SFGAM 6/2/13: Free Ticket to Ride

Wednesday, June 12, 2013 11:30 PM

Six Flags Great America 6/2/1983: Touchdown’s 30th Birthday Celebration or How to make the most out of $22.

After a 10 year absence, and thanks to a free ticket to a SF park via ACE :), I made a return to my “home park” SFGAm. Ive made it clear on multiple occasions that I have never really liked this park. Make no mistake, it has some great coasters, but it lacks the charm factor for me. I cant explain it, but it is what it is. That said, this was by far my best trip ever to this park. The weather was overcast with temps in the high 50s/low 60s all day, which kept the crowds down to a minimum. The longest wait I would have all day was 15 min for Superman, and every other ride I waited less then 10 minutes. I also have to say that SF has finally gotten some good ride ops, there was no stacking the whole day, ops had personality and were trying to pump up the crowd (especially on Raging Bull, American Eagle, Raging Cajun.) All and all it was a solid day and I managed to ride over 30 rides despite a midday 3 hour Giodarno’s break.

While I don’t want to go into great detail about the rides I will instead go over some bullets:

- Raging Bull was running great all day, a lot of fun

-Viper needs some track work, it was slow and bumpy

-American Eagle Red was running fantastic, best Ive ever seen this ride, it was providing loads of air and a smooth ride, thanks in part to Viper’s poor showing this ride was the best wooden coaster in the park this trip

-X-Flight makes so much better use of the wing walker design then Wild Eagle, those barrel rolls are great. I can’t wait to experience Gatekeeper in a week, after riding this ride.

-Why don’t more parks have the Richocet flat, such a fun ride

-Raging Cajun was fully greased today, spun like a top. Best two rides on a crazy mouse Ive ever had.

-The Dark Knight’s effects were mostly turned off and they were not letting us watch the preshow, fail

-I was too fat for B:TR (just barely) so cant comment on the backwards ride, Ive been working on it to hopefully fit into Raptor

-Is it me or has the Looney Tunes characters started to be marginalized at SF? Their kiddie area is gone (thanks to the new Little Dipper) and Bugs is no longer on the “how long until the train” sign. Outside of Carousel Plaza there is no Looney Tunes presence. Is SF license about to run out?

-Wizzer: Still don’t “love this ride” like a lot of people, but I do love those coaster cars/seats

- Demon running smooth, with the cheesy song in the station, lights all working. Bravo SF

-It was too cold anyways, but boy is Buccaneer Bay a poor excuse for a splash battle ride. Its so short!

-I cant believe SF literally gave the gate away, it makes very little business sense, but it was the only way I was going to come here. After this visit, I am far more likely to come back, so I guess mission accomplished.

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Thursday, June 13, 2013 1:17 PM

Nice report. If you like X-Flight then you should really like Gatekeeper. Was X-Flight running both trains?

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Thursday, June 13, 2013 10:25 PM

I like the richochet too. In a way it reminds me of rides like the new lakeside gliders at Michigan's Adventure, only you can't control your seat. Though it goes much higher in the air, ad is a faster ride. I think they have one at Canada's Wonderland, but, I am not sure if it is still there.

I have not been on Ragin Cajun. Though it's one of those rides that I would like to try. The only park I know of close to me that has a spinning coaster, though I think I would pass on Dark Knight. Heard it was pretty disapointing, with a long line. Though x-flight would certainly be on my list!

Sorry to hear about Viper. It's one of my favorite wooden coasters. Never Liked American Eagle, always thought they slowed it down too much in the big helix before the return trip to the station. Rode it the first year it opened, and the trains used to fly though there. They slowed it down to allow for more trains, as they did with Collosus at Magic Mountain.

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Friday, June 14, 2013 9:54 PM

^^Yes both trains were running, and the crew hustled. If the trains did stack, it was because of a rider not the ops.

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Sunday, June 16, 2013 2:23 PM

Hopefully, by now, you have been up there and got on Raptor. Belts longer than Batman, which I barely got on couple of weeks ago.

I loved X-Flight! I like that it's short & sweet. The stand-out for Gatekeeper is the experience of going through and by the keyholes. Also the airtime hill is nice touch. After the block brake, the ride essentially over. I think my favorite part of X-Flight is after the keyhole when you are upside down and have that bar rush past your head!

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Sunday, June 16, 2013 2:52 PM

The helix on Gatekeeper is actually very fun and intense.

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Sunday, June 16, 2013 4:36 PM

6 more days until Cedar Point for me.

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Sunday, June 16, 2013 5:53 PM

Touchdown said:

Six Flags Great America 6/2/1983: Touchdown’s 30th Birthday Celebration or How to make the most out of $22.

Awesome, someone finally figured out time travel ;)

I also have to say that SF has finally gotten some good ride ops, there was no stacking the whole day (especially on Raging Bull, American Eagle, Raging Cajun.)

I'm holding off evaluating the crews at Bull, Whizzer, and Demon until I see what they do with 3 trains. As for Cajun, you can put the best ride op crew ever on that ride, the ride is not capable of running efficiently. That coaster is supposed to run 8 cars, but can't handle more than 5, plus it can't even handle fully loading the cars it does run.

-Is it me or has the Looney Tunes characters started to be marginalized at SF? Their kiddie area is gone (thanks to the new Little Dipper) and Bugs is no longer on the “how long until the train” sign. Outside of Carousel Plaza there is no Looney Tunes presence. Is SF license about to run out?

Bugs Bunny National Park was replaced by the Go Kart track. Both BBNP and Little Dipper were open in 2010.

Wizzer

WHIZZER. Sorry, that particular misspelling is my biggest pet peeve.

Timber-Rider said:

Never Liked American Eagle, always thought they slowed it down too much in the big helix before the return trip to the station. Rode it the first year it opened, and the trains used to fly though there. They slowed it down to allow for more trains, as they did with Collosus at Magic Mountain.

Um, when American Eagle opened, it ran 3 trains per side and the main Helix trim was a block brake. Now, the ride only runs 2 trains per side. So I'm not sure how you figure they turned up the brakes to run more trains.

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Saturday, June 22, 2013 9:36 PM

Hey SMshockwave.

I rode American Eagle the first year it opened, and it went through that helix without slowing down very much. Though, times that I have been on it since, it slows down a lot, and makes the return trip to the station less exciting. As, when I rode it in it's first year, the return trip was full of nice pops of air, but, have not noticed that since, and seems kinda slow. I like Viper better.

Though my favorite rides in the park are still Batman, and Raging bull. I will probably have to wait until next year to experience the backwards Batman ride. I would bet that it would be really exciting!

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Sunday, June 23, 2013 6:01 AM

I've never seen an exact time frame, T-R, but I'd bet if you don't get to ride NAMTAB this season, your opportunity window will close.

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Sunday, June 23, 2013 8:19 AM

Doesn't backwords Viper also start later this summer?

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