I had seen the completed but idle structure of DV before, and watched all the videos of it operating that have been circulating the net. I was still impressed with a first hand look at the new Vekoma. The train both climbs the towers and navigates the course with a healthy velocity. The ride cycle itself isn’t the cause of the low real-life capacity. We waited a little over half an hour for 5 trains before our first ride. That’s right, dispatches were 5-6 minutes apart, ugh. A half an hour overall wait for a brand new attraction isn’t bad, but 5 trains in that same time is horrible. Fortunately, this was the longest wait of the day.
Seating was being assigned and strictly enforced. It sucked, but it does help ensure the train leaves the station as full as possible, so I’m not going to complain. A ride op later in the day allowed people to wait at the turnstile for the front seats. While the train was cycling the Ops paraded a shattered cell phone around the queue while reminding everyone that absolutely no loose articles are allowed on DV. Appropriately, boxes are provided in the station for such things.
The seats are comfortable, and the restraints are very accommodating for larger riders, albeit in the horizontal dimension, not vertical. Normally I require a little help smashing the B&M OTSR’s into my gut to get the belts buckled, not so on DV, plenty of room to spare. The space between the inner seats and the car in front is ridiculously small, if the people in the inner seats rush in and sit down before the far outside seat rider has a chance to get across the station it’s a real pain in the*****to cross over. I was surprised at how close the track and wheel bogies were to riders, within a foot reach for me, and I’m just under 6’3”, no wonder they have such a low height restriction. To sum it up, I think the seats and restraints are good, but the overall train design is poor.
I’m sure the new seatbelts slow the load times a bit, but I can’t blame the park for installing them. The GP isn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, and the park is only trying to protect itself. As someone pointed out in another thread that’s now triple redundancy. Rider misconduct aside, it was a double redundancy failure on Perilous Plunge that resulted in a recent death. The seatbelts are easily checked with the OTSR’s closed, and the Ops made it very clear they needed to be buckled before hand.
I took 5 rides on DV, all over the train, the front and back obviously being the better rides. None of the other coasters at SFMM even get near making me queasy, but the reverse trip on DV really churns my stomach. I love it! There is no head banging; the roughest part of the ride is the transition from the vertical towers, and its not that bad. Be prepared when the catch wagon grabs the train on the first tower at the end of the ride, its not painful, but its not comfortable either.
DV may resemble the simple boomerang that most of us have long since grown tired of, but the similarities end there. Make no mistake, DV packs a punch and it is a good ride. However, I’ll say the same thing about Déjà Vu that is said often of most Vekoma rides: a great idea, but less than spectacular execution. DV isn’t worth packing up the car and driving all day for (X will open soon enough), but it is certainly worth your attention if you are in the area (of any one, assuming they are all exactly the same).
A couple of observations regarding DV:
In the station, there are places on the underside of the rails that have obvious paint wear where the up-stop wheels would make contact. The only problem is, while the train is idle in the station, the up-stop wheels don’t make contact with the rail, and can be seen free spinning from the descent down the tower. How does this happen? The only thing I can figure is the train actually bounces on the rails as it flies through the station. Any ideas? I have no idea why Vekoma hasn’t gone with spring-loaded bogies yet.
A little eavesdropping in line confirms the obvious, while many enthusiasts sneer at Vekoma and dismiss DV as uninteresting, the GP absolutely loves this ride. That’s a good thing, considering it’s the GP that foots the bill for our beloved coasters.
While riding Psyclone, Déjà Vu blue colored stairs and steel supports could be seen in the bone yard. It looks like SFMM’s DV is getting the cobra roll catwalk that its brothers received, as seen in this picture.
Rest of the Park:
All coasters I road were operating 1 train only.
5 x B:TR, Batman was really hauling today, best rides in along time. Walk-ons, including front seat.
2 x S:TE, Walk-ons except 2 to 3 trains for front seat, almost unheard of for this ride. Right side operation. Typical ride.
3 x RRv, Walk-ons, 2 to 3 trains for front seat. Typical ride.
3 x Goliath, Walk-ons, 4 or 5 trains for front seat. Goliath was kicking butt, I grayed out in the centrifuge, rarely happens for me. That’s the stuff.
2 x Psyclone out of morbid curiosity, front and rear. First time I’ve been on since the extensive rehab undertaken during the construction of DV. Still awful, there is NOTHING I find appealing about this ride. The faster it’s burned to the ground the better. One train was missing, possibly being prepped for backwards action on Colossus during Fright Fest. I didn’t ride Colossus, but from the lift hill of Goliath I could tell that the Psyclone train wasn’t on Colossus’s storage track.
Easily could have doubled our ride count, but it was hot and we took it easy.
Flashback was operating, first time I’ve seen such in over a dozen visits. I still thumb my nose at it.
X looks spectacular and ready to go except for a crane still on site near the first raven turn. I know the chances of a credible answer are low, but I asked the guy in the back of the tram if anyone has ridden X, he said the engineers have. I asked him about an opening date, he said next weekend (9/28) was rumored, but to ask guest relations. I didn’t bother. False information? Of course its possible, but the guy did seem genuine.
Anyways, it was a great day, I won’t be returning till X beckons.
Was it long enough? Questions & Comments welcome.
*** This post was edited by The Anti-Rumor on 9/25/2001. ***
Knotts Halloween Haunt!!
29 years and still screaming.
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