SFGAm Today (8/7)

Associated parks:
None

Tuesday, August 7, 2001 8:30 PM
Our family of four went to SFGAm today. Today made sense for us because of our schedules, but it was a crazy day to go as far as weather was concerned. As we pulled into the parking lot just after noon, the big sign flashed 104 degrees. Fearing a mutiny by my wife, I kept this bit of information to myself. Those big thermometer signs exaggerate, anyway. Still, it was easily mid-90s, and humid as old Ned’s armpit.

Anyway, the heat kept the crowd down early, I think. Our first two rides – Raging Bull and Viper – had waits of about 20 minutes each.

Raging Bull is magnificent, but you know that. Riding it, you experience the brilliance of genius-level engineering the way you do when you drive a top-line luxury car, but I’ve never driven a car this good. It’s big, fast and as smooth as a baby’s five-o-clock-shadow.

Viper, a Cyclone in rustic timbers, is my favorite ride in the park. Allow me two quibbles. First, it does this snail crawl over the top of the first hill … a corny attempt to build suspense, unworthy of a ride so fine as this. Second, the walk off of the ride is really, really long and funnels you through this dull, pseudo-southwest gift shop … although, in today’s heat, the shop provided “airtime” of a different sort which we appreciated.

A very sensible way to experience SFGAm would be to spend all day going back and forth between Raging Bull and Viper, but we weren’t that smart. We rode them early and late. In between, the park wasn’t as satisfying.

We went next to Whizzer, which I kind of like for its funky cars and odd spiraling electric lift. Set in a field it wouldn’t be worth riding, but the tight turns through the trees and over the terrain features make it special. The wait was 10 minutes.

After a flat ride and some R&R, it was on to Batman:TR, my first time on it. I wish I liked it more. I respect B&M through the roof, it looks cool, it sounds cool … I just didn’t like it much. We didn’t feel like waiting for the front seat (this was the only real long line we endured of the day, about 50 minutes … V2 was down at the time, which probably didn’t help). Near the back, there’s virtually no visual interest, just stuff whizzing past your feet. Physically, you loop, you corkscrew, but it’s just heavy Gs pinning you in your chair. Okay, I guess, but people stand on line for this? I’d ride it again if the first row was easy, but other than that, I don’t really get it.

In fact, I’m kind of ashamed to admit it, but I liked Demon more, even though it’s far inferior from an engineering standpoint (B&M is to Arrow as BMW is to Yugo). The tunnel before the lift has some audio noise meant to be intimidating, but it made me observe that “the theming on this ride is badly-tuned FM radio.” I liked the loops and corkscrew, though. Rough as it was, at least you could see something. The only bad bit of headbanging for me was the transition into the corkscrew, which threw me sharply to the left and whanged my ear. My 11-year-old son sitting next to me, however, said he got headbanged throughout. OTSRs are a bad idea whose time has come and gone. Less than 10 minute wait.

We did a couple of flat rides and the Splashwater Falls flume, which is a genuine soaker. In this heat it was worth walking around the rest of the day soaked. Otherwise, I’d pass.

A few more general notes:

V2 was down when we were nearby, but was up later. Déjà Vu was down, of course, but the interesting thing to me was that there was nobody working on it or around it. On a Tuesday. In August. Have they given up on it for 2001?

Look up “gouge” in the dictionary for a picture of a SFGAm food concession. One example, the pizza/ice cream joint with the firehouse theme just outside Southwest Territory: family of four has four slices of cheese pizza, four regular fountain drinks … $24. If Wolfgang Puck had been flippin’ the pizza it would have been a gouge, and my tastebuds reported that Wolfgang Puck was nowhere in the vicinity.

Not to end on a negative note, we had fun. Raging Bull and Viper are truly great rides, and we enjoyed the park overall. For a big themer, it delivers what big themers are supposed to deliver, both good and bad, but more than enough good to make the trip worthwhile.
+0
Tuesday, August 7, 2001 8:37 PM
I agree with you on B: TR. I didn't like it, although I LOVE B&M coasters. Also, I though Demon was better then B: TR because the tunnel with the lights was cool. The coaster was smoother then I though it would be.

-------------
"Duff Man says... Ohhhhh Yaaaaa!"
Current Favorite Coasters:
1)Raging Bull 2)Millennium Force 3)Medusa (SFMW) 4)Vertical Velocity (SFGAm) 5)Dueling Dragons (Ice)
+0
Tuesday, August 7, 2001 8:42 PM
Good TR. I agree that Viper is the hidden gem of this park. The first time I rode it I complained about the crawl over the top of the lift. But at the end of the ride I couldn't get over how well Viper picks up and *keeps* its speed all the way through the twists and turns, and into the brakes.

Definitely a top 5 woodie, IMO.
+0
Tuesday, August 7, 2001 8:43 PM
You have to be the first person who I've met who doesn't think B:TR is awesome! Oh well, your entitled to your own opinion. Oh, as far as I know, Wolfgang Puck was busy running his restauraunt, not a food stand at SFGAm, so that means one thing: Six Flags loves money and gets it by any means. It's a lot easier to bring your own lunch or goto Burger King, the IHOP, or Olive Garden right outside of the park. Too bad you didn't get to ride V2, it's an awesome ride.

-------------
Do your own homework!
+0
Tuesday, August 7, 2001 8:57 PM
TrBiggar, I'll bet you've ridden Batman:TR more than me, so tell me where I'm wrong. I say it's just an elaborate, beautifully executed G-machine, with no visual thrills unless you're in the front seat (where I've never been). It's "awesome" in that B&M engineering is awesome, and you can appreciate that awesomeness by riding it. But that doesn't translate into fun, or at least it didn't for me.

And the Wolfgang Puck crack was a joke. I don't appreciate B:TM, you don't appreciate my geezerish humor. We're even ;-).
+0
Tuesday, August 7, 2001 8:59 PM
Sorry, I mean I don't appreciate B:TR. B:TM was okay, but front row would be the worst place.
+0
Tuesday, August 7, 2001 9:08 PM

TrBiggar said:
"You have to be the first person who I've met who doesn't think B:TR is awesome! Oh well, your entitled to your own opinion. Oh, as far as I know, Wolfgang Puck was busy running his restauraunt, not a food stand at SFGAm, so that means one thing: Six Flags loves money and gets it by any means. It's a lot easier to bring your own lunch or goto Burger King, the IHOP, or Olive Garden right outside of the park. Too bad you didn't get to ride V2, it's an awesome ride.

-------------
Do your own homework!"


I also dislike B: TR, too. With the Burger King thing, I went there at 3:00 in the afternoon, but not coming from the park. I went to McDonald's in the morning before I went to SFGAm. Go to McDonald's in the morning ;)


-------------
"Duff Man Says... Ohhhhh Yaaaaa!"
Current Favorite Coasters:
1)Raging Bull 2)Millennium Force 3)Medusa (SFMW) 4)Vertical Velocity (SFGAm) 5)Dueling Dragons (Ice)
+0
Tuesday, August 7, 2001 9:12 PM
I Love Demon but I wouldn"t call it better than Batman. But I have only been on Demon at PGA and Batman at SFMM but there isn't much of a difference. I think the front seat of B:TR IS awesome but it is a short ride.

-------------
Steel top 5
1.S:TE
2.Stelth
3.B:TR
4. Riddler's Revenge
5. Goliath
+0
Wednesday, August 8, 2001 6:40 PM
So Demon is better than B:TR because it has better "Visual Theming"? And aren't G's, for the most part, what coasters are about? I think B:TR is a very good ride, slightly better than most inverts because of the tightness of its elements which adds intensity.
+0
Wednesday, August 8, 2001 9:30 PM
"Visual theming" has nothing to do with it. For me, the visual experience of a ride is a big part of the thrill, but theming probably is the least of it. When riding, my eyes take in the height, the surrounding terrain, the rest of the park, and the coaster's structure, and my perspective on all of these elements is altered at high speed while I travel through space. That's thrilling. I love great coasters for their physical beauty and the way they let you experience it. On Batman:TR, the main visual element was the part of the train directly in front of me. Imagine a POV video of it from anyplace but the front seat. It would be a joke.

I agree that Gs are a big part of what coasters are about, but the rides I really enjoy don't dish up their Gs all in the same direction.
+0
Thursday, August 9, 2001 9:24 AM
Not to start a bad rap on Batman the Ride TrBiggar (I have the upmost respect for B & M rides) but I have to agree with Stealth and blizzard I too do not enjoy this ride either. But back to the subject great trip report exactly my feelings on Great America. Viper and Raging Bull are Godsends and never cease to keep me thrilled about going to this park.
+0
Thursday, August 9, 2001 12:27 PM
Why in the world would anyone ride Splashwater Falls - sure it's hot out, but think about this, the ride has no filtration system. I'll let you fill in the details yourself. Gross!

-------------
BMCOASTER

bmcoaster@wi.rr.com
+0
Thursday, August 9, 2001 1:14 PM
So that's why I was so disgusted when I got some in my mouth on Tuesday!

I think I am going to go throw up now.

-------------
"La La La... at the DEMON! Blah blah blah blah at the DEMON! (I swear if I ever have to hear that song again..)
+0
Thursday, August 9, 2001 5:55 PM
Well explained, Blizzard, but wouldn't this visual limitation hold true for any invert?
+0
Thursday, August 9, 2001 7:18 PM
It really doesn't seem fair to compare Demon to B:TR. After all, there's 16 years of technological advancement between them. It's not really like comparing a Yugo to a BMW, more like comparing an old 386 box to today's computers.
+0

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2018, POP World Media, LLC
Loading...