Six Flags New England, Agawam, Massachusetts, USA
This gets a little long winded, and some of it is told from the sidelines, but here goes:/
For the 2nd day of our New England mini-vacation, Boogie (my 12 yr old son,) myself, and mike okay, our CT host for the weekend, went to SFNE to check out the new Wicked Cyclone. This was Boogies first visit, and my first in many years. Last time I'd been there, Superman was still called Superman. mike, who only lives an hour away, had already been many times this year.
After the previous day's debacle at LC, we knew we wanted a Platinum Flashpass for this. There was simply too much to do, too many people, too hot, and we wanted to be in and out in a reasonable amount of time. Platinum is the only level (of course) that allows access to Wicked Cyclone and New England Sky Screamer.
First stop, of course, was Wicked Cyclone. We got 2 rides in right away, both in the back rows. There is no choosing your row, and that's where it seems they are putting FL riders. mike insists that the last rows are the best. What can I say about this ride that hasn't already been said. It is amazing! It's pretty much non stop insanity with strong air, fakeouts, lateral airtime, and of course, the 3 inversions. Of the 3 RMC's that Boogie and I have ridden, I'd say that it's easily the most intense. It's very similar in layout to the New Texas Giant, yet a much better ride. NTG seems just a bit under-engineered, with some of the airtime hills being just a bit off. I mentioned elsewhere on CB that NTG made me a bit queasy after back to back rides, yet WC felt entirely re-ridable. (Disclaimer: I'm more of a puss than your average Coastertool, as you'll find out if you keep reading.) While we loved WC, Boogie and I both give the nod to Iron Rattler as our favorite of the 3. IR just seems to be a more complete ride. It follows a natural course, uses the terrain well, and takes the rider on a journey. Not to mention it's incredibly re-ridable. (pretty sure I've said this in another post as well.) WC is more about "Hey check out this awesome trick, wasn't that sweet? How about this? Now check this out!" Does that make sense? I hope so.
From this we headed straight over to New England Sky Screamer. Billed as the worlds tallest swing ride, this was our 2nd Sky Screamer ride, after the one at SFFT earlier in the spring. (SFOT's was closed all day when we visited) I much prefer this ride to the Windseeker models. The chains give just a bit more of a free flying ride than do the rigid seats of the Windseekers. Boogie and mike rode together and their seat was turned almost sideways at one point. Perhaps it was the uneven weight distribution. I rode with a random stranger, and our ride remained more straight. Either way, the view was absolutely incredible. You could see the river, the park and even the mountains off in the distance. Probably my favorite of all of this style of ride I've been on. Windseeker models do have a few advantages though. For one, there's no topping the light packages (on the rides that have that option, of course.) And for another, they hold twice as many people, 64 vs 32 seats.
I decided to duck into the bathroom after this, where I saw something I'm not entirely sure I'd ever seen before. The ad in front of the urinal, where they have a captive audience for 45 seconds or so, was for Dramamine, available in the gift shop.
Goliath (Deja Vu) was down for MX, so we kept walking, on to Thunderbolt. I decided to sit this out and went to the gift shop for some of that Dramamine. I just had a feeling about today. It was hot, I was very tired, end even a tiny bit hungry.
After this, we hit up Bizarro. I had ridden this ride many times in the past, but always when it was S:ROS. And it had been my second favorite Steel Coaster for ever, behind only MF. In fact, I will freely admit that the only reason MF was #1 and SROS was #2 is because I live close to CP and ride it all the time. If I lived near SFNE, I'm sure it would have been reversed. I was curious to see how it would hold up with the conversion, which I knew little about. mike and I took the 2nd row, and Boogie was able to sit front row with a single rider, who we got the impression was a fellow Coastertool. The ride itself was every bit as amazing as I remembered it. In fact, some of the additions, namely the buildings that you fly by, actually made the ride a bit more thrilling. There was no music, which I was thankful for, because I see no way a soundtrack could make a coaster that isn't Disney or Universal level themed any better. However, what killed the ride for me was the restraint. Why did they get rid of the classic Intamin hyper lapbar? It was a comfortable restraint that distributed the forces nicely across your waist and pelvic area. These new ones were downright painful. They hold you in by the top of your thighs, and nothing else. Every single piece of airtime was felt in a tiny, narrow, pressure point right on the top of my thighs. This was not just slightly uncomfortable, but downright painful. I'm 6 ft tall and weigh 205lbs. Not exactly small, but not huge either. And it's unfortunate, because I want to like this ride so much. I've never ridden Skyrush (Thighcrush) but I can imagine that this is what people are complaining about.
Next we hit up the Mouse coaster. And this is where it all went to hell for me. Though I said I wanted to take it easy, I rode this because it was one of the new credits for me. Besides, how bad can a mouse coaster be, right? Well, those 2 final hills just did it for me. Perhaps they were just taken too fast, but my stomach, went from just fine to really messed up. I could hardly believe it. A mouse?!? Really? Yup.
From here I sat out Catwomans whip while mike and Boogie rode, and Mind Eraser, which let's face it, I wouldn't have ridden anyways. Boogie and mike got stuck on the brake run on that one. I'm starting to believe that Vekoma SLC's are required to trap every 5th train on the brake run for at least 5 minutes, as it seems to be a very common occurrence. I found a chair in the share and tried to close my eyes while waiting, hoping to shake off some of this sickness.
This is where it started to suck, because I really wanted to ride the Batman B+M. I remember really enjoying this ride. Not too long, not too big, but just some solid elements put together in a small space. But I sat it out too.
About this time I decided that perhaps some food would make me feel better. I had seen a poster for meatball subs earlier, and now I was craving one. Never having been a fan of SF food, I'll say that for $8.50, it was a decent choice. Certainly could do worse in a SF park in terms of bang for the buck.
We started making our way back towards the north side of the park again. Because we just ate, we hit up the bumper cars before attempting the big rides again. Again, I sat this out, just hoping a little rest would help. Not sure how many rides they took on the BC's, but I laid down on the bench, and while I never actually fell asleep, I did fade in and out quite a bit. They also went and got a few more rides on WC.
I felt better now, and decided to take a chance on Goliath. Of course the front row is the place to be on these, so we waited one extra train. While they do allow only one trains worth of people in the station at a time, they did not seem to mind us lining up for the front. Despite the bad rap Vekomas get (and deserve, IMO) these rides are the exception. When they are actually operating, no other coaster provides the sheer thrill that these DejaVu style rides can. Being pulled slowly up the tower in the front row is amazing! In the forwards run, there was a pretty jarring headbang entering the first top twist of the Cobra Roll. But nothing other than that, and I know it was because of our position on the train. To my surprise, and to Vekomas credit, my motion sickness didn't even return, as I feared it might.
Just like the day before at LC, Boogie decided to skip his Boomerang credit. Even with Fastlane. Oh well.
For the final ride of the day, mike and Boogie went on Pandemonium. As I said earlier, this ride was a "maybe" for me at the beginning of the day, and as you can imagine, I wanted no part of it now. So I too sacrificed a credit. I've ridden enough of these to know that, while fun, they just aren't for me.
Final impressions? It had been so long since I'd been to this park that, especially with everything that has been added, I didn't even recognize it. Even walking around, at no time did I ever feel like I knew where I was going. I know it's a relatively simple layout, but a very crowded one as well. There were quite a few people there, but not nearly as bad as mike said it can get on really busy days. Despite my bad experience with nausea, I did have a good time. Wicked Cyclone and NE Sky Screamer are reason enough to visit this park. Perhaps if you're smaller than 6 ft, 205 lbs, you will have a better ride on Bizarro than I did. Overall, a very nice collection of rides, and worth the trip.
This was a very fun day at the park, and my first experience with flashpass at any level - let alone platinum. The experience was great, but for that price it really has to be. Boogie and I took advantage of the free re-rides many times throughout the day, with him scoring back-to-back front seat Bizzaro rides and then then the two of us getting back to back front seat Batman rides.
I'm not entirely sure when the change occured, but I did notice that B:DK is officially now B:TR.
Other highpoints of the day were:
-grudgingly agreeing to ride the mind eraser with boogie only to get stuck for about 10 minutes on the brake run.
-Probably a total of 10 rides on the bumper cars. Several of which Boogie and I treated like a race and actually avoided bumping with all of our might.
-Pandemoneum- haven't been on this in years and as long as the spinning doesn't get too crazy it's a lot of fun. (Our re-ride was a bit too spinny).
-Bizarro's soundtrack was DOWN! I had been to the park twice this year already and both times the soundtrack was atrocious. It has gotten so bad that people were visibly hiding from it on the brake run. And then I was. I don't mind the restraints as much as Tommytheduck, being only 5'11.5 and 200 lbs. But I feel like that's mostly because I remember the worst of Bizzaro/s:ros's restraint configurations where there was a really sharp peice jabbing right into your shin the whole ride. Hopefully they'll take the soundtrack and terrible headrests out, but leave the fly-bys in.
-So Many Bumper Cars.
-This was my first ride on the sky screamer and I really enjoyed it. The view was amazing.
-Wicked Cyclone continues to be amazing, and I think it' the best ride in the park right now. Those changes I mentioned for Bizzaro may make me re-think this statement, but for right now it's the winner. I was actually a bit nervous to ride this with the two of them out of fear that it wouldn't live up to the other RMCs they've been on, but the ride continues to amaze me with how unrelenting it is.
Overall, very fun day at the park hanging out with Boogie and riding more bumper cars then I ever thought possible while Tommytheduck found various shady spots to nap, haha.
The Dramamine Ad over the urinal must be chain wide this year. The three SF parks I've visited this year all have that ad. It is a bit bizarre. Anything in the name of $$ I guess.
"Heavily medicated for your safety!"
Worked for me! I would never have thought to look for it in the park if not for that ad. But I don't know if it was for the better or not. One thing's for sure, it made me drowsy.
That's an unfortunate side effect, I hear.
And what better place for an ad? I mean, where does one immediately go when they're not feeling well after a ride? To pee, of course!
Really, there's nothing worse than motion-induced nausea. It's impossible to get away from, no matter what position you put yourself in. It's happened to me a couple of times (especially when I got older) and I wanted to die. For a while, anyway.
I take a prescription like Dramamine sometimes, because I get vertigo. It only happens once every few years, and lasts from a few days to a few weeks. It's the worst feeling in the world. It doesn't hurt, but it's like a neverending Tilt-a-Whirl.
As for the drowsiness, I find that if I am not active when I take it, I'll get that side effect. But if I am active, standing, walking around, and doing something, it doesn't affect me at all. All drugs affect people differently though, of course.
Only used Dramamine twice, the last two years at CFK. Why? Two words: Hy. Dra.
The amusement park rises bold and stark..kids are huddled on the beach in a mist
LOL, Mike. I was dying during our marathon session on that in 2014, and I love Hydra. I am practically immune to motion sickness, but man, I was hating life on those last few laps.
Since no one answered about not having the intamin T lapsers on Bizarro, I am pretty sure that they are actually illegal in the state of Ma.
Yeah, the law was passed as a result of the ejection of the man who was missing some limbs. Never really seemed like the law would have prevented the man from being ejected though.
Edit: I'm wrong about the missing limbs. WhoopsLast edited by mike okay, Thursday, September 3, 2015 5:54 PM
I thought the missing limb guy was at DL and the SFNE accident was cerebral palsy.
Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."
I thought the guy from SFNE's SROS got tossed because he was too big?
I think Andy is right.
Actually, according to Wikipedia (yeah, I know) we both are.
Copied and pasted from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bizarro_(Six_Flags_New_England)
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