SFGAdv - Where are the Superheroes?!? (long)

Associated parks:
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Wednesday, April 9, 2003 7:44 PM
Anyone who's read any of my previous trip reports will recognize the fact that i have a heck of a time with the concept of brevity. I'm trying my best to only include my opinions, or aspects that weren't included in the mess of other great opening weekend trip reports, but if you're just looking for the basics, try Apollo Andy's or Black 7's. and on with the show...

We got there at 3ish (don't ask), and I was a little upset that we wouldn't have time to enjoy the park. Boy was i wrong. A friend of mine had to process her season pass, so we headed over to the processing area located where they used to have some motion sim. ride (I forget what it was called). After that, we figured we'd just start where we were and do the coasters in order, as we'd both been on them all before.

S:UF: closed. I expected it to be closed, no disappointment here. It looked good, pretty much as i expected it to look. Can't wait to give it a shot!

GASM: one-train op, 10 minute wait. I hadn't ridden one in a couple of years, as Shockwave wasn't running when i was at SFGAm last year. I was actually a bit nervous - something about the design of these rides just doesn't look safe. But, that always makes for a more thrilling ride, IMO. First 3 vert. loops were amazingly disorienting - those are worth keeping the ride alone. Even though i know it's probably a result of design limitations for the time, i love the fact that the first loop is taken so tightly, and the highlight of the ride for me was actually the "nasty corner" that people complain about between the 3rd loop and the mid-course brakes - the thing popped me straight out of my seat! Rest of the ride was taken too slow and was lackluster. I think it would be better if they didn't apply the mid-course brakes at all, but i'm sure there's safety concerns.

Rolling Thunder: 1-train op, one track only, 20 min. wait. I'm not sure why so many people complain about this ride - it's nothing spectacular, but it's a half-decent woodie. Sure, the layout leaves a bit to be desired, but the camelbacks give good floater air and there's plenty of "clackety-clack" moments that keep your bones jarring throughout the ride. Overall, a solid ride, worth giving a chance if you happen to be there anyway. I can't comment on whether or not it's better this year, because i never thought it was that bad in the first place.

Viper: closed. I must have bad luck - i know it runs spoaradically, but in my 3 visits to the park, it has never been running. Regardless, not a big disappointment, but i still want to get it on my Track Record. And that one immelman-type loop into the dive looks viscious - I love intense rides, and this one looks like it would deliver, if not down-right pummel me. :)

Runaway Train: 1-train op, 30+ min. wait. I had never ridden it, and figured i might as well. Unfortunately, it was the longest line of the day! I knew it wouldn't be anything spectacular, but i couldn't imagine quite how horrible it would be. Any chance of airtime is killed by the design of the track, and those lapbars are just plain awful! I realize i'm a larger person, but even my friend who's a female of average build said the ride was far too painful to enjoy. I realize the park wants a family coaster, but please for the sake of my legs retrofit the trains!

Medusa: 2-train op, walk-on. After waiting so long for the Mine train, i was sort of worried that Medusa, arguably the most popular ride in the park, would have a bit of a wait. To my surprise, the trains weren't even running full! Yes! After a summer of B:TDK at my homepark of SFNE, i had forgotten what a big Beemer really felt like. :) First ride, the front. Amazing visuals, and the floorless effect really adds to the experience. Other rides, back 2 rows - WOW!!! The first 3 loops are amazing, and the zero-G roll is so pleasantly disorienting, that i almost wish the ride consisted of seven of them in a row. Unfortunately, i felt that the second half of the ride was a bit lacking in the intensity department. If the mid-course breaks gave the air-time of other beemers such as Raptor, Montu, and B:KF, and the helix was longer to add some positive G's, the ride would be perfect. But all-in-all, it tied for my favorite ride of the day.

Skull Mt. - i'm not sure whether to consider this a coaster or not, but it seemed powered the whole way through to me. This ride seemed like a waste of money, and some of the park's best queue theming. Even a strobe light or two would've made the ride better; and please turn those darn speakers down - i almost went deaf when we went past them! You can argue whether or not its a coaster with me or not, but i think we can all agree that it's a crappy ride.

Nitro: 2 train op, walk on. Well, there it was, in all it's glory. But for some reason, i just couldn't get all that excited about it this time around. The first drop was incredible, as always - equivalent to if not better than any hyper-coaster or even MF. And the rest of the ride was fillled with the rediculous amounts of floater air that this ride is famous for. In fact, I even counted the seconds - each camelback is worth anywhere from 3-5 seconds spent completely out of your seat. While this is amazing, i felt as though if the ride were doing it's job, i shouldn't have been able to count at all. I guess i'm just jaded after being fortunate enough to ride several of these airtime machines. My other thought was that i guess I'm more a fan of "ejector" air, rather than "floater" air, and for my money, SFNE's S:ROS is just head and shoulders above this ride. But again, they're both the best of their respective elements, and this is my opinion so don't go starting a flame war.

B:TR and Chiller: closed. I was terribly disappointed that both Batman rides were closed. I was looking forward to my first Premier "lapbar retrofitted" coaster perhaps even moreso than riding Nitro, as i absolutely loved the ride even with the OTSR's two summers ago. And B:TR is always a pleaser. Is it me, or does this park's clone of it look in serious disarray? I'm almost glad it wasn't open, because that gave me the idea that maybe they were painting it or fixing it up somehow.

Overall, this was a fun day and a good way to start the coaster season. The lack of the superheroes, while galling, will give me a reason to return to this park later on in the summer (as if taking a visit to NYC wasn't enough already!) Thanks for mustering through my babble, yet again. Peace.

~me
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peace, love, coasters...

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Wednesday, April 9, 2003 8:12 PM
We definitely cannot all agree that Skull Mountain is a crappy ride. In the back seat there's a nice pop of airtime, and the rest of the ride is just plain fun. Not the best ride at SFGAdv (that goes to Chiller), but easily fourth of fifth, IMO. :)

BTW, Skull Mountain is only powered to the top of the second lift. Somehow I forgot to mention this when I posted yesterday...

-Nate
*** This post was edited by coasterdude318 4/10/2003 4:45:43 PM ***

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Thursday, April 10, 2003 10:45 AM
SKull Mountain isn't something I would call crappy its for family, that drop is real fun though. Your right about Viper it looks and ride's vicious literally, it gave me a neck pain for like 4 days, but that drop is hot. Nitro is faster when the weather is warmer. Oh yea B:TR vallied because of it having new wheels that wasn't broken in and the cold weather. It is getting painted soon too, as you can see purple on the 1st corkscrew. The Chiller (Robin) vallied also, this is expected in weather like this, it vallies atleast once or twice a year, it should be up soon. Gasm is something I like riding it isn't rough it just isn't a b&m.
The runaway train popped my sister almost out the seat, (who is a average sized 25 yr old), at the last turn around.I want to see S:UF operate soon this ride looks real good.
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Thursday, April 10, 2003 1:02 PM
I really enjoyed Skull Mountain and rode it 2 or 3 times instead of waiting int he long line to ride BatmanTR to get another coaster credit when I was there a couple of years ago.
When I was there, the longest line was for the mine ride as well. After waiting for 20 minutes or so, it broke down, so I didn't get to add that one to my count either. Someday...
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-Matt in Iowa
195 coasters ridden -- Faves: Shivering Timbers, Ghostrider, Twister, Hershey Wildcat, Lightning Racer
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Thursday, April 10, 2003 6:45 PM
Ok, point taken. I guess Skull mt. is good for families, but i just didn't enjoy it at all. I'm glad some people enjoy it though, I hate to see rides waste space.

~me

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peace, love, coasters

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Thursday, April 10, 2003 6:53 PM
Ride in the backseat and all thoughts about it being powered will be gone. Extreme ejector air.

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It's like a Whirlwind inside of my head!

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Friday, April 11, 2003 3:17 AM
Are you kidding? Nothing inside of Skull Mt. Half way through there is a tiny orange glowing object;)

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-Sean Newman
SFGADV- "Baboon Warning: Baboons WILL cause damage to all types of vehicles. Enter the baboon area at your own risk."

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Thursday, April 17, 2003 8:44 PM
Me and 2Hostyl stood up out of our seats on the first drop of Skull Mountain in the back seat. That was cool. Here's how I would rate the three dark coasters I've been on from worst to best 1) Mayan Mindbender at SFAW-Feels like your just traveling around in circles. 2) Skull Mountain-Nice family ride. Some good spots. 3) Runaway Mountain at SFOT-Blows the two others out of the water.
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If you have a problem with clones, the solution is real simple—Stop traveling.
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Friday, April 18, 2003 5:33 AM
I'm so-so on Skull Mountain. If you got any enjoyment at all out of Rotting Lumber, it must have been raining. The whole family agrees that this is a rought riding slug. And, it's usually so dry that the sound of it alone is painful.

This is a dis only on Rolling Thunder, not the park. I consider Great Adventure to be a very good park that I really enjoy. Going there is an annual pilgramige for the family.

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