SFGAm 6/1/02-Inaugural Visit

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Sunday, June 2, 2002 10:08 AM

I've been waiting for this day for 8 months, and when it finally came, I couldn't have been any happier. Yesterday I made my triumphant return to my home park, Six Flags Great America. We pulled into the parking lot around noon to see a decent amount of cars, but then, out of the cornor of my eye I spotted the yellow things. There must have been close to 20 school buses, and as the day would go on, that number would go up. We got our season pass vouchers, and were greeted with a courteous SFGAm employee. Throughout the day the service just kept getting better and better. We got our passes processed and were off to hit our first SFGAm coaster of the season.

We got on Raging Bull around 12:20. The line was very short, and we got on last row of the yellow train in about 15 minutes. I was surprised to see RB giving a less than average performance today. The first drop was pure bliss as usual, but the trims on the hill after the turnaround hit harder than I remembered. I got decent air, but not much compared to the alst time I rode it (closing day). After the MCBR the ride improved and we got a nice pop of the good stuff on the drop and bunny hope. One of todays surprises was the air that followed the turnaround into the next set of trims. It was better than on the third hill. Very Powerful ejector air. Usually I floated down, but this was comparable to the ejection of the first drop. Once we got past that we crawled through the forceless figure 8 and hit the break run hard. Not a bad ride, but definately under average.

Next we hit Giant Drop. The line started just out of the first cave and we crawled through the 40 minute wait. We got on the side that faces American Eagle's first drop. This ride doesn't seem very tall but when you're at the top, and a giant coaster like the Eagle seems small, you feel the real height of this ride. We dropped, and it made the 40 minute wait worthwhile.

After Giant Drop, we headed to American Eagle. I was looking forward to riding the Blue side backwards. We waited the 25 minutes and got the very last row. It felt odd at best to look in the opposite direction. We pulled out of the station and were in for the second surprise of the day. The lift was just weird. Seeing the bottom get smaller and smaller really made you appreciate the height of this coaster, when suddenly, we were pulled over the top. We floated all the way down, and the bunny hops were as intense as ever. This was airtime heaven. The greatest ride I've ever had on the American Eagle and one of the greatest moments on a coaster ever. It was nice to ride the helix without completly being stopped as you enter it, and the drop really surprised me. The bunny hops back were filled with less air than the first ones, but nevertheless more air than I've ever experianced on this coaster.

Next up was V2. We made a stop to Dippin' Dots (yum yum ) and got in the longest line of the day-V2. Not much to say about the waiting except that I now have a nice tan from the lack of shade. When we waited the hour and thirty minute wait, we finally got in the station. We decided to try front row, and as we got closer to riding the ride broke down. Kudos to SFGAm's staff for taking less than 5 minutes to fix the problem. I felt really sorry for the young ride-op who thought it was her fault. The train was going for it's final spin on the first tower but got stopped on the LIM section. They pulled the train back in, allowed anyone who didn't want to go again to get off, and gave them a free ride. We finally got on. I was less than impressed with the front. It was fun, but I prefer the back. Once we got V2 out of the way we headed to Batman.

The line took about 30 minutes to get through. This used to be my favorite theming in a que up until IOA, but it's still impressive after all these years. Got in row 8 and had one of the best ride that I've ever had on this B&M masterpiece. I grayed out in two different spots throughout the course. This is why B&M beat all the competition. Easily one of the top three coasters in the park. This is my favorite inverter, just barely beating Ice/Fire and Montu on my list. Flawless. After that high of sorts we headed to Shockwave. Many on this board hate this ride. I for one love it. I just don't know how one could have a ride as horrible as many of you claim. The only trick to this ride is grabbing a seat towards the end of the train, but even in the front it isn't as bad as all you say it is. I'm starting to think that many of you exaggerate these stories much like "grampa" exaggerated his war stories. We had a great ride on this Mega-Looper. Nice g's in the second two loops, a smoother than usual entry into the MCBR, and the corckscrews and butterfly inversion were just plain fun. Really a great ride that adds to SFGAm's world class collection. Long Live Arrow. Seeing as the line wasn't long, (it was 4 pm and we waited 10 minutes to ride) we took advantage of the situation and power rode Shockwave. After about 90 minutes we decided to hit Viper.

After the memorable ride we had on the American Eagle earlier, I wasn't expecting much. We waited 25 minutes for this twister, and all was well until we got to the station. That's when the nightmare began. SF really needs to work on this poorly designed loading area. It's truely pathetic. Unfortunatly that was only the beggining. The op reminded the guests to not sit or stand on the silver hand rails. This happened once every 2 minutes. I felt like shouting at the guy next to me that that applied to him as well. I really felt sorry for the op as he was only trying to do his job, and this group of hellions was making it difficult. He started to get a little PO'd as we neared the train, and once again, I don't blame him. We got on the third car, first row and headed off on our merry way, leaving the pandemonium behind. The first drop felt forcless, but the rest of the ride made up for that. Major ejector air on every drop, and the Double Down was once again the highlight of this masterpiece. Who needs CCI if SF can design a woodie of this calibur in house? We hit the brakes hard and raved about the ride like maniacs all the way out.

Seeing as Raging Bull was right there, and I know it doesn't dissapoint twice in a row, we decided to give it another try. During the wait I noticed Deja Vu was testing. Throughout the rest of the day we saw it run countless times without valleying. I have a feeling this ride will have a new beginning and work as it was intened to. We waited 15 minutes for the back row of the red train, and I had a feeling I was about to experiance a near life changing event. Close enough. Where the ride dissapointed me earlier, it gave a top-notch performance. I was wondering to myself how a steel coaster could give two totally different rides in one day. The turnaround after the MCBR was still giving nice ejector air, and the helix seemed a little more forceful. Not quite life changing, but nevertheless, an excellent ride. I knew it wouldn't dissapoint me again.

Next we headed to Demon. I've always loved this ride for the ejector air on the first drop, and also because it's as smooth as the Tennesee Tornado. Demon gave a great ride. It felt great to be thrown out of my seat on this one again. I hope this ride stays right where it is for a long time to come. Great coaster for kids who are just starting to ride. I noticed the old Demon song played in the tunnel before the lift. We decided to re-ride this one twice due to its short line.

After that we watched Deja Vu perform a few test runs, and then it was off to our last coaster of the day- Iron Wolf. We were greeted with an empty que and a train that was stuck on the lift hill. My friend wanted to leave because we were supposed to go to the Mills afterward, but I assured him it wouldn't be long before it was back on it's feet. 5 minutes later we were in the station. I wanted to go front row because that's were I get the best ride on Wolfie. Just as we were about to get on, someone vomited on the train. What angered me was that they just left, leaving the ride-ops to discover the mess. They could've been courteous enough to infrom tham. It took 10 minutes to clean it off. They then cycled both trains twice. (both empty) After about 30 minutes of this, someone got the bright idea that maybe it would be best to block that row. The ride-ops reacted to this situation in a decent matter. The crowd was full of rude people swearing just for the hell of it. We finally climed aboard the train. The ride itself was the best I've had in a while. It improved greatly last season with the addition of new OTSR's, but yesterday, my head didn't even come in contact with the Restraints until the drop leading into the corckscrew. Remarkable. This is the way RB's helices should be. Just another example as to why B&M will never be de-throned. What a memorable way to cap off a memorable night.

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Wash away us all. Take us with the floods.

*** This post was edited by RagingBullGuy on 6/2/2002. ***

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Sunday, June 2, 2002 10:48 AM
I wish I could've been there. Did you happen to see any kids in band uniforms because if you did, they were from my school. I was supposed to go but my dad welched on his deal so I didn't have a ride. Sounds like you had a great time and while it sounded more crowded then when I went two weeks ago, it didn't sound too bad. I'm surprised you found V2's front seat to be disappointing, I think I have to try it in the back next time.

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Tuesday's Gone With The Wind.
Elijah Rock.
Is it written in the stars?
La Vie Boheme!!!

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Sunday, June 2, 2002 11:34 AM

I definately prefer the back, you get much more airtime on the back spike. One more thing, I don't know if this has been mentioned yet, but it looks like Twicket is no more. They're now calling it MVP and it costs $10 to come back the next day. Shockwave is missing it's yellow train, it wasn't on the transfer track. Another thing is "Coasterdude" (the store you exit through after shockwave) is now called "Aftershock".

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Wash away us all. Take us with the floods.

*** This post was edited by RagingBullGuy on 6/2/2002. ***

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