I still don't know much about it. Is it a game of tag?
Dude, you're getting an Intamin!
Sunday, October 20, 2002 3:41 PM
um, Lector
Sunday, October 20, 2002 4:02 PM
My dad owns Slilence of the Lambs, and I didn't get off my butt to check the spelling. I'm sure most people will get it. It will be fixed right away.
Dude, you're getting an Intamin!

*** This post was edited by Intamin Fan on 10/20/2002. ***

Sunday, October 20, 2002 6:00 PM

I was also at the park that day. It was much more crowded than I thought it would be. 3 train wait for Robin in the morning in the front was our only chiller ride (line was later around 1/2 the outside queue... i think over an hour). The wait for Nitro was later through the whole queue and WAY out of the entrance to the tables, and they were only using 2 trains at this point (1 hr. +). Batman: TR was also outside the entrance, but without the winding part of the queue, though the rows near the sewer were open (1 hr.+)

The park did a great job at night... the fog and walking characters were much better than I expected (and created a much better atmosphere than SFA's). We did not give in for a Q-bot (too expensive), but we still finished the park anyways (1 Nitro, 1 Chiller, 2 Batman, 6 Medusa, Frisbee, Others...). Thanks for short lines on Medusa if you arrive early!

I am not a huge Nitro fan, so 1 ride was enough. I was in the back right of one of the two trains and it was more bumpy than I remember (but still completely okay). I still think Apollo and Superman carry more air over each hill, and Nitro only pulls air for a second on the downside, but that is just my opinion. Chiller was great as was Medusa and Batman.

However, I hope if they are going to open Batman's queue, use the windy part in the garden and not the part near the sewer under the deafening train. Cannot wait for the flyer.


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