SFMM 05/05/09

Associated parks:

Wednesday, May 6, 2009 1:06 AM

SFMM TR 05/05//09

I entered the park to the Vengaboys’ “We like to Party” complete with a dancing Mr. Six. This is the first time in literally 30 years that I have walked into a Six Flags park and the branding paid off. There he was, the geriatric sprite, dancing to the signature song that I’ve seen on the ads piping in from every corner, “We Like to Party! We We We like to Party!” And for the first time walking through these doors I am here, ready to party. Chills.

Entering the park, I walked right through to the Season Pass building where I received my photo ID within about 45 seconds. The low resolution photo on the ID made me look old and fat. There must be something wrong with the camera. Nonetheless, the woman who ran the show was savvy and offered inside information about deals at the park and where best to take advantage of coupon offers. (If I had talked to her more, she probably would have told me where bodies are buried.) Customer service, A+

All the ride attendants were approaching Disney grade quality. Pleasant and professional. One outgoing “Boys to Men” like attendant at the tame Gold Rusher welcomed everyone announcing that this was the Original “X”, and he’s right. He whipped riders into a frothing gold-panning frenzy in preparation for the ride and made the experience memorable and heightened. Promote him immediately.

Zero for everything. Maybe if you wanted the front row you’d have to wait for the next train.

Terminator is a “walk right up to it and smell the yellow pine” coaster. In fact, you can get within feet of the coaster track, even under construction, as it hugs the ground right near the pathways to Vertical Velocity. The supports for this woody’s embankments and turnarounds are aren’t a bulky nuisance on the outside, but rather strategically placed inside the curves, allowing the trains to swing harrowingly close to the midway and close to crowds passing by. The entrance sign is high-tech and Hollywood looking. As you walk up close to the turnarounds, one thing strikes you immediately, the banking on the turns is just ridiculous. And most of this coaster appears to hug the ground, taking advantage of short, tight, high velocity hills and tight embankments. I’m hopeful.

Colossus’s right side was open today, which is unusual. I have never ridden on the right side and was delighted at its pep approaching the lift hill. But what an embarrassing skeleton in Magic Mountain’s closet this plywood soapbox derby is. The double down modification and the rumbly fiberglass bathtub cars and Flintstone-like gaps on the track’s steel strips add insult to injury. This coaster can’t hide the truth, underneath its greasepaint veneer are two black eyes looking back to the pre-tech 70’s, an era before the woody renaissance.

I assume the designers envisioned this racing coaster to be the quintessential classic double tracked coaster speedway. The designers probably thrilled at the thought of pitching its macho racing theme to the park executives. “There will be two cars ascending the lift hill, perfectly in synch, with a thrilling final straight away with a checkerboard flag finish!” The whip-smart double down was likely the sparkling set piece of the ride. Now, after years of neglect, Colossus has faded into a neutered, urine-soaked, dark-ride-like disrepair, now a “one track at a time” Rube Goldberg, long abandoning its racing concept and rider-ejecting double down.

This plywood, pre-computer, old boy network soapbox derby experiment will be overshadowed, nay, eulogized by Terminator’s smooth-as-butter, ground hugging CAD-sharp pacing, and death defying banked turns. God help the construction team who appeared overworked and a little disoriented today as they headed across the midway to an available place to sit and eat at the noon hour. Some were so tired they kept their hats on as they bit into their home-made sandwiches.

We’ve put men on the moon, but we can’t put soft foam on the sides of the OTSR restraints on this flat-tired contraption? Nevertheless, I found a method to mitigate the usual headbanging. I lifted my hands to my head and cupped my hands around either side, as if giving myself a head massage. Spider like fingers held tense on either side of my head during the whole ride acted like shock absorbers. It worked. The ride was much more enjoyable. Can anyone offer an anecdote about when Revolution opened, and was it unbraked? I bet it had pep and pacing. In its current form, the brakes suck the life out of the pacing, and deflate the entire ride experience. Do tell.

So clean it was ridiculous. An attendant sprayed down the sinks after each guest. He was almost paranoiac. Swine flu won't survive a minute. A+

This sushi restaurant at the Goliath food court honest to God was passable. The sushi was made fresh and refrigerated, supermarket grade and respectable, along with an ice cold unsweetened green tea. The venue was complete with an Asian sushi chef reading a Board of Health food manual. No lie. Never thought I’d say it, decent. (Last week I ate at Puck’s “560,” so my perspective is a little skewed.) B+.

This panoramic view of the park made me hopeful as I looked southwest at the park perimeter. There are still undeveloped acres, aren’t there?

The focus of this park appears to have shifted. Six Flags appears to be waking up from its hangover of overspending on multiple steel coaster clones to the dawn of a new day. Terminator looks accessible and re-ridable. And the midways are sparkling clean. I’m ready to party.

Last edited by Bill, Wednesday, May 6, 2009 1:11 AM

Wednesday, May 6, 2009 1:44 AM
Lord Gonchar's avatar

Bill said:
The low resolution photo on the ID made me look old and fat. There must be something wrong with the camera.

Each year it seems like more and more parks get those cameras. :)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009 10:00 AM
eightdotthree's avatar

Ha ha ha

Wednesday, May 6, 2009 10:55 AM
D_vo's avatar

Nice report. Being from the midwest, I'm amazed that an amusement park has a sushi restaurant. The closest thing I've seen to that is Panda Express! I've still never made it to MM, but in time I'm sure it will happen.

I call Cedar Point my home park even though I live in the Chicago Suburbs.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009 4:57 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

CP has Tomo Hibachi inside breakers, which serves all kinds of sushi, FYI. :)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009 10:15 PM
rollergator's avatar

Lord Gonchar said:

Bill said:The low resolution photo on the ID made me look old and fat. There must be something wrong with the camera.

Each year it seems like more and more parks get those cameras. :)

I wonder if there's a way to sell people on the "enhanced ID experience" with a camera that makes people look younger and slimmer? More and more, I think I could be a customer.... ;)

You still have Zoidberg.... You ALL have Zoidberg! (V) (;,,;) (V)

Thursday, May 7, 2009 9:24 AM
D_vo's avatar

^^Really?! Wow, I had no idea. Might be checking that out next week... Although I cringe at the thought of sushi prices at amusement parks...

I call Cedar Point my home park even though I live in the Chicago Suburbs.


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