SFNE Opening Day 4-19-03

Associated parks:

Six Flags New England

Opening Day April 19, 2003

4:15 Am, and the shrilling sound of my alarm clock startles me out of a comfortable slumber. Normally, I would not be happy, but this day was different, this day I was headed for Six Flags New England for the first time. In no time I am on my feet, dressed, and with computer (AKA my super large MP3 player), and out the door I go. I picked up my friend Greg, stop at the Wawa for gas and food, and we are on the Turnpike by five.

The ride up was uneventful, and we made good time, getting into Springfield before nine. I did, however, screw up on where I was going, and missed the exit for the park, which is actually in Connecticut, although the park is in Massachusetts. That is OK though, since Greg does not have a season pass, he has to pay to get in, and I wanted to track down some discount coupons somewhere. We hopped off the highway, and conveniently right ahead of us is the visitors center, so we are in good shape. Get the coupons, and getting back on the highway we go right past the Basketball Hall of Fame. I have no real interest in basketball (baseball is my sport), I've got to say, it is one really cool looking building. It reminds me of how the 1939 World's Fair (no, I was not there) looked. Anyway, I digress.

9:30, we pull into the park. Parking was a bit of a workout. There were no booths, just two girls taking money. That would not have been bad, but they were trying to sell everyone a season parking pass, and it was really slowing things down. Still managed to get a very good spot though, nice and close to the gates.

We got into the park, and got our hats for the free sodas. I had them a little confused, I was wearing my hat from Six Flags America from the previous week, which is almost exactly the same. It was fun.The rope drop was down a the main street a little ways. We went past the season pass processing, and man, I am glad I wasn't in that line, it went all the way up the the main gates and then doubled back down to the center. They delayed the rope drop just a bit as they brought out the Loony Toon characters, who then did this little show. I don't think anyone really cared about it, but it was nice that they tried to make the opening something special, something I had not seen at the other parks.

After the rope drop there was really only one place everyone wanted to go, and that was Superman: Ride of Steel. They walked us down there. It is funny, I think had this been Great Adventure, the park employees may not have survived, but the crowd was very polite, and well as quite anxious. Once down at the ride, it was maybe a ten minute wait for it. They were running just one train, with the other sitting on the transfer track. This did not change throughout the day, but it didn't really matter, as there was little line anywhere all day.The ride? Well, lets put it this way, I have a new favorite steel coaster. It was amazing, with airtime galore, and great laterals as well. The tunnels create a great effect as well, particularly the second tunnel, which has a great head chopper. The misters were not turned on, though it was a nice day, high in the upper sixties, and would not have been too cold for me at least.

This coaster was also a milestone coaster for me, number 100. I am very happy to have it as number 100.Next we headed over the the Joker's Wild Card. Unfortunately, we did not get the chance to ride, for even pushing as hard as the ride op could, she could not get the restraints down for Greg. He was just a hair too big. I hope he can fit on Wicked Twister in June. So we rode Poison Ivy's Tangled Train instead. This is simply a family coaster, though it did have a couple of good laterals, and the themeing was very well done.

We next worked our way towards Batman: The Dark Knight. We hit Mind Eraser on the way, and Greg got to learn the meaning on a hang and bang. I actually like the SLC's. While the ride is far from that of a B&M, I think they offer a more intense ride and have some nice elements, including a few excellent foot choppers.

Speaking of B&M, Batman was next up. It was a walk on, which was nice. The ride is indeed short, but it has a nice combination of elements and seems to fit well for this park. I particularly liked the zero-g roll on this one. For me, Medusa is better with it's great helix, but this is still a fine ride.

This section of the park also has a few flats, though most were closed. Double Trouble was open, and I would ride this a little later on. I was disappointed with it, and will stay away from this particular, uncomfortable flat in the future. Also here is a Chaos (closed), and Colossus, a massive ferris wheel, which was closed because it had no cars.

At this point we decided it would be good to check out the wood offerings at the park, particularly the much talked about Riverside Cyclone, which is on the opposite end of the park. Walking through the park is nice, it is actually well themed, friendly, and clean. There was no trash laying around, and everything seemed to look like it was in good shape. The Super Hero section is very well themed as well.Next was a quick trip on Flashback. It is a typical boomerang. I managed not to get beaten up too much, but Greg got pounded. That did not do him in though, that was done by the Cyclone.

The Cyclone is just plain an odd looking coaster. It has been butchered by Six Flags in the last few years, and this is visible with the old section of track located right under the new re-profiled section. I would have liked to ridden in it's original form, but this form is not to be too under estimated. It gives a violent ride, a good deal of ejector airtime, particularly in the back seats, as well as some nasty laterals. I did not like, however, the trims that were also placed on this ride which bring it to a near standstill close to the end of the ride. I rode twice, but Greg had it after one ride, which combined with Flashback, left him feeling a bit dazzled. He was fine by the time I got back from my second trip.

After a little puttering around, we finally hit the Thunderbolt. This little wooden creation is not too bad, a fun though fairly forceless ride.

After Thunderbolt we hit some of the other flats, like the Buzzsaw, a flying carpet ride, and Nightwing, which is kinda like an enterprise that is ridden laying down. Of coarse, we also did a few more great circuits on Superman. I got a nice new shirt at a discount, so you can't go wrong there. Finally, we headed out at about six, and had an uneventful ride home to Philadelphia.

All and all, it was a great day. The weather was perfect, and the crowds at the park were light. I was glad to have made the trip, it was well worth it. Next week, finally, Knoebel's Grove opens. Can't wait.

Pictures from this trip can be found here.

*edit* change formating for easier reading.

"If you make it too smooth, it'll be like sitting in your living room."
-Bill Cobb - Designer, Texas Cyclone
*** This post was edited by Black 7 4/23/2003 8:36:49 PM ***
*** This post was edited by Black 7 4/24/2003 12:06:30 AM ***

The SLC is Mind Eraser not Mind Bender btw.

#1 Canobie Lake Park Fan!!! My top 7 coasters:
1. S:RoS @ SFNE 2. Montu 3. Yankee Cannonball 4. Kumba 5. Gwazi 6. Cyclone (SFNE) 7. B:DK

Opps, thanks. Something must be sublimnally calling me to ride Mind Bender. Someday.

"If you make it too smooth, it'll be like sitting in your living room."
-Bill Cobb - Designer, Texas Cyclone
*** This post was edited by Black 7 4/24/2003 12:05:50 AM ***

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