SFGAdv 5 -31-02

Associated parks:

First, my sympathy goes to everyone who was hurt at Kennywood yesterday. Thankfully, my experience at Great Adventure wasn't nearly as harrowing.

We got to the park before rope drop, with about 5 minutes to spare. We made a beeline for Batman and Robin: The Chiller immediately, but could see that the Robin train was still out behind the station, but Batman had been cycling, so we hoped in line.

No wait, really. I got front row seats for the second train out of the station. This was my first ride with the new lap restraints, and I was expecting good things after riding Flight of Fear at PKD last season. I was not disappointed, at all. The new restraints, while a bit uncomfortable, are a marked improvement over the OTSR's, and I'm happy to have them. All in all, we got 3 rides on the Batman end of the Chiller, and I was quite pleased with all three. I'd still have to give the edge to Flight of Fear as far as Premier launched coasters go, but those are the only two I've experienced.

We rode Batman: The Ride with a 3 train wait. It's the same as ever, I'd say. A bit rougher than in years passed, but certainly enjoyable. Skull Mountain followed with a fun pop of airtime on the first drop - back seat, of course.

Nitro was next, opening at around 11 am. We grabbed the back seats, threw our hands in the air (well before leaving the station ;) ) and prepared for a religious experience. I enjoyed the four back seat rides we had today much, much more than the two rides (front and middle) I had last year. I'd been getting tired with Great Adventures selection in recent years, with little incentive to visit on a frequent basis . . nevermind that I live 2.5 hours away. But, I have renewed faith in Nitro, and I'd like to pay it a visit much more frequently.

I'd still prefer S:ROS at SFNE, but Nitro works, in a pinch.

I was happy to see the Vekoma Mad House - Houdini's Great Escape - operating. It's been closed each time I've been to SFGAdv, with one exception. It's a neat ride. . . a fun thrill, but good for all ages. I was very, very upset, however, to see that their Frisbee (Pendulum), Jump (Jumpin' Jack Flash), and Chaos were closed for the day.

Are there any other parks in the country that have a Huss Jump? I love this ride intensely, but it's never open.

Later in the afternoon, around 6, we hopped on Medusa. It began drizzling just as we entered the station, and by the time we'd boarded and climbed the lift hill, it was a steady rain. As we came into the final brakes, there was a flash and an *enormous* clap of thunder. It was followed quickly by two others. The train in the station was immediately emptied of the riders who'd just boarded and cycled through so we could get off. Within moments, it was a torrential rain with pea sized hail. It seemed as if the ride ops. had little to no warning of this storm, based on how they reacted and how urgent everything seemed. When we boarded Medusa, the park's ampitheater was filling with students for a school music show or something. When the hail started, the entire ampitheater emptied out.

The rain only lasted about 5 minutes, but it was intense. It did seem to empty out the park in general, though. It was after the rain that we got two of our Chiller rides, and three of our Nitro rides, including the last of the day. The ride op there, Landan, seemed a little high strung, but happy the day was over - especially as he sent out the last train.

After leaving the park, we headed to the KFC just outside the park. Don't ask how, but we were there for about 90 minutes. Shortly after 10, as we got ready to leave, the *worst* thunderstorm I've ever seen rolled in. I wouldn't be surprised if this was part of the same system that did the damage to Kennywood. It came up very, very suddenly. . . especially in the night. I'd say it only took about 5 minutes to go from pleasant night to a much harder, much longer torrential downpour than what we'd seen earlier. The lightning was much closer, and much, much more frequent. Visibility on some of the drive home was negligible.

Thankfully, though, the storms seemed to head out to sea, and did not follow me back home to Long Island.

All in all, a good day, but a bit tainted by what happened at Kennywood. I'm very, very thankful that we were fortunate enough to experience a relatively mild storm.

~~~ M ~~~
In life you start the same as when you're done. If you lose, you're just where you've begun. If you win, remember what I said, don't quit while you're ahead. Who cares?

SFGaV is an awesome park! Glad you had fun thanks for the great TR!

X-Flight World's Only flying coaster!
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