SFoG - Monday May 29 2006 - Memorial Day

Associated parks:

First time poster, long time lurker. Anyway, went on my first amusement park trip this year after ONLY attending PCar last year. I went in really not expecting much. My one prior SFoG experience many years ago was really quite horrendous aside from Mind Bender being awesome. This was an entirely better trip in every way.

We got there around 10:05ET, or 5 after opening. We started off by getting the $15 a piece discount via the gas receipt promo, the last day we could do it. We immediately notice the park is clean and everyone is friendly, a nice change for an SF park.

We immediately go to Goliath and wait maybe 25 minutes for a middle seat. As for the ride? Whoa. This sucker is an airtime monster. Granted, I haven't ridden a mega or giga coaster before so maybe it's really not that awesome, but holy moly just tons of smooth air. My girlfriend has now worn out her voice on the first ride of the day, screaming in a mix of terror and enjoyment. I honestly think it's a terrible thing to ride first, because nothing in the park really matches up. Well, one thing does, but it's somewhat less than reliable.

After that we walked onto Mindbender. Still a fun classic coaster, and I really love being up in the treetops, it's a very cool and semi-unique vibe. Moreso at SFoG which is all about the parking lot/gravel coaster.

We then hit Batman - again, almost a walkon - and got a ride near the back. It's whatever. Frankly I prefer Top Gun The Jet Coaster but that's me.

Next, the ride I was there to ride - along with Goliath - Deja Vu. I'm sure many of you have ridden it, and I'm sure many of you haven't. I'm not a wuss. I've done the skycoaster a billion times and I've done a couple actual sky dives. Deja Vu was nuts. So disorienting and just... wow. For those who care I was on the inside of 5B and the girlfriend was on the outside. I wanted that seat but so did she and I wound up letting her have it. However, here comes the only real sore spot of the whole day. PCar is my home park. They don't have the greatest coasters or anything, but they take damn good care of their guests. Six Flags sucks at this. Baking in direct sunlight for 40 mins waiting for Deja Vu with no awnings, no fans, no mist machines is truly evil. I've worked construction in the past so it didn't bother me a whole lot, but my girlfriend was visibly wilting. But yeah, DV was only a 40 or so minute wait, and in my estimation was roughly tied with Superman Ultimate Flight for longest (non-Q Bot, I might add) wait. And was well worth it.

I go have a smoke at the designated smoking section, even tho nobody else seems to be obeying that new rule, even right in front of the staff. My baby was feeling a bit poor as I said, so we probably chill there for 30-40 minutes.

Next we hit Georgia Cyclone. Whatever. I didn't dig it much. Braked to hell and just not much fun.

Acrophobia was a spiral drop tower. Yep, it sure was. Weirdly, instead of tilting out at the top it was running all day already tilted from the ground up.

Next we did a ride I've wanted to ride since I was a little kid. We walked onto the Ninja. I knew going in that it was crap so I braced myself for the Old Vekoma Syndrome. And it still sucked booty more than I expected. I should have listened but I didn't. To this day I have no idea why it sucks so much but it sure does.

So we said "screw the Ninja" and rode GASM. Not the most violent woodie in the world, it's actually fairly smooth and, at least in the front seat, packed with airtime. Really quite a good ol' coaster.

Next up: Superman Ultimate Flight. No sir I don't like it. Yes, it's smooth, and yes, the fly to lie loop is rad. But it's so forceless and friendly. I know people have their own opinions on BORG Assimilator/Stealth and the various other Vekoma Flying Dutchmen, and I'm sure with time they'll become rattly junkers like most old Vekomas, but at least they're intense. Superman UF is just blah. I did not dig it and I would not wait the 40 mins I waited for it again. In four years when it's at walk on status - if its slow loading and unloading allows that - I'll ride it again.

At this point the ol' lady eats some $9 alleged Papa John's pizza. Doesn't really taste like Papa John's I'm told.

Next up is the Georgia Scorcher. We wait maybe 10 mins for a front seat. But first, some backstory: I hate standup (aka nutcracker) rollercoasters generally. I remember the year Vortex debuted at PCar, waiting at least two hours for a ride, and generally pooping on it afterwards, feeling it was somewhat less than worth the wait. Scorcher really is a damn nice coaster. I went in expecting nothing but another credit and came out with my second favorite coaster in the park. I dug it bunches.

Let me illustrate how wonderfully underpacked it was: at this point it's maybe 3:30 as I recall.

Another smoke.

After this, having ridden pretty much all the coasters, we go back to Goliath, this time waiting about 30-40 mins for a front seat. And it's even better. The view is terrifying for an acrophobic like myself, altho heights on coasters generally don't bother me, and the airtime is even better. I fall in love.

We meet up with some friends and ride Batman again. On the way there, we see Batman and Robin jumping out of nowhere and running off, which was pretty rad. About the coaster itself, in the front it's better but still, I prefer Top Gun.

We then ride the Lightning Log logflume and I repeatedly bang my knee. The water was nice tho.

One more near walkon ride on Scorcher, this time the absolute rear, and I still dig it. About the only thing besides Deja Vu and Goliath that I really loved, altho I enjoyed most everything.

And finally, ending how we began, we go and catch one more 20 minute wait and the backseat on Goliath. The front has a better view, but the back has better forces. It's a wash and Goliath frickin' rocks. Best coaster in the Mid Atlantic region. It's 6:20. We've ridden everything we wanna ride. I buy a Goliath t-shirt - the vintage blue one, as if you care - and we call it a day. It was perhaps the best day I've ever had at a park. The staff was - gasp - friendly and helpful, even having Wal-Mart style greeters in a couple spots saying "Hey Guys!", the rides are mostly great (although I miss the probably-soon-to-depart FreeFall, and Wheelie was down), and the park was still clean at 6:30. It was a phenomenal day. God I love amusement parks on Mondays. If SF fixes those few niggling points, they'll be onto something. *** Edited 5/30/2006 6:02:13 AM UTC by Vincent Greene***

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