SFGAdv...Closing Out The Season 10/30

Monday, October 31, 2011 4:47 PM

Happy Halloween, all!

A premature blast of wintry weather kept GAdv's gates locked on Saturday, along with Hershey, Dorney, and SFA. Yesterday, I made my now-traditional sojourn to Jackson to close the season. I had already anticipated heavy crowds, and figured Saturday's non-opening would add to them.

Made it into the park about 10:10 before rope drop. Saw no testing on the coasters, and found out why from a security guard when I arrived at El Toro...ice on the tracks. Most rides would not open until later. He anticipated around 1 pm for Toro, which turned out to be off. The only things running were a few flats and the two indoor coasters. There was a pretty severe chill in the air, but I kinda like the cold, and it warmed up as the day went on. Cold on the rides, natch, but rather pleasant walking around. I hit Houdini and the Tornado (Round-Up)..I was surprised to see ice/snow deposits on the metal platform where riders walk on the latter..that was a lawsuit waiting to happen. I took a coupla rides on Skull Mountain, and even rode ..(GASP!!) Dark Knight. I wanted to ride SOMETHING, what can I say? Interestingly enough, although I still loathe the ride, it seemed to have more speed than usual, and it was good to get out of the cold Jersey air for a few minutes. As I walked over to DK, lines had formed pre-queue opening for Batman and Nitro..the latter line was almost all the way to Batman. When I exited DK, I headed for Nitro. Waited about half-hour, rode back, then poached a mid-train seat. Not bad, but really hadn't warmed up yet. GAdv has apparently transformed some of their major rides to 4-D coasters..the shards of ice flying off the track and pelting my face were extremely effective.

After riding Batman, I walked back to the Boardwalk to check the Green Lantern line, figuring to use the Single Rider Line if, A, it was open, and B, the rest of the line was manageable. It was too long for me, and I ended up skipping both GL and Superman. Scoping the line for Season Pass Processing, I was glad I didn't have to go through that..it was all the way back to the simulator building (I reeallly wish they'd get something in there..I miss Elvira!). I went back to check on Toro, but neither it nor Rolling Thunder had opened yet. So I rode the Runaway Train..didn't get my expected air pop before the finale..and Bizarro for two..NO SOUNDTRACK! YAY!!!

A line had formed for Toro and they were testing with water dummies, so I got on the line about 2pm. The ride finally opened at 2:40, and got my back seat ride just before 3. In a recurring theme of the day, I had a little more trouble with restraints than I normally do, including other rides, because I was wearing a bulky vest and the front pockets were stuffed with hat and gloves. Toro was alright, but sluggish. Snow remained on the side sections of the track. My next stop was Thunder, which ran fairly well, if slow. ET went down while I was in the RT station..so, that didn't last long. They were testing empty trains as I did my Thunder circuit.

At that point I was hungry, so I took an extended break at 3:30. Had TWO meals (Windmill hot dog, the only dog I'd pay 4+ dollars for, and Long John Silvers) Also picked up some fresh squeezed OJ and the new Stephen King anthology, at Wegmans and Target respectively.

Got back in the park at a little after 6. It remained crowded, but not unmanageably so. I headed to Nitro for my night rides, waited about an hour, and got the back seat, and it was full dark by that time (about 7:30.) Great ride in the back seat left end seat..which was my favorite seat, until I poached the RIGHT end seat on the next two rides. Incredible. I was out of my seat for half the ride.

I usually try to catch the Hypnosteria mass-hypnosis show..although I think some of it is phony and staged, I get a chuckle or two out of it. That was scheduled for 8:15, and it was about 7:40. The Skyride was now open and had a very short line, so I took it to the other end to see if Toro was open..it was still closed when I came back into the park. I grabbed another ride on Runaway Train, and could see Toro running. So I waited about 45 minutes for a backseat ride at night. I got stapled worse than I had all day..could barely breathe, actually. But it was still one of the best Toro laps of the season..cold as hell, though (isn't that an oxymoron?)

I had of course missed Hypnosteria, and I partook of none of the other Haunted attractions, most of which are now upcharges (kudos to Cedar Fair for mostly not going that route...yet.)

I left at 9, so I didn't get to really close the park down as I did last Halloween. But I made 11 visits this year, with some great people, and my pass is ready for Opening Day 2012, whenever that may be. I've mentioned before that next year's pass does not have the park's name on it...I noticed this morning it doesn't have the year either.

Two peripheral things. Earlier in the season, the strap that holds my glasses, for whatever reason, wasn't doing the job. I made do with it, but anticipated getting a new one for next year. But last week when I met an ex at Dorney, she gave me a handful of her old ones. I used one yesterday, and it worked perfectly.

At the beginning of this season, I saw a T-Shirt I liked. It was a Six Flags 50th Anniversary shirt featuring the best known characters from BOTH the DC and Looney Tunes worlds sharing the front. I figured I'd buy it at the end of the season, anticipating it would be reduced. No such luck..it's Six Flags, remember? However, I did get a few bucks off with my pass, so the $17 shirt was $14.44. I like it because my favorite LT character, Gossamer, while just a bit player in the cartoons (appeared in only two) is featured pretty prominently in the design.

Thanks for joining me and reading this, folks!

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Tuesday, November 1, 2011 12:02 AM

I didn't realize the coasters opened later in the day since I didn't get there until 5:30. Green Lantern's single rider line was closed anyway but it would have been nice for it to start at the beginning of the queue like at Disney and Universal instead of almost at the end of the line since you can still end up waiting a long time in line before getting to the single rider entrance. By the end of the night it was freezing.

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