SFoG: Land of the Compact Coaster

Associated parks:
None

Monday, April 21, 2003 7:24 PM
Spring Break 2003:

SFoG, Friday, April 18th. Weather, overcast, 60-70 degrees.

To preface these trip reports, I needed this 10 day vacation for various reasons. My two good friends, that I teach & coach with joined me on our journey because at the end of this road (I-75/ I-95) is my favorite place in the states: The Florida Keys. Glen, my old coaster buddy and Mo, a teacher/ coach who is terrified of the coaster found a transformation in the last 3 days.

We arrived at SFoG at 9:45am from our drive all night. Exhausted and on 3 hours of sleep, I had no care in the world except to hop on a coaster and destroy the winter withdrawl of video riding. We headed back to S:UF where we found it closed, like most of the TRs on the Buzz, we weren't disappointed, just knew it was coming (it was 10:15am already). We took the first train out of the station of GASM, where I jumped in the front seat with a local and had a ball. It was much smoother than I remembered and great pops of air. Here's the problem. GASM and Ninja were running only one train. The ol' SF special was in route already.

Finally, we saw S:UF was running, where we found a 40 minute wait, not bad, but it became longer because of the extremely slow operation of the ride. The pretzel loop is incredible as many have announced thus far on the Buzz, but the rest of the ride lacked the B&M punch. Overall, I was glad to only hit these 3 rides once. We didn't want to wait 45 minutes for GASM or Ninja again because of single operation.

We walked to B: TR, where we found the theming excellent and the wait about 15 minutes. Great little intense invert that I didn't get a chance to ride on 7 years ago. 2 laps. Mindbender was also outstanding, again. This is still one of the best rides in the park. The surprise of the day went to the Georgia Scorcher. Though short, this coaster had great laterals, twists and GREAT pops of air in the back 'stand'. To end our coaster fever, we hit the Mine Train and power rode the Cyclone 6 times before we exited the park. I needed a chiropractor from Cyclone, WOW! I loved it and so did Glen.

Overall view of the park: Landscaping, trees and cleanliness were perfect. Friendly employees and smiles were abundant. Deja Vu laid dormat, no surprise. But, the negative was this: We waited 3.5 hours for 3 coasters from 10am to 1:30pm because of the one train operations of Ninja and GASM, and spent 4 hours riding 5 others coasters 11 times with two train operation. When is SF going to learn? Linejumping was also a huge sport at this park. People were jumping in line on every coaster, since no security was visible, we did tell some ops but nothing was done. So, I took it into my own hands on B:TR making sure they were in direct violation of Rule 4857, which meant nothing to them, but they DID enter the train well behind us.

Glen's view: Great coasters, great landscaping, but said it was equivalent to SFKK because of operations on the coasters. Mo's view, and this is from a GP standpoint, why do we have to wait so long for this coaster? He didn't know the ins and outs, but did the math and was happier when we could ride more at the end..... hmmmm....something is a miss. SF was the only park on our visits that had this problem of single train op and Linejumping.

Lastly, have you ever noticed that every coaster at SFoG is compact? Even GASM if you think about it is space friendly as an out and back. All coasters are stuck in a backyard. Twisting, turning and head back to the station. Mindbender is the only coaster that does not have this relationship to space. Odd?

SFoG is a great park and should be visited by all passing thru HotLanta.

BGT, SWO, and IoA on the way, but won't be up until next week... I just want to add that IoA was the best experience I have had at a park in years.


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There's nothing like a woodie...

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Monday, April 21, 2003 7:43 PM
Its hard to put two trains on when the majority of your crew is high schoolers and you frankly have just enough to open the ride. Trust me, we put two trains on whenever possible. It's not a SF thing, its a safety thing. You've gotta have 3 people at the dock at all times to run two trains, and I know that at least 5-6 of my GASM crew is in school.

Also, were working on the line jumping thing. Batman and GASM are in the process of getting their own personal security guards to watch the lines for jumpers. But, at times, we just cant see people do it regardless. Thats why, if at least 4-5 people see them jump, tell us and we'll get them ejected from the park if they harass us about it at all.

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"Press down, pull up, and enjoy the rest of your day here at Six Flags over Georgia as we celebrate 30 years of operation at the Great American Scream Machine."
*** This post was edited by Chris the Coaster Freak 4/21/2003 11:45:28 PM ***

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Saturday, April 26, 2003 6:52 PM
I was at SFOG on the same day. The wait times were minimal. The major disappointment to me was that there were only two restaurants open during the lunch rush hours. When is SFOG going to get a major rollercoaster like Titan or Goliath? It is a great park, but desperately needs a hyper coaster!!!!!!
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Tuesday, April 29, 2003 5:31 AM
This is the first time I've been able to view CB in the last 12 days, Key West was too enjoyable. I would like to comment on some things you said.
a) SF is the only parks that I have had this capacity issue with over the past 10 years. Please do not say it's 'not' a SF thing when SF has been the only culprit in 35 park visits.
b) If it's a High School student problem, then let's solve this by hiring more people, eh? I'm just tired of the excuses of wait times being ridiculous when they shouldn't be.....it's that simple.
c) The compact coaster? It's amazing how they fit 9 coasters in that lot. The problem lies that almost every coaster is in need of about 500-1000 feet of track...Scorcher, B:TR, S:UF are solid rides, but has something missing in my opinion.

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There's nothing like a woodie...
*** This post was edited by Woody 4/29/2003 9:31:38 AM ***

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Tuesday, April 29, 2003 5:58 AM
Problem with Good Friday in Atlanta is that it's not a school holiday for most of the area. So, even if the park could hire 2 or 3 times more kids to run the rides, they couldn't have staffed the park that day.

Too early for colleges to be out, no school holiday = few people available to work the rides. But, if the park were closed you wouldn't have been able to get on any rides.

I don't think it was a SF thing, it was a "day" thing - in the day you chose to go to the park.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2003 6:29 AM
Once again, running rides at less than capacity is *hardly* unique to the Six Flags chain. In the last 6 months, I have been to Knott's and DCA and experienced the same issue: fewer trains running than were possible

I think the big factor here to look at is how long did you have to wait with 1 train ops? 15 minutes? If there are long waits, absolutely, put as many trains on as possible. But to get upset because you had to wait a few minutes as opposed to walking on is just nit-picking.

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I sing sometimes for the war that I fight, 'cause every tool is a weapon, if you hold it right. -Ani Difranco

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Tuesday, April 29, 2003 7:18 AM
Just a quick note, I'll probably post to this thread again....

One of the MAJOR benefits of all the *compact* coasters at SFoG is a noticeable lack of midcourse brakes....well, noticeable to us, anyway...:)
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"Brian, there's a message in my AlphaBits, it says 'ooooooo'"
"Peter, those are Cheerios"....Family Guy is BACK!!!

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Tuesday, April 29, 2003 7:22 AM
Yes but still SFOG has that feel of a "big time park" with something seriously lacking. The Scorcher is by far my favorite stand-up, mindbender is great (even though I waited 1 hr for it because of slow ride ops and the ride went down), B:TR is well B:TR. S:UF is great but I agree that besides the pretzel loop I think the Verkoma design is more intense and more fun. I wasnt impressed with GASM but was in the back of the train so maybe thats why I thought it was too rough (even for a woodie). They need a solid 2.5-3 min ride experience wiether it be a floorless, Hyper (my choice) or another woodie.

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Summer 03-CP, HP, Canobie, SFNE, SFWOA, and SFGAm.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2003 10:18 AM
They can use a hyper and a launched ride than they would be good. It looks like a nice park.
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Tuesday, April 29, 2003 10:20 AM
You think GASM is rough but the Cyclone is acceptable?

Wow. Just wow.

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Is that a Q-bot in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

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Tuesday, April 29, 2003 10:36 AM
Did I say the cyclone was acceptable, no, i reframed because i didnt want to start a flame war but no that you mentioned it i didnt like that ride either.

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Summer 03-CP, HP, Canobie, SFNE, SFWOA, and SFGAm.

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Tuesday, April 29, 2003 4:52 PM
Nitpicking? Hmmmm.....waiting 40 minutes for Ninja is far from nitpicking when there was 3 people on the platform, one operating and a fresh horse in the stable. GASM was a 30 minute wait around 1pm when we walked by after S: UF.

'Gator: I can't agree more about the midcourses. Scorcher was a HUGE surprise on the trip and I loved B: TR through the trees. The unspoken gem is still Mindbender.

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There's nothing like a woodie...

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Tuesday, April 29, 2003 4:59 PM
When I went on April 11th and 12th, I notice the same thing with S:UF. On Saturday, an incredibly large crowd was at SFoG, so one could expect two train operation with S:UF. However, the next Sunday, crowds were the same, if not a tad less, and they were running only one train. Wasn't bad for us..we had a Q-Bot. I highly recommend renting one if you go to SFoG on the weekend. My friend and I ran to S:UF, rode it after a 5 minute wait...left the ride, reserved a ride with the Q-Bot, and the thing said, "Next Ride Soon!" meaning we had 10 minutes to another ride...definately worth the $20 rental fee! :)

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"Enjoy your record-breaking ride on Millennium Force"

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Tuesday, April 29, 2003 4:59 PM
Chris, what ride are you working on this year, if any? Got season passes, might see you working one day!

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"Enjoy your record-breaking ride on Millennium Force"

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Tuesday, April 29, 2003 5:22 PM
Woody, in that case, your argument has merit. Long wait = put those trains on! If you reread my post I actually said that. However, when I hear those who complain of 1 train ops when they wait 10-15 minutes for a ride, yes, that is nitpicking.

On my last visit we waited 10 minutes for Mindbender and the people behind us were griping about the 1 train. Impatience like that is really pointless at a park. There is never any guarantee that the crowds and rides will be such that you get as many walk on rides as you like.

If you think it's bad now, you should have gone in the mid 80's. I went one weekday during the summer as a kid and rode 7 rides there from open till close.

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I sing sometimes for the war that I fight, 'cause every tool is a weapon, if you hold it right. -Ani Difranco

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Tuesday, April 29, 2003 5:31 PM
The park definitely attracted more people back in the day.

You know, as a former employee, there really is no good reason not to have all trains on the track unless something is just "bad wrong" with one of them (such as SUF's 3rd train--never has worked right). If the issue is staffing, they should have enough people to run the ride with the maximum units available.

I still think a lot of SF bashing is uncalled for, but this single train silliness has simply got to go.

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Is that a Q-bot in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

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Wednesday, April 30, 2003 6:23 AM
GP, I agree with you, I only scrutinize SF about coaster capacity when it becomes constant. WoA has the same problems during the week in the middle of summer and I can never understand this simple dilema. But, the bashing of SF based on the company having 6 flags is becoming obnoxious.

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There's nothing like a woodie...

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