SFGAm: A Test of Endurance.

Associated parks:
None

Thursday, August 22, 2002 6:27 PM

On Tuesday, August 20th, I made my way up to SFGAm for the "Bring a Friend Free" day that is one of the benefits of a season pass. I had never encountered the park when there were big crowds, and was hoping for that luck, alas, my lucky streak was broken, and I finally saw long lines. Before we entered the park, I decided to check around Shockwave by the gates in the parking lot. I was pretty sure the chain hadn't been removed, as it would require work that would be noticeable to parkgoers. Sure enough, the chain was there. *Sticks tongue out at all the people who were "positive" that the chain was gone* :) I also saw some pickups and a worker on a motorbike pull up by the station. I waited for a few minutes, but nothing seemed to be going on, so we entered the park.

The full "crowding" effect didn't hit me until I saw V2's line. I felt like it was 2001 all over again. Talk about Deja Vu. ;) (couldn't resist) We waited about 90 minutes, and took a back row seat. Great ride as usual. excellent hangtime on the last trip up the back spike, that holding LIM does wonders. One nice thing, the ride didn't break down at all while I was in line. Maybe it wasn't 2001 after all. 9/10.

Next up was Demon. We passed up Batman and Iron Wolf because of the atrocious lines, sadly, because of the 8 o'clock closing time, I wouldn't hop onto Batman. When we got in line for Demon, I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me.

A) The line was longer than I had ever remembered it.

B) GAm finally took advantage of the three train operation on Demon. For the first time since God knows when I saw all three trains going.

The line, which could've been nasty, was painless. I waited 15 minutes for last row. After missing out on this gem the last few times I came to the park, I finally got the airtime I craved. Nice, smooth, fun. The Demon has it all. By far one of the better small loopers Arrow made. 8/10.

After we got off the Demon, it was already 5 o'clock. Only 3 hours left, and with the park holding this much people, We would fit in two rides, at best. So we went to the Southwest Territory to ride the Bull. I've ridden Bullie every time I visited since it opened, usually multiple times. The line was the longest I'd seen it all year. They were utilizing both qeue houses, though the first one had haf of the switchbacks closed. As we passed by the vending machines in the first house, I noticed a train rambling through the overbanked hill over the station. I watched as it hit the Mid Course Break run, and was expecting a loud fly by, but got nothing. The train was blocked in the break run. I'd only seen this happen once, on the first day I rode it. (Memorial Day, 1999). We decided to wait it out in hope of getting lucky, but no such thing happened. After about 20 minutes, the train slowly left the MCBR. It was interesting to see it, but as we got near the Fastlane entrance, I saw a guard directing people out that exit. The ride would not re-open that day. :( The unhappiest moment I've ever encountered dawned upon me. That, along with the early closing time would stain my day.

Since it was now 6:15, we headed for a quick (or so we thought) airimte fix. Giant Drops line didn't look long from the outside, but then again, none of us wore x-ray glasses either. We waited an hour for this one, but it was worth it! I've found that the "no hands" technique does wonders on this ride. The best airtime ever. I hope I get out to try that new Paramount drop tower next year. 10/10.

Seeing as it was near closing time, I made the decision to take our little group for some B&M steel. "'Cause no trip to Great America is complete without it!" I hadn't ridden Iron Wolf since two visits before that, so we hopped in line. We waited until just after closing time for the second to last train of the day, row 1. I've never had this much fun on Iron Wolf. Smooth, intense, fun as hell, this was the perfect ride. This ride will be ridden no matter what, everytime I visit. 10/10.

We walked our rounds around the park until it was dark, headed past Shockwave one more time, and went home. I forgot to mention that Deja Vu stood valleyed over the wooden path. Hopefully it'll be up soon... All in all, we didn't ride Shockwave, Viper, Deja Vu, Batman, Whizzer, American Eagle or Raging Bull, but somehow, we still had fun. I'll be visiting this Sunday, hopefully more of the rides will be open.

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Thank You for challenging TOS: The Ride. We hope you enjoy the rest of your day, here at SFCB.

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Thursday, August 22, 2002 6:49 PM

Boy, I hope they get RB back up and running quickly. No DV+ No RB= Many unhappy people in guest services.

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Friday, August 23, 2002 10:23 AM
Maybe its me but the park seems alot busier this year than the last couple of years. I dont go on weekends but the week days ive been at the park its seems to be alot busier.
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Friday, August 23, 2002 10:41 AM

Exactly Bob O. I noticed this as well.

If SFGAm doesnt meet its numbers this year than I will be very surprised.

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""To be the man, WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!, You got to beat the man""!!!

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Friday, August 23, 2002 12:59 PM
I read that Bull was back up and running the next day, around noon.

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Thank You for challenging TOS: The Ride. We hope you enjoy the rest of your day, here at SFCB.

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