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Thursday, January 2, 2003 2:28 PM

With my sister and her family out from Tucson it was time for our annual family outting to "The Mountain." The 12 family members on-hand were: Nephews Sean [3], Connor [5], and Justin [12]; Nieces Stephanie [10] and Ashley [12]; Sisters Michelle [35] and Mary [44]; Brothers-in-laws Chris [45] and Bruce [48]; and parents Jim & Loretta [both 66].

A stellar day at SFMM, and no one is more shocked than me, especially considering the parking lot, which was filled to capacity. The only coasters closed were Ninja, which is notorious for not running in the cold [and it was pretty chilly that day] and Canyon Blaster, which seemed to be going thru annual maintenance. A few flats had a delayed opening but all other rides were open and running at full capacity with one exception: Superman, which only had one side running - seems to be the norm these days. The only negative comment the entire day was that the park seemed to be in need of some paint and a few more sweepers.

-Highlights-

Superman The Escape - 15 min wait. First-time riders included Michelle, Mary, Bruce, and Stephanie; repeat riders Justin, Ashley, and myself. Overall sentiment from the newbies: exciting launch, boring after that.

Gold Rusher - 5 min wait, 2-train op. Ridden by all but little Sean. This was my nephew Connor's first non-Disney coaster. He was very excited to finally be riding and love it, even feeling bold enough to hold up his hands after a few rides. Due to the non-existant waiting time Connor got in about a dozen rides sitting with various family members.

Riddler's Revenge - 15 min wait, 3-train op. First-time riders were sisters Mary, Michelle and her husband Bruce. Seasoned riders were Justin, Ashley, and myself. Reaction: the newbies loved it, lauding the smoothness and pacing of the ride and lack of "scary falling sensations." Stephanie skipped it in the morning but got her courage up and rode it later in the day, proclaiming it her favorite coaster in the park.

Atom Smasher [Music Express] - 5 min wait, ridden by Michelle and son Connor while we all watched and took bathroom breaks. Connor's first big spinning ride, he loved every minute of it.

Gotham Gear Works [Round-Up] - 5 min wait, ridden by Connor and me. While the adults went to take a spin on Batman Connor grabbed my hand, pointed to the Round-Up and said "I wanna go on that!" So I took him on it, and he loved it.

Batman - 10 min wait, 2-train op. Ridden by everyone but Connor and I [we were on the Round Up] and Grandma and Sean, who made their way to Bugs Bunny World. The only newbie was Bruce, who thought it was the best coaster in the park [until later...].

Sierra Twist [Schwarzkopf Bayurn Curve] - 5 min wait, ridden by Connor and me. After riding the Round-Up the plan was for everyone to meet in Bugs Bunny Land before heading for lunch. Connor and I walked past Sierra Twist and I asked him if he wanted to ride. He didn't hesitiate to say "Yes!" and soon we were on. His mom, Michelle, walked by as we ended our ride and he insisted she take him for another spin.

Log Jammer - 10 min wait. While I waited for our party to be called at Mooseburger Lodge a few souls braved the chilly air and rode this classic water ride. Ridden by all but Grandma, Sean, and myself.

Lunch - Mooseburger Lodge. Despite the slow service the food was good and it was nice to sit down in a warm building and rest for a while.

Goliath - 30 min wait, 3-train op. Newbies were Michelle, Bruce, and Chris; seasoned riders were Justin, Ashley, and myself. Sean, Connor, and the Grandparents returned to Bugs Bunny Land for a few spins on Goliath Jr while Mary and daughter Stephanie opted for Colossus. Michelle was a little apprehensive of the size of the first drop but all three newbies loved the ride and were surprised at how smooth it
was. Everyone but myself commented on the heavy positive Gs in the helix which caused tunnel vision and near-gray outs.

Goliath Jr - Connor, who had already graduated to bigger rides like Gold Rusher, Big Thunder, and Matterhorn, felt this kiddie coaster was a little boring but Sean was in heaven, laughing and throwing his arms up. They managed to get about 8 circuts while waiting for the adults to return from Goliath and Colossus.

Colossus - 30 min wait, 2-train op on each side. Ridden by Mary and daughter Stephanie only, their only comment was: "I don't remember this ride being so rough!" Enough said.

Revolution - 5 min wait, 3-train op. While some of us were in the 2-hour line for X my sister, Michelle, decided to ask her 5-yr-old son Connor if he wanted to go on "that white coaster." He said yes without hesitation, and soon had experienced his first MAJOR coaster with 100+ foot drops and a loop. His reaction at the end: "Let's go again!" Yes, folks, the "thrillseeker" gene is dominant in my family. I was surprised to hear the news that he'd ridden it but they both
said it was smooth and fun, no headbanging. I was a little saddened to have missed my nephew's first big coaster but was glad he got to ride it. I'll have other opportunities to take him on bigger and better coasters.

X - 2 hour wait, 2 of 3 trains running. I have not ridden X since Knott's Coaster Solace way back in June. What an improvement! The crew was fast and efficient and the only thing slowing them down was the cumbersome unload/load proceedure of having to swivel the seats. The ride experience was aggressive but not rough. Only Justin and
myself had ridden before. Newbies included Stephanie and her dad Chris, and my brother-in-law Bruce. Stephanie, who had her eyes closed the entire ride, proclaimed it to be the scariest coaster she'd ever ridden; Chris thought it was fun but quite intimidating; and Bruce thought it was by far the best, most unique coaster he'd ever ridden and coudln't wait to come back and ride it more. A winner in everyone's eyes.

Next up: Knotts tomorrow [Friday, Jan 3rd].

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Sig under construction!

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Thursday, January 2, 2003 3:31 PM

Glad your whole family had lots of fun together. Its sounds like the park was pretty crowded. 30 minutes for Collusus with 4 train operation? Wow.

I must say that the park was clean when I visited everywhere except the queue lines and the bathrooms. The midways were sparkling clean.

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Thursday, January 2, 2003 4:14 PM
Colossus had both sides open?!? I haven't seen that since I was at Fright Fest in 2001. Were they racing it?

Did you forget Deja Vu and Psyclone???

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Nothing... NOTHING... can prepare you for... the Fourth Dimension!

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Thursday, January 2, 2003 4:41 PM
Why didnt Conor ride X? Same height requirement as Revolution. Oh and what about Deja Vu?
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Thursday, January 2, 2003 5:11 PM
Probibly because X is X! I find it amazing Collosus ran 4 trains and even more so both sides, but the most shocking 30 minute wait?? I've never had to wait for it even when it's running backwards!

I am very happy to read a SFMM tr like this, see there are some exciting flats, just no one rides them and cares to comment on them. Glad everyone had fun, but could you comment on the trash problem like examples? Also theres a rumor S:TE's left side might re open soon, this came from the same person who I heard the Flashback re opening to occour. We'll see! Even if it's just the left side, I would like to see it run on a set of fresh LSM's cause the ones are the right are getting wasted.

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2002, PGA,SFMW,MK,MGM,AK, EPCOT,IOA, UNIVERSAL, SWO,and SFMM!
2003,?

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Thursday, January 2, 2003 5:11 PM

TR's like this make me want to just drive to SFGAm, approach the management staff, and say ... "Who cares about the cold, just open the park up" :)

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2 superheroes in Gurnee next season? Oh the humanity. :)

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Friday, January 3, 2003 1:42 AM
Nice TR Mammosh! What was the line for X like right when the park opened? Sounds like a nice day:)
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Friday, January 3, 2003 4:18 AM

Good TR Moosh....glad the family had lots of fun, that's why we go!

P.S. Coaster Solace in June? Perhaps you Californians really ARE on a different time zone...;) Just teasing you...

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Friday, January 3, 2003 7:06 AM

Chitown, Already forgetting about November, are we? ;)

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Never Has Gravity Been So Uplifting.

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Friday, January 3, 2003 10:54 AM
Coaster solace is in early March. Oh, and I went on a day a little less crowded than when Mammosh Visited (the last toys for tots day), everything but Deja Vu, X, and riddlers were walkons, and we arrived at about 9:45, got into the little plaza a few minutes before opening (which was pretty packed), and then ran to XD, which was about a 40 minute wait. If you arrive at 9:30 you'd have no problems at all, probably a walkon, and then a quick reride no problem. I suggest riding X, and then going over to Deja Vu right away, where you'll find a short line.
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Friday, January 3, 2003 11:51 AM
We went to SFMM in early Dec. and got to the park around 930am. made the mad dash to X and was on the second ride of the day and rode again with a 1/2 hr wait. The park wasnt busy and hoped to ride again but it broke down. The longest waits we had were for the mine train and Ninja which had longer waits than Goliath/Riddlers Revenge for some reason.
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Friday, January 3, 2003 1:36 PM
Matthew, sounds like you had a splendid time! Oh, how I wish I could have joined you on this day when all seemed to run so smooth at SFMM. I have never had such luck ;)
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www.tripowered.com - click the link, you dork
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Saturday, January 4, 2003 7:20 AM

Great Trip Report. To the point, without a bunch of fluff.

Can't wait for Knott's.

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Without the chaindog, you'd never get up the lifthill...

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Monday, January 6, 2003 7:02 AM

Sorry to answer all your questions so late. I hope I cover all of them:

I left out Deja Vu, Viper, and Psyclone from the trip report because none of us rode those coasters.

Yes, Solace was in March...my bad.

Connor didn't ride X because he's only 5 years old and we felt it would be too intense for him. Having just ridden his first looping coaster we felt that was a big enough "first" for that trip. However he'd made MAJOR progress [see Knott's TR coming soon...].

I'm not sure how long the line for X was at opening because we didn't arrive at the park until 10:30am. I immediately checked to see if X was on Fastlane but it was not, so I didn't buy into the program. At that point I figured the line was already at least 2 hours so the plan was to hit it last and do everything else we wanted first. Connor was demanding Gold Rusher so that's where we headed, stopping briefly at Superman. Had I been alone I would have gone straight to X but with 12 family members we had to cater to everyone, especially the kids.

As for the condition of the park to be honest I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. It was neither clearner nor dirtier than I've seen it. Many of the buildings do need some fresh paint, but the planters had fresh new flowers in them and only the busier queues [Goliath, X] needed a sweep.

Look for the Knott's TR later today.

Moosh

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Sig under construction!

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Monday, January 6, 2003 10:18 AM
So are those crowds/wait times pretty consistent with this time of year?

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www.coasterimage.com

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Monday, January 6, 2003 12:47 PM
I'd say so, yes.

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Sig under construction!

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