Wednesday, July 11, 2001 9:09 AM
Even though i mistyped the name lol. I had high expectations for this park, and it lived up to all of them. The only big flaw here is the serious lack of shade. Some trees would be as good of an investment as any thrill ride as well as covering for some of the queue lines. It was in the 90's so this really made this fact stand out!
Arrived around 9:00 and at 9:30 the gates open. Expecting to be held back by ropes in Carrousel Plaza, but no, free to go where you wanted. Straight to Raging Bull, see it testing, no gate at the entrance, so figure they will let you wait in the station. But hey, its 9:40 and we were riding! 3 walk on rides before official park opening time, not bad at all.
Carrousel Plaza--home of the trademark Columbia double decker carrousel and Sky Trek Tower. Beautiful but small entrance to the park, with the reflecting pool in front of the Carrousel.
Hometown Square--20's small town. Very well themed, lots of nice hometown buildings. Still trolley tracks running from here through Carrousel Plaza to Orleans Place. Whizzer Schwarzkopf speedracer, Hometown Fun Machine scrambler, Triple Play trioka, Orbit enterprise and some kiddie rides. Stop 1 of the train. LOTS of trees compared to the rest of the park.
Southwest Territory--this is what theming is all about! This area of the park is so finely detailed, as well as every ride named, modified and painted to the theme. Not just placing a ride down and giving it a name. Right down to the mission bells ringing every half hour. Also carrying the southwest theme is the lack of trees! It would be ok by me if they changed that detail. . The fabulous Raging Bull and Viper with their outstanding southwest style loading stations and break run buildings are the outside border of this section. Trailblazer conestoga wagon themed rainbow, Riccochet swing out (painted in cow spots), River Rocker canoe themed pirate, Chubasco pottery themed tea cup ride. Intamin drop tower themed to mining shaft. The rocks on the back side of the Demon go nicely with the theme here. Stadium made to look lake canyon walls also nice touch.
County Fair--turn of the century midway. American Eagle racing coaster. Amerigoround carrousel, Demon Arrow looper/corkscrew, Splashwater Falls shoot the chute (slightly out of place here), neat looking old fashioned race cars to drive, used to be called Barney Oldfield Speedway, different name now which i forget. Iron Wolf B and M stand up looper. Back side train station. Wildly fast Schwarzkofp calypso called Fiddlers Fling. Never seen a flat ride run THAT fast. Had to ride it! Deja Vu sits idle here also. Sad that they took out the Sky Whirl triple wheel, bet it looked better in that place.
Yukon Territory--this is themed to log camp, AFTER the loggers have went through. Little trees left here. Kiddie section of the park. It's Hanna Barbera meets Looney Toons. Loggers Run log flume.
Yankee Harbor--i would venture to say this area of the park was very nicely done at one point of time, with its Nantucket style buildings and water front. Batman and V2 seem to have ruined that feel. Batman inverted coaster themed to Gotham City, V2 with its hideous looking futuristic buildings and signange, Yankee Clipper flume ride intertwines with Loggers Run, very CLEAR water underneath them. Whirligig wave swinger, operates at slow speed but produces a very nice floating ride. Schwarzkopf monster called East Bay Crawler.
Orleans Place, french quarter area. Shockwave arrow mega looper, Rue le Dodge bumper cars, Huss condor, rapids ride and Power Dive looping starship. Unfortunatley Power Dive was closed and was the most anticipated flat ride of the trip. Buildings are a mix of french quarter metalwork and southern style. Not as detailed as SW Territory to give the feel, but ok.
Skipped Batman (rode the clone version at St Louis day before), Iron Wolf (not a fan of standups, would have rode if no line, but there was probably a 15 to 30 min wait all day), and V2--can ride this at SF WoA here in Ohio, so not gonna wait 1 to 1-1/2 hours when i can spend that time riding the GREAT ONES!
Shockwave--only coaster i did not like here. first drop is great, climbing into the loop is cool, the batwing element (is that the right name for it?) seems better than the one on Vortex at PKI, its larger and seems to flow more natural. But i have decided i do not care for Arrow's tight loops. Too much of a jerk on the body going in and out, and seem to produce a grey out effect which i dont care for. 3 of these in a row are a little much. Then a hard turn into the brake run. Rest of the ride was nice. 1 ride, about 25 minute wait. This coaster was built on what used to be parking. How do you know that? They did not bother to landscape and left the parking lot asphalt under the coaster.
Demon--remodeled Arrow loop/corkcrew. This coaster originally had bunny hops where the 2 loops are now. The loops have newer style supports, while the corkscrews have the original style Arrow supports. 2 tunnels with a cool demon voice effect as you pass though. Liked that. First corkscrew comes out under a waterfall. Normally corkscrews follow the same direction of the turn, this one reverses direction. Only really jerking part of the ride. Good ride. Much better than Shockwave. 1 ride. No wait.
Now the GREAT ONES:
This park is worth a trip for these 4 coasters alone. I could spend the entire day riding just them.
Whizzer Schwarzkopf speedracer. If the rumors of removal of this ride ever come true, someone should be tarred and feathered! This is a one of a kind ride! Bobsled style seating. Very cool spiral lift into long slalom style drop. 2nd drop into turn following the ground as close as possible, nice! Back around the lift hill (the op was syncronizing the train leaving the station so the train running the course would cross over it as it entered the lift). Finish with a helix. Short, nice. LOTS of trees around the course. 3 rides 15-20 min wait.
Viper--this was the surprise of the visit. HAd read how good it was, but didn't expect it to be THAT good. What a twister is all about. Nice laterals, no loss of speed, high banked curves, headchopper effects, airtime, and great "trick" visuals (you think you are headed one way, but you go another, caught me offguard first 2 rides). And can you say smoooooooooooth? Going around the turn around into the lift hill, i thought, man, this is gonna be a great ride. If a twisting wooden coaster can be this smooth, they all can! 4 rides, max wait 15 minutes. Looked like more, but they held people and only let so many at a time go into the station to keep it from being overcrowded.
American Eagle--this was the purpose of my trip. I believe Intamin had a hand in this coaster. We need more Intamin wooden coasters in the US with their beautiful huge helixes! I love racing coasters, and this could be the best one IF it raced. Great first drop. lots of speed into the helix. A little too much braking on the helix. But what a helix! Its big, its high and the feeling of the train accelerating as it goes through it and then spits you out! This coaster lived up to all expections. The ride ops put very little effort to race them, even though there was no wait when both sides were running. The coaster itself needs some attention to be a true racer again, blue side lift is faster than red, and blue side breaks a lot more than read. Are the tracks equal in length? Red side gains much advantage in the helix, but has more hills after it. Very slow final helix on both sides. 12 rides. Max wait about 30 mins first ride when only blue side was running, to walk on with both sides running, to 20 mins with red side running and very slow loading. I would venture to say that this coaster would be thrilling experience if you could be lucky enough to get on a run with both trains leaving the lift hill in sync and running side by side that fast into the helix. I love this coaster, best racing coaster i have ridden even though i did not get the racing experience. And very smooth for something that is 20 years old and its size. Its the smoothest big wooden coaster i have ridden. (every thing that i have ridden that is bigger is rougher).
Raging Bull--B and M hypertwister. This is the most perfect coaster i have ridden, and without a doubt the best steel! The ONLY thing that could possibly make this ride better is some kind of helix. Thats all it misses. Huge first dropped FILLED with airtime, overbanked and high banked curves, lots of airtime thoroughout the ride. The high chair seating with the airtime absolutely makes you feel like you are flying through space. In the back of my mind though can't help thinking, if this lapbar would let go, you would be a gonner, cause there is nothing else to hold on to! This beauty is a capacity eater. Max wait was 15 mintues in what looked like a very long line, reaching from the station to the entrance (no queuing). The B and M dip at the top of the lifthill seems to produce air like no other coaster. Going down a 200 ft drop off your seat is something else! 9 rides.
V2 would be on this list also. It's brother in Ohio is a star attraction.
Raging Bull, American Eagle and Viper are have immediately been added to my top coasters, probably all top 5 rides.
This park is definitely gonna be an annual trip, and maybe again this year! Overall, i think it is the best thrill ride theme park i have been to. There are few types of coasters missing from the lineup here (maybe a B and M sit down looper or floorless would fit nice, and an arrow family mine train). Although they have too much overlap of the same kinds (Shockwave-Demon are the same thing, just different sizes, 3 inverteds, 2 being shuttle inverteds with vertical drops--Deja Vu adds nothing to the ride lineup IMO.) This park overall definitely beats anything in Ohio (considering all elements i look for, coaster quality, theming atmosphere and flat ride lineup), just add some trees please
*** This post was edited by super7 on 7/11/2001. ***
Wednesday, July 11, 2001 9:41 AM
Just sort of saying this park has it all. Great wood, hyper, launched, B and M, theming, flat rides, etc. Cedar point lacks good wood, and theming, Kings Island now lacks good theming, flat rides and no hyper steel or B and M there. They just need to bring back Sky Whirl!
Wednesday, July 11, 2001 9:58 AM
First: SFGAm is every bit as good as PKI & CP (my other two favorite parks) and even holds an advantage over each one (better woodies than CP, and the hyper that PKI lacks). So stop hatin'! (jokey-joke :))
And while not providing *much* ('specially since it's closed) Deja Vu does go upside down backwards, something no other GAm coaster can claim (unless something goes horribly wrong)!
I was however suprised about the tree comment. I've always found adequete shade cover everywhere in the park save SWT (but figured that was part of the themeing).
Oh and last thing about Batman, the GAm version (the original BTW) has some footchoppers due to the trees that the StL version didnt have. Glad you had fun. I've yet to hear that anyone was disappointed with the park.
P.S. I believe the name of the oldtime cars is Great American Raceway
"A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men" - Willy Wonka: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Thursday, July 12, 2001 11:41 AM
Awesome tr. I went there yesterday, and had an awesome time. I managed to get my 43rd, 44th, 45th, and 46th rides on my favorite ride, Raging Bull. We also managed to catch V2 just as it was reopening from a maitenance check, and got on the 2nd train out. The southwest territory does lack trees, but there is always shade in the Bull line, or by the Crazy Buffolo Saloon. Glad you had fun.
how dare you. how DARE YOU sir!-Adam Carolla
Thursday, July 12, 2001 11:59 AM
"The B and M dip at the top of the lifthill seems to produce air like no other coaster"
Really? I must have missed this on my rides. ;)
-Steve, who loves Raging Bull
Track Record: 76 #1 Wood: The Legend #1 Steel: Fire Dragon
2001 Cheetah Rides: 108 and Counting