SFGAdv Good Friday 4/6, COLD!

Associated parks:
None

Thursday, April 12, 2007 7:11 PM
Since myself and my two friends Jess and Kelly go to Binghamton University, every time we go downstate for a holiday we make our way to SF. Had my Season Pass printout ready and we made the drive down on a surprisingly clear Good Friday, which has the potential to offer a nasty morning commute. Arriving at the park entrance circa 10:10 yielded a line of cars, with a fraction of the booths operating. Eventually we paid and drove towards the front, which was practically empty except for the first two or three rows. On a day like this preferred parking seemed like a joke, as there were hardly any people to be seen and (best of all) not a single bus.
The security held the same degree it has last year, except now they give out small index cards which explain several of the park policies very clearly. Good touch for the summer crowds, if they can continue to print them. A ten-minute wait at the fountain displayed a character show and eventual countdown, with the red-white-blue ribbon stretching across from the photo booth to the looney tunes shoppe. The announcer was very enthusiastic and did a great job getting the crowd pumped up for the countdown. When the whistle blew, it almost compared to running of the bulls at CP. Unfortunately I had to head to processing first, but arrived out of breath as the first processee. Heading back with coupons I got the two females in and noted the warnings for KK / Toro closings.

Robin tested all day constantly, but did not open. Kind of dissapointing, since it opened up Saturday.

Movietown was first, with no waits at all. Nitro seventh and ninth row within 20 minutes; Batman second and eighth rows within 15 minutes. The temperature of 45 at the time was painful on Nitro, and offered some excessive (and unintentional) snot rockets. Great crew on both rides, you have to sympathize with the constant wind in the Nitro station.

Skull mountain was sending 1/7 - full trains, so we caught two rides in the back seat for the mini-pop of air. Call me crazy but it seems like some touchups to the station theming were more noticeable, with the lamps all lit and music playing. The exit into Wiggles world is very bright and colorful, a nice touchup to the dilapidated Looney Tunes seaport.

At this point Kelly wanted to smoke so we sat in the area across from Granny's Kitchen. Got up, and migrated to the other side of Fantasy Forest; still we saw no Kingda Ka or Toro testing, so we decided to kill some time in the Superman queue which surprisingly snaked back past the second switchback. One train wait, and a rather insipid ride operator yielded nearly a 50 minute wait, throughout we saw Ka and Toro begin to send trains out. After this wait, it was time for lunch.
Trekking to Best of the West yielded a closed restaurant, they should just block off the bridges to it. We saw some teenagers sitting on the far lakeside balcony who appeared to be smoking a cigar, but a wafted scent of Mary-Jane revealed the contents. Security probably didn't think to walk along this area, despite their constant noticeable flooding of the midways.

Many guests were now leaving the Medusa area, complaining of a broken ride. From the distance we saw operators climbing the mcb to assist a stuck train, and eventually used a sheet of metal to unload each row one by one. So, headed over to Granny's Kitchen again for some (meatless) dining for Kelly as well as some chicken and curly fries for myself and Jess. One thing SFGAdv always excelled at was providing a wide variety and plentiful array of condiments, as I sampled four different sauces for the chicken.

On our walk, we stopped at the new Wii Experience. IMHO, very smart marketing tool. The room is lined with plasma tv's and Wii's at each, divided between Wii sports, Cooking Mama, Zelda, SSX Boarders, and Paper Mario (for all you Wii fans). I'm sure the experience uses a disgusting amount of AA batteries in one day, never mind this upcoming summer.

The end of our day consisted of an hour wait for Ka, which eventually opened. It's great to people watch on the Ka line, as you see so many different characters who basically come because of the ride. Saw a mini-news crew and several indie journalists. Afterwards we walked over to Medusa for a re-opened and lineless wait, which we tackled three times. Great as always, although she could use some painted TLC. Two train operation and a practically absent mcb, surprising after the breakdown.
Runaway Mind train was calling Kelly, so a lap on the new trains were required. Very comfortable compared to 2005 when I last rode it, and the new paint improved.

Toro had now opened with one train, and we were part of the first stream of guests into the queue; a blocking problem was causing several trains to remain halted in the transfer block. Each time, a reset occurred and the train rollled slowly in. Riding in the back row proved to be more intense than last year, with ejector practically on the first 2/3 of the ride. Very pleasant as on our ascent the lift lamps turned on.
Ka was now practically vacant, and the operators were allowing rerides with no oncoming waits. We got four rides in, one back and one front, making the day's total five rides. I asked one of the operators why the characteristic 'warning lamps' mounted at the middle and top of the tower were not on all day. He said they just havn't used them this year, which sounded like a bs answer. Being jostled, we headed to the boardwalk and boarded Twister aka Top Spin due to the nice Thai ride operators calling us over. We had a solo ride, same as always.
The nightfall was calling us to Nitro, as we always leave the park before dusk and have never gotten a night ride. Now it was running one train, but the crew was pumped and shuffling trains out. Second row was insane, and the peninsula stretch was only visible via the stars above, very surreal experience.
One more quick ride on Skull Mountain for KElly ended our day, and left the park with tired but wide smiles.

At the exit, park management and other operators were standing with characters and giving high fives. It was great to see dedication so early in the season. Also there were countless characters throughout the park, happily willing to take photos with or without the parks' cameras.
THanks for reading, hope to make my next visit this May!

Nitro 3x
Medusa 3x
Batman(tr) 2x
Skull Mountain 3x
S:UF 1x
Top Spin / Twister 1x
El Toro 1x
Kingda Ka 5x :)
Runaway Mine Train 1x
(skipped GASM)

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Thursday, April 12, 2007 7:57 PM
Sounds like you had a good time. Did the park improve, or was it the same as always.
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Friday, April 13, 2007 12:03 AM
Definite improvement. Forgot to explain the Ka delay when the operators transfered from two trains to four, which is what gobbled up the hour wait. Very efficient running after 7pm.

Also, one critique of the fountain / midway area was the excessive blasting of HipHop / Rap music. I understand the occasional beat-driven song, but you don't need to air it continuously for some desired effect. It was kind of disappointing seeing some young stroller-ridden mothers accelerate their way through the seemingly 'gangster' midway.

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