SFGA Memorial Day And My First Time Deep Review

Associated parks:

Friday, May 31, 2002 7:30 AM
TR: Six Flags Great America
Date: May 27th, 2002 Memorial Day
Weather: For Chicago?. BLAZING HOT

Hello Coaster Fans Who Are Checking Out There Tan Lines From Standing In The Blazing Sun On Memorial Day Waiting For Some Cool Rides,

This was my first trip to Chicago and pretty much my first trip to SFGA (I went there many moons ago when I was little and don?t remember it.). And I made a small trip before just for V2 and that was literally it. I got free room and board with my friends who had ONE HECK of a view of the Chicago skyline. I don?t know how people can handle Chicago?We ended up making a Memorial Trip with the four of us, Me, Shawna, Nicole, and Dustin. Dustin had to work until 3am the day before so we got some what of a late start?yes I knew it was going to be busy, but just read on.

We arrived at the park 12pm?Than we saw parking?What the?.$10 for parking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Shawna and I are still rubbing our eyes over that. I tried everything we could come up with showing any parking pass we could and it still didn?t work. Anyone know the reason behind the high price or is it a Chicago thing that charges you for every 10ft you travel on their road? ;c) Shawna and I both have upgraded SFWoA passes and we had coupons to get Dustin and Nicole in for ½ price. Than we saw the ticket line and we knew we where in for a long day. We waited 1 hour to get our tickets.

After getting our tickets we went to head through the metal detectors. There was a manager up there who had never seen SFWoA passes and made some small talk with us. He asked about the whales and if I saw the one yet, and I told him about it. He told us to enjoy the park and have a great day. Nice guy.

I broke a CARDINAL sin today?I had to break down and buy a fast pass first thing. I don?t believe in these and hate the idea of them. Do they work yes, but I still don?t like them. It was the only way we were going to get to do all the stuff we wanted to in a short time due to the lines and Memorial Day. First impressions of the park; it seems A LOT like Disney World! We got our fast passes and headed towards Raging Bull. Fast pass by passed a 1:45 min wait. I feel like an idiot using the thing, and I don?t blame the people behind me.

We have heard MANY GREAT things about this ride and all sorts of ways to ride this. I have ridden many California coasters, BGW coasters, etc. And this was supposed to blow those away! We hopped into the front seat. After looking at the floater hills and riding Goliath, and Apollo?s Chariot, you would expect TONS of airtime on this ride. SFGA KILLED this ride!! EVERY floater hill had it?s brakes on hard!! I couldn?t believe it. I was destroyed! Imagine Mean Streak with the first hill brakes on, they kill the ride. Or Mantis? trim brakes on. You could feel your body getting ready to lift up than nothing. This ride has so much more potential and nothing happens. No G?s?no nothing. We rode it later on that night so I?ll write a review about that right now too BACK SEAT: We hopped up into the back seat. If this ride is like AC than the first drop is going to be awesome! We crested the hill with a little pop of air time than WHAM!!! We were launched into the lap bar!! SWEET!! All the way down it was pure ejector air. After that I was upset. The turns in this are no where near intense with all the breaking this ride does. There was one good pop of air after the break run, but nothing else. I don?t know how people can say this is better than Goliath (unless they run it without the brakes on.) Goliath has intense G?s and many laterals, which from what I have been told to expect from Raging Bull. It was a fun ride, but other than the first hill I rank it way down on the bottom of my B&M list. Sorry B&M fans. I think both other B&M?s at this park were more fun today. But don?t worry?this gets a lot better. I liked pretty much every coaster at this park!!

Next up the not talked about much Viper. The themeing here reminds me a lot of Villain. We didn?t use our fast pass. Wait was about ½ hours?not to bad. Two trains running. This was a suprisingly great ride!! I loved the laterals and great moments of airtime. We sat in the back. It was VERY smooth and flowed through the course great! Fun ride!!

American Eagle was next (or what ever they call this ride now a days). I haven?t heard much about this ride at all and I haven?t heard anything about this ride backward. After the huge looking que line, which only took about 35min. We came to the loading dock. Soooo backward it was. I have ridden the Racer backwards,this is NOTHING like that. We rode what should be the front but it was really the back of the train (in other words, we were the last ones in the train leaving the station). They weren't really racing the coaster, which I don?t know why. This hill is a lot bigger than it looks going up backward. The drop was AWESOME. I was waiting for it to bottom out but it seemed to go twice the distance! Then some great bunny hops, up into the HUGE helix. How come no body talks about this helix? This was GREAT!! It kept building speed and building G's! Doing it all backwards was even more fun. Some drops and another helix follow all that. I loved this ride backward!!!

I'll some up some of the other rides so this doesn?t get TOO incredibly long:
V2- Many people know my take on impulses and how I rank them. This doesn't go as far up as SUE (and it's VERY easy to tell on this model.) This is also not NEARLY as smooth as SUE or Wicked Twister. There is some strange shuffling going on here? Yet it's a blast to ride and I love its location.
Demon-typical corkscrew ride, with great theming, felt like the Double Loop at SFWoA.
Shockwave- WHAT IN THE WORLD!!! It looks like SFMM Viper but it?s NOTHING like it. It seems to start of the same, but look out. The pull out is Soooo bad (yet for some strange reason fun.) The first loop isn,t too bad (like Steel Phantom?s first loop.) After that it has NO room to loose speed to hit the next two loops. Imagine hitting an ARROW Inc. loop at Mach.8 that's what the loop felt like no kidding! Only the strong survive this coaster. Oh yeah, yes it is literally a parking lot coaster.
Wizzer- Cute little ride. A lot of fun?especially with a girl in your lap. Nice G?s reminds of the Bayu Curve though.
Batman- Same as SFMM only this was the first. Nice theming and GREAT g's almost grey outs in some points.

We hit quite a few carnival rides of which the theming was awesome. I loved the falling star model themed to an Oregon Wagon. And a park that has teacups is awesome!!

The one improvement I would suggest to this park is landscaping. They have a little bit. More or less this park utilizes natural landscaping. There is just natural things growing everywhere and not maintained. Good thing is the layout of the park hides a lot of it. There are a ton of trees which I'm a big fan of it. I was expecting landscaping and everywhere you look it?s manicured like SFWoA and CP. But I don?t think landscaping is a big thing at this park.

In closing notes, I don't see how anyone can really make fun of this park I did see a few things break down but it had no effect on me except for Déjà Vu. They got everything that did break up and running in no time. I REALLY wanted to see some shows, but didn't get the chance. I rank this as being the NUMBER one SF park (until SFWoA builds their hyper =C) ). This park is WAY much better than SFMM. Sure SFMM has the rides but that?s it. At SFGA everywhere you look there is something to do! That's one thing Shawna and I noticed right away. That's why I say SFWoA is moving up there very fast. So far SFWoA has the biggest and most overall to do while at the park. In the end, sure it was crowded, but we managed to have a fun day. I got some great SF stuff at the stores and can't wait to come back later!!

"The Future of Roller Coasters"

*** This post was edited by RollerCoasterGod on 5/31/2002. ***

Friday, May 31, 2002 12:54 PM

Raging Bull only has brakes on 1 floater hill... the first one. The other brakes are the midcourse, in the middle of the figure 8, and final brake run. I'd hardly call that every floater hill.

You probably got little to no air after the first drop because the restraints fall at the bottom of it. I've had an easy 2 inches room once, and at the bottom, after I tried to hold it up, it went to about 1/2 inch of space. I still had intense air thoughout the ride, including on the trimmed camelback. If the restraint does get right against you, however, you won't really feel the air at all, because it's not ejector air after the 1st drop.

Uhh... V2 can't shuffle. It's an impulse like S:UE, identical to it in every way but location, lack of wheel covers, and paint. That means it has spring loaded wheel assemblies, which stop shuffling. I doubt it was rough, either. Either you were sitting under wheels that needed replacing, or you "though it rough" like some people "think themselves sick." And, btw, what is 'your take' on impulses that 'many people' know?

Whats more reliable? Deja Vu, or RCT running without a error trapper?

Friday, May 31, 2002 3:17 PM
Whoooahhh there...no need for negativity. I do like Raging Bull. I just don't think it's in my own top ten. Nor do I think it's made out to be what many think it is. That's just my own opinion.

As for the brakes. They have that BIG trim that on the fist floater hill wich KILLS any airtime for that hill, turn, and hill after that. Than you have the brake run. Which kills almost all air off of that. Than you have the brake into the ground hugging turns which kill any G's off of those. This ride does have potential, just turn off all but the midcourse. As for the lap bars. I had TONS of room under mine (after riding MF you know how to bypass the STRICT system). It came down maybe one notch on the first drop but I could still fit my whole fist under it after that.

As for V2. Yes the trains can shuffle, as they can shuffle on S:UE if the night was cold before and they magnets don't fire just right or when it goes up into the twist at a different speed or irregular speed (ie: It doesn't hit the spike at the same speed as SUE) it can cause a different reaction to the rider. And I'm saying compared to SUE or Wicked Twister V2 creates a "Shuffling" effect (ie: like the "bouncy" feeling on a wooden roller coaster). I assume this is because the magnets aren't "totally" controlled right it feels like the front half is not timed with the back half of the train there for one half of the train is pulling the other or pushing. Thus creating the reason it's not going up as high as SUE. Again this is only speculation on what I experienced, videotaped, and Shawna's thoughts also who has ridden them all with me. I just thought I'd add it into my trip report because we talked to a few ACErs Bill, Lilly, and John (who's home park was PKI but now is SFGA) and had the same thoughts, and I told them I would relay that too.

As for my take on impulses without getting to much in depth. After riding V2 I have ridden all the ones (the originals before being modifed that is). So I can just compare them a little better. Like one steel to another. From all my trips and reports most know that I love these rides. I just prefer SUE first (fun factor) and Wicked Twister second (excitement factor). Nothing personal against any park or anyone.

See everyone at all the Ohio parks!!!

"The Future of Roller Coasters"

Friday, May 31, 2002 3:49 PM
Nice TR. About Goliath/Bull, Goliath looks more impressive, but fails to deliver. The airtime on that ride is minimal compared to Bull. I have yet to ride Titan, but Goliath just provides less air...However, Goliath delivers in areas Bull doesn't. One area would be g's and laterals. The G's on RB are sweet, but Goliath blows not only Bull, but every other hypercoaster away. I also prefered Big G's turnaround after the drop. Bull has much more of a layout than Goliath. Bull: Drop, Turnaround, Hill, Overbanked Turn, Turnaround, Break Run, Drop, Hill, Turnaround, Figure 8, Brake Run. Goliath: Drop, Turnaround, Hill, turn, Breaks, Curved Drop, Weird Lateral Hill, Helices, Breaks. In the end, however, it all comes down to one's opinion. That was mine.


Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society-Chicago Chapter

Friday, May 31, 2002 5:39 PM
ROLLERCOASTERGOD: So what is your top ten, im curious. So why do you think this is the best six flags park again?
Friday, May 31, 2002 6:39 PM

Awesome TR! It made me want to go back to SFGAm right away.

I have to agree about the Bull...from the layout I was expecting a possible steel favorite, but it turned out to be possibly my least favorite hyper (though still a great ride, I may add). I think someone on here (I'd like to give credit but can't remember who said it) once said that Raging Bull should be renamed "Castrated Cow."

I was also a big fan of Viper, and your description of Shockwave is the reason why it is one of my favorite loopers. I think the theming of SFGAm is superb and better than any other non-Disney park I've visited. As for the landscaping, I think the prarie landscaping in the Southwest Territory is very well done (and easy to maintain, too, I might add).

I get the feeling there's a conspiracy over at King's Island to remove anything that has "K" or "C" in its initials.

Friday, May 31, 2002 6:43 PM

For Steel My Top 10: Starting with number 1 first.

Note: To me a Roller Coaster Has to be full circuit and give a good ride front and back. It also has to give a continous good ride all through out the year. Again I stress these are my own

Ride of Steel NE
Batman's Knight Flight
Flight of Fear (new version)
Apollo's Chariot
Steel Force
Phantoms' Revenge

As for why I think SFGA is probably the best park as of right now. IMO I think a park needs to have somthing for everyone young, old, and ageless. A good collection of roller coasters of ALL types (kiddie, loopers, wood, sit down, etc.) Shows, games, food, atmosphere, empolyees, landscaping, nightlife etc. I personally believed SFGA filled in almost all of these categories with a great rating. They could use a little in the landscaping and food but overall they did great (again I think SFWoA might surpass...we shall see.) I liked the layout of the park. Everywhere we looked we had something to do, and each part had it's own feel. SFMM is the SF for Roller Coasters their big problem (IMO) is they don't have a lot in between though...and yes, I do know the stuff they have. I just don't think you get this feeling of "What should we do next?!" CP does this job VERY nicely with how they enhance a guests sense of everywhere there is something. As for my top 10 parks: starting with the best (The Florida parks are a whole nother story):

Busch Gardens Williamsburg
Cedar Point
Six Flags Worlds of Adventure (I give them the biased nod only because of landscaping, employees this year....and that little deal they just made for next year that I wanted LOL)
Paramount's Kings Island
Knott's Berry Farm
Six Flags Great America
Hershey Park
Six Flags Magic Mountain

"The Future of Roller Coasters"

*** This post was edited by RollerCoasterGod on 5/31/2002. ***

Friday, May 31, 2002 8:42 PM

Did you skip Iron Wolf? I didnt see it anywhere in your TR.

Funny thing RollercoasterGod, you were at my homepark (SFGAm)for the first time on Memorial day, while I was at your homepark (CP) for the first time on the same day.

I guess we switched roles!!! :)

Glad you had fun even though it was packed like a sardine can.

""To be the man, WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!, You got to beat the man""!!!

Saturday, June 1, 2002 9:02 PM

Raging Bull airtime secrets:

First off, ride in the back of the train, last row preferred. Pull down the bar, so that you are one click past the "red line" - where the bar connects the train (or more, if you feel unsafe). To keep this extra space, push the bar up with your ankle, therefore holding the bar away from your lap, and keeping it from tightening when you hit the bottom of the hills. This is easier, and more comfortable than it sounds, and definitely worth it for the airtime.

The only trims are on the 3rd drop, the midcourse brakes, and in the helix. None of these trims are usually on too harsh, and although they steal a little airtime, they don't affect the ride that much (and I have ridden it w/o trims). I still have yet to ride ANY steel coaster that has better, or more airtime than Raging Bull, especially if you follow these proceedures.

Favorite Airtime moments/coasters: Raging Bull - First drop (best), and the rest of the ride (great, but not as powerful as the first drop), Wild Thing's 2nd hill (amazing, sustained airtime), and it's bunny hops at the end, Viper's Double Down, and the whole latter 1/2 of the ride (gotta love those headchoppers) and all of Timber Wolf (Mamba isn't anything to shake a stick at either). :)

Current favorite coasters:
Wooden: 1) Beast 2) Raven 3) Son of Beast 4) The Boss 5) Timber Wolf
Steel: 1) Raging Bull 2) Millennium Force 3) V2 4) Wild Thing 5) Mr. Freeze
Visit: http://www.dynamicgroove.com

Sunday, June 2, 2002 8:46 AM

Another tip is to ride with your legs up on the hills. The drop after the MCBR is ver powerful, as is the hill that follows. Surprisingly, the best air in the second half of the ride is on the drop after the turnaround (right into the trims before the figure 8) That kept my butt outta the seat until we leveled off.


Zakk Wylde's Black Label Society-Chicago Chapter

Monday, June 3, 2002 5:20 AM

RollerCoasterGod said:

We hopped into the front seat. After looking at the floater hills and riding Goliath, and Apollo?s Chariot, you would expect TONS of airtime on this ride. SFGA KILLED this ride!! EVERY floater hill had it?s brakes on hard!! I couldn?t believe it. I was destroyed!

First off SFGAM didn't put the trims on RB. B&M put the trims on RB for speed control and so that the ride experiance would be the same every time. Also the brake on the third hill isn't even on that hard and if you sit towards the back you still get some decent airtime. Also you missed the best seat on RB, the back. You must experiance the back seat on the first drop, its amazing. Other than that I am glad you see SFGAM as one of the better Six Flags parks because it really is the best runned in my oppinion.

Favorite Wood: Viper at SFGAM,Shivering Timbers
Favorie Steel: Magnum and Raging Bull

Monday, June 3, 2002 6:34 AM
'Ello I did ride the back :) That was the good seat. I got ejector air on the first drop :) That was awesome. The rest of the ride. I got barely any air though :( It was almost like the but's going to leave the seat but then the track doesn't drop fast enough.

As for the brakes. Front...or back seat. If you get the feeling of moving foward when you should be moving back. IMO the brakes are on to hard (aka: Mean Streak and RB). Shawna and I both couldn't believe it, along with my fellow ACErs their who used to live near PKI. And yes, I know SFGA didn't install the trim brakes. But they can control it once they have control of the ride (but yes, I also know that leaves them more open to lawsuits if they don't run it according to B&M)...Kind of like Mantis at CP. Some days no trims, some days trims...or Mean Streak. It all depends on what CP, the computers, or mechanics feel that the ride should be operating at. All rides at all parks have their good days and bad. And all I'm saying it RB could have been A LOT better without the trims. Midcourse is fine since they need it for 3 train. But the others get rid of them. When the whole train goes "Aweeeee" When they should go "YEAHHhhh" (aka Mean Streak, and RB...and a few others). From what it sounds like it seems that a few of ACErs had some bad rides that day (kind of like those who say MForce has no airtime). Either way I'm going back later this year and will see how it is than...When hopefully there will be less crowds than when I went.

Someone asked me about Iron Wolf. IMO. It is a nice ride. I agree with pretty much everyone on this one though and how it rides. IMO if they would have raised the lift hill 10ft more, kept everything else the same. It would have been a really great ride. I wish someday someone will figure out how to make a GOOD stand up.

Here's what a standup should have:

A GOOD helix. Don't have these little fast turn arounds up in the air. Turn the track 90' and hug the ground. Actually turn the person on their side.

A BIG floating hill. Make a person feel like they just took the biggest jump in there life.

Good trick track. Make the person shift weight from one foot to the other.

And some awesome bunny hops. Make a person feel like they are in the potato sack race for their life!! ;)

Ahhhh someday.

"The Future of Roller Coasters"


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