SFGE July 3 - a nice day in a family park

Tuesday, July 4, 2006 11:42 AM
I love visiting SFGE in the fall, but I thought a summer visit was in order to experience the new water park, Despirado Springs Plunge (themed log flume), Raging River, and the rarely-open Avalanch Bobsled (bobsled roller coaster). But we really had a nice lazy day, experiencing few good attractions.

I've previously defended the new parking fee because of the new paved lot and bridge. But I was slightly bitter when I arrived at 1:00 and was directed past the paved lot, past the gravel lot, to space on a piece of lawn on the other side of the old motel (now staff accomadation??). Walking past the Astroworld attractions storage did not make up for paying $10 for an non-parking lot.

I was worried when I saw Avalanche Bobsled was one of four attractions listed as closed. Thankfully this was inaccurate. Avalanch Bobsled was definitely operating. I suspect that it was slated to be closed because of lack of staff, and when the log flume broke down, ride-ops were re-shuffled to Avalanche Bobsled.

We noticed many closed attractions in addition to the log flume (Despirado Springs Plunge). Road Runner Express and Canyon blaster were the only closed coasters. How these broke down, but Nightmare at Crackaxle Canyon and Boomerang stayed reliable is beyond me...

Raging River - a basic rapids ride, minimal theming, we got splashes, but there were no "everyone gets soaked" elements.

Avalanche Bobsled - The brake-run entrances had harsh lateral forces, but the majority of the ride is smooth and feels fast. Kids loved it, and only a minority of adults had negative reations.

Comet - I'm biased. I love this coaster. It was running fast and we got some ejector air and good laterals in the back seat, and great floater air (plus ejector air in the double-down) riding in the front.

Pirate Ship - My wife's favorite flat ride, especially in the back row. A couple macho latinos sat in our row, and my wife burst out laughing when one snatched her wrist in fear with the first pop of air. :)

Captain Hook's River Adventure - A lazy river with a wave-pool section? What a great idea. It was so awesome, we stayed on the river until the water park closed.

Theme park food - It's expensive, but the variety is pretty good. The pickles are not as good as Holiday World or Cedar Point. But the turkey leg was just as good as Geauga Lake and Magic Kingdom.

We watched the Marshal wild Windy Bill McKay street show while eating lunch. We were surprised by kids enthusiasm for such a cheesy schtick. I nearly choked on my turkey leg when a dozen kids (ages 4-10), pulled their guns (pointed their index fingers), ran down the street and shot the bad guy (yelled "bang, bang, bang" until he fell). They definitely earned deputy badges. ;)

Overall impression: Wow, this place packs in families. And the families were spending money, with very few using the well-shaded picnic tables in the parking lot. The location-specific merchandise is weak, but families had no problem buying whatever was displayed. (I came home with a Monty Python "Tis but a flesh wound" T-shirt.)

Corrected Avalanch Bobsled references. *** Edited 7/5/2006 1:41:06 PM UTC by greatwhitenorth***

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Tuesday, July 4, 2006 6:33 PM
If I bought a season pass to this park its works on other six flags parks right? Like SFNE and La Ronde.
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Tuesday, July 4, 2006 7:48 PM
I guess this is what Shapiro is expecting & hoping for... the young families are spending because they want to keep the kids happy & the kids enjoy a good time because that's where the park is geared towards.

Oh, BTW: It's just Desperado Plunge (No springs... the dropped the "Poland Springs" name) and it's Alpine Bobsleds, unless you have fond memories of its previous location.

Did you not catch the high-dive act where the diver sets himself on fire this year, or the circus act? I heard they're supposed to be decent this year.

It does seem unfair they're charging a full 10 bucks to park on a gravel/dirt lot on their overflow lot. They should know that since paving it, they lost quite a few spots & should be planning an over-flow lot that is paved.

This is probably one of the few parks where Shaprio is getting his way (high-prices don't detract guests).

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Wednesday, July 5, 2006 9:40 AM

DawgByte II said:
Oh, BTW: It's just Desperado Plunge (No springs... the dropped the "Poland Springs" name)

I just copied the name from the web site. I normally just call it "the log flume".


DawgByte II said:
Did you not catch the high-dive act where the diver sets himself on fire this year, or the circus act? I heard they're supposed to be decent this year.

If we saw fire, we would have stopped, but it looked like every other diving show from our perspective. We glanced up from the walking path as we walked through the park. As an aside, more people watched the dive show from the main path than actually sat in the theatre seats. I don't understand the "lets block the path" mentality. (If you don't want your kids to get run over, don't stop in the middle of the main throughfare!)

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Wednesday, July 5, 2006 9:53 AM

BamBam36 said:
If I bought a season pass to this park its works on other six flags parks right? Like SFNE and La Ronde.

You betcha! I use a pass to visit La Ronde, SFGE and SFDL most seasons -- any SF pass will do. SFGE used to be the most expensive of the three, but I haven't done a comparison recently.

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