SFMW 6/24/01

Associated parks:

Monday, June 25, 2001 2:02 PM
Although it isn't the best park in the world, Marine World always serves as a great distraction. I generally go on Sundays or Mondays, as these days generally have small crowds.

This sunday, however, was not one of those days. The crowd was fiercely large.

I've said it before about MW and I'll say it again: This park was never meant to have such large crowds. Paths through many of the older sections of the park are too narrow and should not contain as many people as they normally do. It's getting better, though -- the new areas of the park are much more open and can handle large groups quite well.

Anyway, on to the rides. Despite the fact that the crowd was extremely large, most of the ride waits were bearable. I do have a little 'strategy' for riding the parks most major roller coasters, too: These rides tend to be very crowded in the morning and early afternoon, but become less and less so as the day wears on. Especially on Medusa, where the wait can be 1+ hours in the morning. Most of the people there only ride it once or twice, and they tend to disappear later in the day.

V2: I rode it opening day, and was pleasantly surprised. This impulse coaster is certainly not the best in the park, but serves as a great addition and welcome change to the park's skyline. When the ride is operating correctly, I would rate it a 3.5/5. Today, however, was a different story. Waits were getting to be quite bad, and it had broken down numerous times. The ride was not stopping you on the vertical tower as it is supposed to, and they closed it for nearly an hour before letting it run without the stop. The ride is much different without this element and although it was still a complete rush, it just wasn't the same. Needless to say, my friend was somewhat disappointed with his first ride. He still liked it, but came off with a real 'huh?' look on his face. Just in it's operating condition yesterday, I rate it 3/5. Still good, but not as good as it should be.

Medusa: A spectacular coaster, as always. They were loading & unloading quite fast, which was a plus. The ride itself was great, and in comparison to my last visit, the seemed to be braking less in the mid-course block. That, or my placment on the ride (4th row three times, 2nd row four times, last row once) was decieving me. At any rate, this coaster always delivers. 4.5/5

Roar: The best coaster in the park, in my opinion. I rode it five times, and was amazed at how smooth the whole ride was operating today. Everything from the speedy load/unload to the actual ride itself was going like I haven't seen yet this season. Airtime was great on the third hill and the drops weren't bashing me as much as they were last time I visited. With the amazing quality of this coaster, I'm always surprised to see that it rarely ever has a wait longer than 20 - 30 min. I'd figured with V2 right next to it, that would pump the waits up, but I was quite wrong. The wait is still just enough to get you worked up. 5/5. A true classic and my second favorite woodie.

Kong: Wait was longer than 60 minutes every time I checked, and I didn't end up riding it today. Last time I rode, it was running okay. As of my previous visit, I'd give the ride about a 2.5/5. Not anything extremely special, but still good if there isn't much of a wait and you've done everything else.

Boomerang: What can I say? Closed for the most part of the day, but opened around 7:30. I didn't ride it because I didn't have time. I really don't like this ride, but I'm not really a fan of Boomerangs, either. 1/5, the last time I rode it. The only part I like is being dragged up the lift backwards. The rest, I think, sucks.

If you do go to Marine World, don't spend all of your time on the coasters. One of my favorite things about this park is the fact that the animal section of the park tends to be pretty quiet with few crowds. Don't skip the Tigers, the Cheetah and his pacing (if you've been there, you know what I'm talking about), or any other animal attractions. Especially the Lorikeet Aviary, which is the coolest non-ride attraction at the park. Go during feeding time and you'll see what I mean.

Overall, the visit was quite successful. Since I knew I was staying the whole day, I was able to pace myself and not rush the whole day. The crowd was bad, but made up mostly of families (which worked to my advantage). Plus, they generally leave around 5:00-6:00, so the crowd thinned out around then. I like the park now, and although I really love the rollercoasters, I'd hate to see any of the animal attractions leave. They really make the park unique.
Life's too short to mind,
Just keep on with the sweet up and down

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