SFoG 10/19 -- A season high, a Milestone achieved

Associated parks:
None

Monday, October 21, 2002 8:34 PM
A while back, USAirways was running a Fall fare sale. At the time they hadn't yet thoroughly alienated their frequent flyers with stupid executive announcements (a topic for another forum entirely). Thinking I would kill two birds with one stone, I had gone down through the list of cities that were on sale, looking for a miles/segments run that also had new-to-me parks.

I had decided on Atlanta, for Six Flags over Georgia. Joe, AKA Legendary, was cool enough to invite me to his place to stay for the weekend, saving me even more.

So what did I do with this "extra" money? I bought myself a QBot, of course! Good thing, too -- the park was absolutely packed later in the day. The manager at the QBot station commented that it was the busiest day they'd had this year. On my first trip ever to the park -- figures.

Fortunately, I had sprung not only for a QBot (for two people -- myself, and Joe who would be joining me later in the day, after work), but the new "Gold" QBot. This bot (presumably only a very limited number of them would be available) works exactly the same as the normal Bot, except that whatever wait time you would normally be given is cut in half. In many ways I'm opposed to this idea, but I had a milestone to achieve and wanted to make sure I'd make it. As it turned out, we would be debugging this new piece of hardware for them later in the day.

My overall impression of the park was mildly positive. I loved some of the rides, but the huge crowds and some very slow ops on certain rides put a damper on the experience. The former was to be expected and was unavoidable (I knew going in it would be like that), but the later could and should have been remedied, especially on such a busy day.

So, no doubt you're all wondering about the "milestone" I've alluded to. When I entered the park, my track record was at 194. A quick glance at SFoG's coaster list reveals that I would easily be hitting my 200th coaster on this day, even if a ride or three were down. As it turned out, I would get on ALL the coasters.

Of course, such a milestone needs to be given to a worthy coaster. A little planning with the map, and I was set:

Georgia Scorcher (#195) -- I'm not a big fan of standup coasters, even the B&Ms. This was a fairly good ride, doing nothing to HURT my opinion of standups in general, but also doing little to redeem them. One for the count. While waiting in line for this I observed the first of several disconcerting events -- a parent brought a kid on with her that was clearly too short to ride. An op came over with the height stick to check this. The op was holding the stick crooked, in such a way that it would give the child the benefit of a few inches, and this kid still didn't reach the stick. The op let the child get on anyway. Scary, and stupid.

Mindbender (#196) -- I love the old Schwartzkopf steelies. This one was no exception -- not the biggest, fastest, most intense ride out there, but a heck of a lot of fun.

Batman: The Ride (#197) -- The standard little B&M that could. My one lap was in the front row.

Next I wandered by Deja Vu, which was, as expected, down. A quick inquiry revealed that the ride wasn't going to be opening anytime soon. Fortunately, I had planned for this, and moved on.

Ninja (#198) -- Ow. Ow ow ow ow. One for the count indeed. I know some people will say this isn't that bad, but even with defensive riding I found this thing bashed the hell out of me. The horsecollar comes down at exactly the wrong spot for someone of my height, and clipped me in exactly the wrong places during some of the turns. Never again would be too soon for me. Ow.

Great American Scream Machine (#199) -- This was the only coaster in the park with dedicated QBot rows, in the middle car. In a way this is a fair system -- it limits the number of "paid jumpers" on a train, and keeps the good seats from vanishing to the people who wait. However, when there's four QBot-only seats and only one person in the FastLane line, that's 3 wasted seats. Given that the "regular" line was already a good 30 minutes, this is a phenominal waste. The system in use on the other rides, where the FastLane is merged with the "regular" line, is actually better for capacity.

Superman: Ultimate Flight (#200!) -- I had been debating between this and Georgia Cyclone for the milestone coaster. I obviously decided on this wonderful B&M Flyer. After my first lap (in the back row, around noon), I was actually thinking I slightly preferred Air -- a longer ride that gives more actual "flying" sensations. However, the 4 other laps I would take during the course of the day would change that opinion. The pretzel loop just blew me away. Diving into the loop, one finds themselves floating briefly. That quickly turns into very strong Gs as the rider is pressed straight back into their seats for the duration of the loop. Combine that element with the ultra-comfortable B&M trains and some other interesting bits, and the result is an amazing ride.

After my first lap on SUF, I wandered back to Deja Vu. It still wasn't open, although it was testing, so I started to walk away to spot the first of several groups of enthusiasts I would be seeing during the day. After chatting with Julie and company (of RRC), I glanced back at Deja Vu, only to hear my name being called. Two more online enthusiasts were standing there and had recognized me. I chatted with them for a while, as well -- they were waiting for Deja Vu to open for the credit, and then were to drive to Carowinds. They'll re-enter the story in a bit.

So with Deja Vu still down, I decided to hit the other coasters in the park.

Dahlonega Mine Train (#201) -- This is, quite frankly, a silly ride. Three lift hills, with very little action in between. Still it serves a purpose -- plenty of kids were running off yelling "that was great, let's do it again". This was my longest wait of the day in terms of actually standing in a queue, as it wasn't QBot-enabled (at least, it wasn't on the list, and I was unable to find a station for it).

Georgia Cyclone (#202) -- WOW. I've heard very mixed reviews of this ride, which is why I decided to make SUF my 200th instead of this one. As it happened, this woodie is a REAL winner in my book. Joe commented that this little gem was running better than it had all season. I'm a believer. The lateral air in the back seat is just insane -- works for me :)

After my first Cyclone ride, I went back over to Deja Vu to see how it was doing. It still hadn't opened, but was still cycling. The CoasterTalk members I'd talked to earlier were still patiently waiting there, so I talked to them some more. A big thanks goes to these guys for having been so patient, and calling me over when they had -- while we were talking, miracle of miracles, Deja Vu opened.

Deja Vu (#203) -- This ride really surprised me. My first ride was in the outside of the "front" row (that is, second row, but due to the nature of the seating, I had an unobstructed view). The trains are quite comfy, there was no headbanging, and the ride was very smooth. Too bad the ride is so complicated and unreliable, though.

After this lap, I immediately used the QBot to grab a second. It gave me a 45 minute wait, which if the "half the time" claim of the Gold bot was to be believed, meant that in the time it took to get on, take a ride, and get off, the line had built up to 90 minutes already! Yikes. For my second lap we were placed in the 3rd-from-the-back row. This ride seemed far more intense, and impressed me once again.

So now I had hit all of Six Flags Over Georgia's coasters. Acrophobia was down, so it was time to start repeating. Joe had joined us by now, and the other enthusiasts in the park (Julie, Robert, Josh, and many others) had all joined up in loose group. However, as Joe pointed out, it's nearly impossible to keep a group together when they all have separate QBots. "No, wait, we have a 4:30 on Superman, how about we try meeting later..." The coordination was difficult at best.

Ultimately on the day I would get 3 laps on Georgia Cyclone (all on the back row), 5 on Superman: Ultimate Flight (3 in the back, one in the front), 2 each on Mindbender and Deja Vu, and one on each of the others. For as crowded as the park was, this wasn't bad at all. However, this was due to a combination of luck and the so-called "Gold" bot. I won't look a gift horse TOO closely in the mouth, though.

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--Greg
"For all we know, Stonehenge is just the ruined supports for an early roller coaster." -- RCT2 manual
My page

*** This post was edited by GregLeg on 10/22/2002. ***

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Tuesday, October 22, 2002 1:54 PM

Well I am glad despite the crowds (largest of the season thus far) you got the rides you wanted. And yeah, we need to work on the operators. Some of them try, some don't. I hope it will improve in the future.

Everyone underestimates the Cyclone... it'll mess you up!

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the member formerly known as MisterX

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Tuesday, October 22, 2002 2:13 PM
Great TR.

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Im the #1 Canobie Lake Park Fan!!!These are my top 3 coasters:
1. S:RoS @ SFNE 2. Yankee Cannonball 3. Cyclone/B:TDK

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Tuesday, October 22, 2002 4:11 PM

GP -- thanks. I really didn't give SFoG enough credit in some aspects, either. The park was very pretty, and quite clean. I actually saw sweepers walking around -- I can't remember the last time I saw those at my "local" Six Flags.

However, all those hills were KILLING my legs by the end of the day ;)

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--Greg
"For all we know, Stonehenge is just the ruined supports for an early roller coaster." -- RCT2 manual
My page

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Tuesday, October 22, 2002 4:50 PM
Congrats on 200 Greg. I am looking for 200 ny the end of next season hopefully.

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-Sean

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Tuesday, October 22, 2002 5:16 PM

Superman: Ultimate Flight (#200!) -- I had been debating between this and Georgia Cyclone for the milestone coaster. I obviously decided on this wonderful B&M Flyer. After my first lap (in the back row, around noon), I was actually thinking I slightly preferred Air -- a longer ride that gives more actual "flying" sensations. However, the 4 other laps I would take during the course of the day would change that opinion. The pretzel loop just blew me away. Diving into the loop, one finds themselves floating briefly. That quickly turns into very strong Gs as the rider is pressed straight back into their seats for the duration of the loop. Combine that element with the ultra-comfortable B&M trains and some other interesting bits, and the result is an amazing ride.

This is really a great thing to hear, seeing as I'll have one at my homepark next year. Hopefully people can get over the removal of Shockwave (If I could, so could you...) and enjoy whats on tap for 2003.

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Never Has Gravity Been So Uplifting.

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Tuesday, October 22, 2002 5:28 PM

Acrophobia has been down about 6 weeks now. Apparently, a bolt of lighting basically fried the entire electrical system. If it gets up and running before the end of the season, it will probably not be rotating.

You couldn't have picked a better coaster for #200. Most people love the back for its intensity in the Pretzel Loop, but I find it just as intense in the front, with the unobstructed view (not that the view is much of an issue).

Until I rode front and back consecutively on Georgia Cyclone this year, I never realized how different a front row ride and back row ride could be on any coaster. In the back row the air/laterals are so awesome, I often have to lower my own lapbar, if I was not thrown into the other seat first.

Trust me: that 45-minute wait you encountered on Deja Vu was definitely less than half of what someone in the normal line would endure. As a frequent season pass visitor, I rarely get a Q-bot, and my Deja Vu count has suffered. Hopefully I'll get my fix on SFOG's Season Pass Day November 3rd.

-----------------
Sean, who was asked for ID when buying RCT2.
Nitro, Gemini, Laser, Ice, Thunder...The American Gladiators!
The only Coasterbuzz member with Ridgeline Racer in their Track Record.

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Tuesday, October 22, 2002 5:51 PM

Awesome TR! Im bummed I didn't get to make it out to the park with you guys.

Lo-Q is definitely worth it on the weekends. Although the Gold Pass is said to cut your wait down, I've found that the regular Qbots cut down the wait as well. Maybe I'll try it someday and compare.

Well, glad you had a good time, and remember, we have Wide lanes down here!!! ;)

-Chris

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Tuesday, October 22, 2002 8:04 PM
Wow, Greg, you sure got around this summer! :)
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Vekoma!
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Saturday, October 26, 2002 9:56 PM
Hey Greg, good thing you got on Deja Vu that weekend. During opening test runs this morning (Saturday, Oct. 26), it stalled in the middle of the boomerang, high in the air! No word on how long it will be down... hopefully open by next weekend.

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the member formerly known as MisterX
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Lifts are for wimps. Real enthusiasts use the power of their minds to make the trains go up the first hill.

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Sunday, October 27, 2002 5:15 AM
Damn those chilly mornings.... ;)
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Sunday, October 27, 2002 10:24 AM

Congratulations GregLeg! S:UF is an excellent choice for the milestone ride, gotta get back there next weekend...

Interesting, I'm kind of torn between wanting to SEE Deja Vu stalled, and wanting to get the chance to ride it again...anyone else going to the extra "passholder appreciation day"?

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"CCXXVI....will the drop ever stop?"
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle....unless you've got a spare planet!

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Monday, October 28, 2002 12:33 PM

Bill, the following communication actually occurred:

Guest, near Deja Vu: "why is the train up there?"

Me: "Oh, we park the train there at night."

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the member formerly known as MisterX
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Lifts are for wimps. Real enthusiasts use the power of their minds to make the trains go up the first hill.

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Saturday, November 2, 2002 10:41 AM

October has been awfly crowded here in Georgia. Both times I've went the park has been conjested.

General Public, do you happen to be on the Six Flags Over Georgia Net Forums? If your not, you should really join. We need some park employees on there.

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"The fish are eating the guest, sir

*** This post was edited by Dukeis#1 on 11/2/2002. ***

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