SFGadv - July 24 "Day saved by Q-Bot"

Associated parks:

Executive Summary

Best Coaster – Nitro. I was expecting a great ride, but wow, this was a ton of fun. There was the feeling of intense speed with lots of airtime. A bit slow over a couple of hill, but that’s my only complaint.

Worst Coaster – Viper. I knew what to expect and it was much, much worse that I imagined. The heart-line roll was the only redeeming factor and it wasn’t enough to overcome the other 1500ft. of hell. At least it was short.

Biggest Surprise – G’s in the Superman pretzel. I expected intense but the backseat ride I had was downright breathtaking.

Biggest Disappointment – Pendulum. I was expecting a bigger, faster, more enjoyable version of my home park La Ronde’s Zamperla Discovery. Shorter ride cycle, no floorless feeling, and not swinging up as high all left me very disappointed.

Best Ride Ops – Superman if only for keeping their cool under intense pressure.

Worst Ride Ops – Viper. Not only did I have to wait 15 minutes for what I knew was going to be a less than enjoyable ride but at one point all three ops stopped to hold a conversation about cleaning fluid. It was at the end of the day though, and I know I can’t get anything done the last 15 minutes of work either. Perhaps some slack should be cut.

Funniest moment – Standing in line to buy a Nitro shirt and the woman behind next to the Kodak disposable cameras saying to her friend “I was going to buy that blue camera but I found out you can only use it once.”

Best food – Wok & Roll. Quiet, air-conditioned, and tasty. I would have really like to try the restaurant inside the flume who’s name escapes me. It looked really good but I just wasn’t hungry at that point.

Trip Report

How I managed to have a great time I’ll never know. I’d probably have to thank Q-bot.

We arrived at 11. I would have liked to get there early but my friend was a tad late getting up. We headed directly for Superman. I was prepared for about an hour and 15 minute line and that’s probably what it would have been. It broke down when we were at the last queue turn before the steps. Thirty minutes later we gave up and left the line, just in time to hear the horn for the ride starting up again. Argh... I blew that one, was frustrated and decided to get a Q-Bot. I wasn’t risking missing a ride and this park filled with tons of great coasters.

We rented a Q-bot and headed to Batman. We got on at about 2:15. First ride of the day 3 hours after I got in the park and I’d already been on it. Great ride though in the last row. The turn after the second loop is worth the price of admission alone.

We had gotten warmed up and decided while waiting the hour and 10 minutes for Chiller we’d hit Nitro. Line was moving fairly well until they decided to add the 3rd train. I’ve never understood why not have all 3 on the track at the beginning of the day, but at least while we waited we got to watch the train stranded on Batman’s lift. An hour later we were on Nitro, last row.

Damn. What a ride. I expected a lot and it delivered. The first and second drops were amazing. The sense of speed was great and then there was the air filled camel backs, a great helix, and some fun bunny hops to finish off. We rode it again later and it was great again. My only request would be a little more air over some of the bunny hops or camel backs, but perhaps that occurs late in the day.

Chiller: Robin was up next. It was a fun ride but I think I expected more. The backwards zero-g roll was pleasant but the rest was a tad uneventful. Perhaps my mid-train seat had something to do with it. I’d like to give it another try sometime and hopefully Batman too.

A quick turn on GASM was up next. Time has not been kind to this coaster and the walk on status and closure at 6pm leads me to believe others think the same thing. It had some nice loops if a little rough, and that’s about all I have to say. I enjoyed it more when I was last there in 1993. The whole coaster seemed to shaking itself apart.

Skull Mountain was a ride that was better than I expected. Since I expected very little, that wasn’t too hard, but the intense darkness and sudden turn made for an out-of-control feeling I enjoyed. I’d ride it again if the wait is short.

It was time for our Superman ride but first a trip on Blackbeard’s Lost Treasure Train. Some very nice swooping curves made for a fun ride. The kids really seemed to be enjoying it. Too bad the train wasn’t longer…. They could connect the back to the front.

Superman’s exit was chaos and it was how Q-Bot people were getting on. The plan was for everyone with a Q-Bot to run into the station before the people on the train had time to get off. It didn’t work the first few times, so people were getting mad, one child in particular who’s mother was worse than him. We finally shoved our way on to the last row.

Now I was excited. The seats tilted and I got giddy. We turned and went partially up the lift.. and stopped. Hmm. With my luck today, this didn’t look good. A ride op came over, told us it was technical problem and to hold on. It was only about 7-10 minutes but it was damn annoying to hang there like that. People were getting annoyed and very uncomfortable. Then the ride op came over and said we’re almost ready to go. Some people wanted off. They were sore and worried that there was a problem with the train. That’s when we learned the truth. It turns out that “the kind in 2-2” took his foot out of the restraints and E-Stopped the ride. Now people were pissed at the kid.

Soon after the lift started and we were off. Wow. I’m impressed. The swooping towards the ground was very cool and the g’s in the pretzel loop were like no other. A fine ride that I’d love to ride again on numerous occasions. The fun wasn’t over though.

We arrive back in the station to the irate mother, the same one who was complaining before. She claimed the restraints opened and her kid could have fell out. She claimed he was crying and scared for his life. She’s going to sue. Oh.. and the whole tirade was peppered with every swear word possible directed at all the ops.

This is when it got ugly and I got out of there.

The ride wasn’t running because of her and people started to realize it. She was the focus of the wrath from every side, which just caused her to get more belligerent. Security reinforcements were on their way as I headed to the photo booth. Guess who I say arms out, laughing and loving the ride? The kid in 2-2.

After that ugly incident I wanted some more B&M goodness to raise my spirits. Not going to happen. Medusa went down just as we got to her. They were even emptying the queue. Hmm… We moved on to Rolling Thunder. Nice ride. Not much to write home about but fun. The park could really use some exciting wood.

After RT and some food, Medusa was testing. We headed over to a 15 minute wait as it just re-opened. Needless to say, with my luck that day, it broke down when I was two trains away from the back seat. The floor wasn’t retracting. About 25 minutes later she was running again and we got our ride. I love the B&M floorless coasters and this one was no different. Great ride and I wish I could ride it some more, but it was already 9.

Only one coaster left (the mine train was down). Viper. It had a long line all day long but now it was at the stairs to the station. 15 minutes later I was on and I was excited. So what if everyone says it’s rough? I like a rough ride. A little head banging in the twist? I can adjust for that. Hmm… The heart-line twist was actually enjoyable. It was the rest of the coaster that was hell. All I can say is that everything that people have written is true. This is a ride for masochists. It seemed to have too much speed in too small a footprint with badly designed turns. And the rest of the train agreed.

My overall impression of the park is a good one. I was disappointed with the ride closures but I think I was just unlucky. The park is visually pleasant and downright beautiful in some parts. Employees were generally good, some more so than others. The food was good and not that badly priced. The Wok & Roll was a quite place to relax and the butterfly fries could have fed a family of 4 for a week.

I wish I could have sampled some more flat rides and some water rides, but time really wasn’t on my side that day. And to finish off the day, the fireworks were fun and the store clerks very pleasant.

Thanks for reading.

edited for format
*** This post was edited by Mtl_Shag 7/28/2003 6:02:05 PM ***

The Frisbee program that Great Adventure runs is really weak and short. This is is probably because of the crowds, although Pendulum is fairly hidden behind the bumper cars, so the lines usually aren't long. In fact, we walked right on last Thursday.
If you have a problem with clones, the solution is real simple—Stop traveling.
I walked on as well. That and GASM were the only walk ons of the the day.

And as for being hidden, it's as if they planned it that way it's so hard to find.

Great Report!

I was also there on the 24th. I glad you had a great time at what I consider my very underappreciated homepark. I'm not sure you needed a q-bot but I'm glad you had a good experience with it. Personally I won't shell out extra money for any type of fastpass system, and didn't need one thursday. Arriving to a huge line for tickets around 11 , I was shocked that I got to ride every coaster at least 1 time(except Chiller I only like the Batman Side) and still headed out of the park by 7 for an affordable dinner.

Overall the quality of service was excellent! This was my first visit this year and I only hope the park continues to improve in all aspects as it has the last few years.

Sorry to hear about the irate mom incident. Luckily I missed that during my 2 spins on Superman. I have to say there was a break down while I was in the station the 1st time. The ride-ops handled everything very well. They remained friendly to the public and were up front that they did not know how long the ride would be down. Once they knew what the problem was they updated us that it would only be a few more minutes, and they were right! Fantastic back row ride.

I was also impressed with the improved presence of competent security throughout the park. In the past line-jumping seemed to be a sport at GAdv. This trip the only 2 incidences I saw were dealt with by security even before other guests pointed it out to them.

I may not have needed the Qbot but the person I was with is less than enthusiastic about waiting for lines. That plus the fact I only had one day and I didn't want to miss anything led to the Q-Bot purchase.

As for line jumping, there was none in the lines I did end up in. Very pleasent crowd actually. Not even any smoking in line.

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