SFGAm 5-2 : Another trip to Customer Relations...

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Sunday, May 2, 2004 8:56 PM
Decided to kick off the coaster season today at Six Flags Great America. My significant other, Shannon, was feeling good enough to go around the park and walk so she tagged along as well. Started the day early, getting there in time for the national anthem. Went to the right side of the park and waited for the chain drop.

Noticed that the camera nazis at the beginning of the park were much less agressive this year. After they dropped the gates I was off and running for Raging Bull. Shannon eventually got there because I saw her sitting on a bench as I was going up the lift hill of Raging Bull. Had two quick rides in back and then headed over to Deja Vu which was testing. Bull was running a bit sluggish but I think it did the same thing last season and got better as the season wore on.

Deja Vu actually managed to run most of the day from what I saw. When it did break down it seemed like they got the issue resolved in a very quick manner. Anyhoo, got the first ride of the day in the very back and had a great time.

Went and got the season pass processed next. Lines were non-existant for processing. Actually lines were non existant through out the park the entire day. I think the longest I waited for a ride was waiting for Deja Vu to finish testing and open up and that wasnt more than 15 minutes. Pass processing was easy, with friendly employees staffing the cameras. Picked up a season parking pass to boot.

Went back to the car to eat lunch and decided to go the other way this time. Took a quick spin on Condor and then headed through Mardi Gras. Ragin Cajun has some track up now and some supports as well as some outline of something whether it be a supporting building or decoration for the ride. The balloon ride is pretty much done. They need to finish the ride operators shack and put the railing around the ride yet. Same thing with the Top Spin. Jester's Wild Ride looks finished.

Ran into a mardi gras parade on the way through. Had some interesting vehicles and some of the characters were in the parade including the Scooby Doo characters with the Mystery Machine. A very liberal amount of beads were tossed out for the public. Shannon had about 10 strands when all was said and done and that was after giving a lot of hers to the kids around her that werent catching them.

After the parade I headed over to V2 and found that it was closed. Waited for ten minutes and they reopened it. Hopped on for a quick ride and noticed that my lost weight worked. Not only did I not get kicked off for being too fat, nor did I fight with the restraint to get it closed, I actually had quite a bit of wiggle room this time around and slack in the belt!!!

Did a quick ride on Batman. I really LOVE the new colors for the ride. That with the cleaned up Gotham City made it a wonderful experience. Had a great ride and was glad to see them cycling two trains even though the park was dead.

Next stop was over to ride Giant Drop. Now here's the back story. Before last year I was terrified to go on drop rides. Don't ask me why but I was. Anyways, at California Adventure I rode Maliboomer and had a blast. So next was Power Tower at Valleyfair! on the space shot side. Come to today. Never rode a drop ride where you do the slow accent, wait, and then drop. It wasn't too bad. Nice view of downtown Chicago from up there. The drop was meh... Bottom line was it was a fun ride to go on without a line. If there was a 60 minute line for it I would pass in a heartbeat.

Next did Viper. Took two laps. More backstory here. I love Viper. I'm one of the head acolytes at the Church of Viper Lovers. This ride has always been one of my favorite wooden coasters. Now fast forward to this season. Chitown's report told of seatbelts and I was like "there's the end to the insane air" but I understood where they were coming from in putting the belts on so I wasnt rankled about it. I think I now know why the belts were put on. Someone dialed this freakin coaster up a couple notches!!! I was getting MONSTER air from seat 1-3. The first air hill I'm used to getting a decent little pop of air, not nearly getting tossed from the coaster! Every hill after this was like this. I can see no changes that they made to ride except for the belts, yet this thing is running more insane then I have ever seen it! To top things off, virtually no line yet they are running two train operation and moving the cars out without any stacking and thats with an extra restraint check!

Finished the day up with a quick spin on Whizzer and then called it a day because Shannon was getting tired. All in all it was one of the best days I have had at the park. Right up there with CB Con last year.

Anyways, the last stop I made on the way out was to talk to Customer Relations. I told them how good my day was and how happy I was to see that Great America was still doing the things that make it the best run Six Flags park in the chain. THey were running multiple trains on all coasters that can have them. They were running almost Cedar Point like efficiency on ride operations. The staff in the shops and food operations were very friendly. Big shout out to the people working Flags. You people are phemoninal. The other great thing was that EVERY employee I talked to was VERY knowledgable about anything in the park. I asked some one if ride X was closed they would know. If I asked them how to get somewhere they all knew. For first public week of the season that is outstanding! The increase in characters was very noticable and very welcome. Also an atmosphere of fun ran through the park the entire day. That came from the music, the characters, the employees, and the great ride operations. I hope they keep this up on the busy days ahead! Great job Six Flags!

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Sunday, May 2, 2004 9:33 PM
Glad to hear that the park is getting off so such a good start. I am really interested to see how batman looks in person. I was not a fan - based on pictures - but all reports make it sound good.... I guess I will judge for myself next weekend.
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Sunday, May 2, 2004 9:36 PM
I really want to go to SFGAm, it sounds great. The new additions will be a great thing for the park, they actually deserve it. Deja Vu Open, multiple trains, and good staff. It really sounds like a nice park, glad you had fun. I'd like to get there in the next year or two.
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Sunday, May 2, 2004 10:50 PM
I swear I'm going to get there this summer. With my Six Flags Season pass there is nothing keeping me from doing so. Glad everything was fun, and hopefully I can look short enough to get a ride on Deja Vu.
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Sunday, May 2, 2004 11:17 PM
Was there today to Bob.

This SF park continues to be the best in the SF business IMO.

Like you said, even with almost no crowds, all the coasters were running multiple trains. Fast and efficient dispatches, and sometimes overly friendly employees.

My daughter won a HUGE stuffed animal that we had to bring to the car. We were getting alot of attention carrying this thing to the exit.

I really need to go to Guest Relations like you did and voice positive feedback to them. For some reason I don't think about it though. :)

When the new rides are up and running, we are in for a treat this year.

Revolution was open and we took 2 spins on that. It starts out sort of ho-hum, but when it reverses direction in spinning, it goes into insane mode. I love this ride.

See you all at CBCon. :)

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Sunday, May 2, 2004 11:28 PM
Sounds like Day 2 was very much like Day 1 except you had sunshine!

I mentioned in the another SFGAm trip report that I was, well, pleasantly surprised by how perfect Viper was on a cold Saturday. And to top it off, my ride in 2.3 blew away my usual ride in 1.3!

All in all, a great opening weekend for Great America!

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Sunday, May 2, 2004 11:36 PM
Kick the sky- thats wierd there was no crowd. I went yesterday and chalked it up to the weather. I was going to go today but thought it would be too crowded as everyone who wanted to go the day before would go. I rember opening weekend was always crowded -a bad sign that no one was there? I would like the yellow better on B:TR if it was a diffrent shade. I think it looks a little wierd with blue supports, yellow track, black cars with purple and yellow on them( just my opinion) but I still love it.I am glad the ops got their act together because on may 1 no one knew what they were doing. the season pass people did not know prices (including the mgr), very slow to load and check cars. Aunt marthas chicken -guy on register didnt know prices, same goes for ticket booth in front of the park. Im not complaining just pointing out the diffrence a day makes. I figure there is a learning curve there but they should be a little more up to speed the first day. I would just like to say nothing could detract from opening day (staff,getting stuck on S:UF,cold weather,) I had a great time reguardless.
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Monday, May 3, 2004 10:15 AM
Bob....nice TR. Always fun to go to Customer (Guest?) Relations with some positive feedback. I don't think nearly enough people tell parks what they're doing RIGHT.

SFGAm, even having only the ONE visit, skyrocketed into the ranks of my favorite parks, and certainly among the best of the *mega-parks*...in the SF chain, only SFoG impresses me in that way (although I've been told to expect the same feeling at SFoT later on this summer).

Congrats to Shannon, she's got "one of the good guys"...:)

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Monday, May 3, 2004 11:14 AM
Although I only made it up there for a Saturday session this past weekend, a few things I noticed different this year were:

- Eagle had both sides with 2 trains opperating. Last year, if my memory serves me correctly, most of the time, the red side would open later and if there was a crowd.

- The Looney toons characters were at the front both when I entered the park around 11:30 as well as when I left the park around 3:30

- I did not see the Mardi Gras parade, but they did have jesters and jugglers running about.

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Monday, May 3, 2004 11:14 AM
Hey Guy,

I think you and I were in line together for Deja Vu - I turned you on the joys of riding in the back :)

I was there with my mother!

Great talking with you and your signifigant other!!!

Carl

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Monday, May 3, 2004 12:32 PM
Yep Carl, that was me! Hope you had a great time at the park. I ended up seeing your mom again in the exit queue as I got off of Viper so you must have ridden just after I did.
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Monday, May 3, 2004 12:36 PM
Hey Bob,

My mom did mention that she saw you and Shannon after you rode Viper and that Shannon liked it :) We had a great day at the park - one of the best.

Hope to see you again sometime this season!

Carl

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Monday, May 3, 2004 12:38 PM
Oh crap. Forgot to mention this...

They swapped out all those cheap imitation dance games in the arcades and replaced them with shiny new DDR Extreme machines. I know the DDR junkies would want to know that.

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Monday, May 3, 2004 1:24 PM
Bob,

congrats on the weight loss/fitting into an Impulse goal! I've read from your TR's that it's been something you've been striving for. Way to go!

Later,
EV

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Monday, May 3, 2004 1:39 PM
Hear hear! Congratulations!
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Monday, May 3, 2004 1:58 PM
The real test will be Labor Day weekend at CP and trying to fit in the Wicked Twister restraints. Those things were designed for 5 foot even, 90 pound waifs. I had a little room left over so I hope that translates into a ride then. I'm gonna try to shed some more weight between now and then but with it being summer, just staying at the same weight will be good enough.

Thanks for the congrats. It means a lot!

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Monday, May 3, 2004 3:21 PM

Chitown said:

Revolution was open and we took 2 spins on that. It starts out sort of ho-hum, but when it reverses direction in spinning, it goes into insane mode. I love this ride.


You bastard! You stole our Frisbee:) Anway, it looks great from the pictures I saw. You'd be hard pressed to believe it's the same ride from Great Adventure.

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Monday, May 3, 2004 3:28 PM
Scott didn't steal "your Frisbee"....Tim Black did.

The Chicagolanders just reaped the benefits...;)

P.S. Congrats Bob, glad you got on V2...now you're *virtually assured* of WT rides...just remember that I told ya V2 was the better one...;)

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Monday, May 3, 2004 3:38 PM
Didn't Tim Black come from the same park as Revolution? I'd call it a parting gift then... *** Edited 5/3/2004 8:48:05 PM UTC by Kick The Sky***
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Monday, May 3, 2004 4:03 PM
Yep, as he was packing his bags for Chicago, he decided to take a big toy with him as well. :)
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