SFGAm 8/13- 8/14 Thank God For Storms (long)

Associated parks:
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Friday, August 16, 2002 11:40 AM

I have never been to SFGAm before, actually never to another park out of state, or any other Six Flags other than SFWoA, so I was in for a big surprise. This was my 3rd and 4th days in a row at six flags parks, and they were much better than 1 and 2 at SFWoA. Just walking up to the park I was filled with excitement looking at Shockwave sitting in the front of the park. I really wish it would have been running because I love all Arrow coasters.

We left Akron Ohio at 6:30 in the morning and arrived at the park at 3. It was storming very hard in Gurnee and lasted quite a while. We paid to park and went into the park just as it was beginning to clear. Everyone is so kind and helpful at the front gate. We made conversation with some of the people and headed into the park just as everything was starting to run again. Never being in this park before I didn't know what to expect, but it seemed fairly empty. I figured it was the norm and we headed toward Viper. This park really has something going for it. I enjoy all the old fashioned theming so very much. What I noticed is that this park is not about tearing all the trees out and just putting up metal rails and asphalt. They keep everything in proportion, leaving shade and theming. Okay enough of that, but my breath was just taken away entering that park.

We got in line for Viper and waited about 20 minutes. That wasn't too bad and it offered a very pleasing ride. I rode towards the back of the train. We all screamed at the top questioning if it was going to clear the lift hill. There is lots of airtime on this ride if you leave yourself some room. This ride really surprised me. Great wood coaster although kind of basic. After getting off the ride we had to walk the 2 miles of the exit line to get dumped into the gift shop. That wasn't something that the parentals of my group enjoyed, but I was okay with it. Standing in line and looking at the Bull really got me excited so we headed over there next.

We got in line for Raging Bull and waited 45 minutes. By now the sun had been out and the two train operation was taking forever. It was very humid and we headed to the back seat. They were playing the bad weather recording and we were fearing we wouldn't get a ride on it. We did however and let me tell you, that coaster was worth the wait. I have never been on a B&M hyper but that is so awesome at the top. You literally in the back seat get yanked over the top. Best drop on a coaster I have ever been on. The negative G's on this coaster are great and it is the perfect length. Definitely a coaster I could ride and ride again. So then we were off to the Demon.

The wait for the Demon was about a half hour, with 2 trains. Like I said, I love Arrow coasters so this was nice ride for me. It had began to rain very hard while in line and we were afraid we wouldn't get a ride. Once again we got on and that first drop in the back is great. The loops were great and I like the rock through the one. But that tunnel really surprised me. When the lights surged on I was laughing so hard. Something I never even expected. The corkscrew under the waterfall is also very neat. I got banged around a bit and then got off. Half of our party got stuck on the break run in the pouring rain and a man ran out to comfort them, well sort of. (With a Swedish accent) "You are stuck! 5-10 minutes, I do not know nothing." I liked the ride but it started to rain and everything shut down. We went into a gift shop and browsed to stay out of the lightning and we headed to the giant white tent next to American Eagle.

We sat at a table for over an hour playing the movie game. The line opened up and we sprinted through the line. This has to be one of the longest queue lines to run through. Once at the top of the station we got in the backwards train, only one running. I have never gone backwards but I was in for a surprise. Cresting the hill I was actually kind of scared, but it was fast, lots of airtime, and all around a great ride. Disappointed it wasn't racing but they didn't have the people in the park necessary. I figured there would be a line when we got back but we returned to the station with no one in line. We got out of the train and got back in. We managed 5 rides in a row without changing our seat, each time riding with our hands up in the piercing rain. AE is a quality ride, riding it backwards is great, but I still like the Villain more.

We wanted to get as many rides as we could and we were very pressed for time. We just assumed that the park was still full because many people waited in the huge tent. We walked past Iron Wolf and to our disappointment it was closed so we went to Vertical Velocity. It was a 5 minute wait but just like SUE, a great ride. It feels like they hold you a bit longer, but that could just be me. Batman looked very menacing so we headed there next.

Once again, very good theming in line. We didn't get to see too much of it, but I liked the park and then the crashed car. I'm jealous because my Batman doesn't have any sort of theming compared to that. We walked up and there was only a small 2 car wait for the front, so we hoppedin the back. It was still raining and we loved the ride. You get whipped around so fast and it was dark so we were all confused not knowing the track layout. It just goes here and there and it feels very fast. I liked this coaster a lot and we rode it again in the front car. The rain felt like nails piercing our eyes and hurt very much. Disappointed with our ride we rode again towards the middle. Both days I didn't see Jeff that works there. This ride was great and we were off to Raging Bull again for some more laps. We stopped on the way and walked onto the Giant Drop. It was just alright. I would not have waited very long for it because I'm not a big "drop" fan.

We rode Raging Bull 4 more times, finishing our first half day at SFGAm with 5 rides on the Bull. By now it had become a walk on and a 4 train wait for the front. I was astonished because it is such a good ride. I wish Deja Vu would have been open because I'm sure that line would have been very short, and we would have stayed there all night. It wasn't open so we moved on. We headed to AE and rode this once more and escaped the rain back to the hotel.

On Wednseday we wanted to ride Iron Wolf so right at opening we walked all the way to the back of the park and it said that it doesn't open until 11, so we went to Batman the Ride, Closed. We caught a great ride on Condor. That is such a cool little flat ride, if you can call it little. We went to DV, closed. I had been happy with Six Flags all up until now. I was angry because 4 coasters were not operating counting Shockwave. So I had to settle for Whizzer.

Whizzers line was about a half hour wait. The park was getting very full and the weather was beautiful. They were running 2 trains. I rode alone in the front seat. I sat cross legged. You really get tossed around and it's a nice smooth ride. I love all the tight turns that press you into your seat. All in all, a great family ride, once was enough for me.

By now it was 11 so we went to Iron Wolf. We waited an hour and 15 minutes. They were running two trains. I am so mad we waited. I had to ride it to say we rode it, but I didn't like it. I prefer Mantis over this any day. Very rough, uncomforable and a short ride. This was the only coaster I came off of disappointed.

On to AE we went. We waited an hour and rode backwards again. The lines really made me mad because after the night before we were all so very spoiled. It was as always a great ride.

We headed off to Raging Bull and got a good ride. We waited an hour and ten minutes with 3 trains operating. Then we went to Batman and the line was over an hour and a half wait, so we turned around and rode the Whirligig. It's just alright, but now I got to ride all the rides that you swing your legs on except Deja Vu. We stopped by DV again on our way to the car for lunch and it went half way up the Cobra roll and came back, it did this a few times and stopped. I have heard this refered to as valleying out. This made me mad because I expected a ride on this and I didn't get one! It was down once again for the whole day.

After lunch we came back and just hung around for a bit. We rode the Demon again. It is just alright the second time, but that was our last. We rode American Eagle again with a shorter line and Batman still had a long line. So we headed back for an early dinner. This was a perfect time to eat, 4:30. When we came back the Batman line had got significantly shorter, so we ended up waiting an hour and twenty minutes, only because we wanted the front car. Last night we had been teased with the front train and this time it did not hurt. Great view, great ride, but too long of a line to ride again.

We went back to American Eagle for a 20 minute wait. We rode in the front of the backwards train. Great ride again and we got back in line to ride forwards. This is just an okay ride and I'm glad I got to ride it to say that I did, but I would not do it again. Backwards = better.

It was 8:15 and we were running out of time. We went and caught a ride on Viper, getting off at almost 9. That took a while and was fun to ride at night. I would rather ride the Bull. So we headed over there and it was a 20 minute wait. We ran back to the line. Rode again and got a great ride, 3 mins until 10, and we got in line again. Each time we rode this in the back seat. Very much worth it. The last ride was the best though. While sitting there, a ride op said that the yellow train is the fastest. He said that all the ops know why, so he caught a ride with us for the last train to be sent for the night. He said the ops ride yellow because it is faster but he couldn't tell me. Does anyone know why? Well anyhow, I got off the ride declaring it my favorite coaster and we left the park. Sad I couldn't ride DV or Shockwave but very impressed with the park and especially RB, we headed home. I'm sure that I will be back next year because that is one great park! (And now I'm off to Cedar Point tomorrow!)

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Friday, August 16, 2002 12:27 PM
Glad you likes good ol' SFGAm. I too, was at the park 8/13. I rode V2 3 times in a row. The storm was kicking up and it was nearly a walk-on. Didn't get to RB, and I'm frickin' mad I didn't now. Walk-on on that ride is sheer nirvana for me. Great TR!
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Friday, August 16, 2002 7:26 PM
You were robbed (Deja Vu). Now you know how us locals have felt over the last two seasons.

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SFGAm: 1)DV 2)V2 3)AE Blue 4)Viper 5)Bull


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Sunday, August 18, 2002 12:49 PM

Sorry you couldnt ride DV. Its a great ride along with shockwave. Both are intense. I totally agree with you about RB. Awesome!

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