SFoG, 8/3-84...oh, the HORROR!

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Monday, August 5, 2002 11:55 AM

My group of 3 (Me, my wife Lori, and our friend Sata) left Columbus, OH, at 7 AM Saturday morning and arrived in Atlanta at 3:30 PM. After unknowingly selecting Gold parking (12 bucks!!!) we were dismayed to see an overflowing parking lot. Even worse, we waited about 10 minutes to enter the park. I knew the park would be crowded, but I wasn't expecting THAT.

Upon entering the park, we pushed through the masses, looking for a map. Unable to find one, we simply walked to our right to see Georgia Scorcher. 120 minutes. Ouch. Opting to pass it up for now, we continued into Gotham City. Mindbender, 120 minutes. Batman: The Ride, 240 minutes. Figuring that they were just putting up the largest sign they had for each ride, I looked at the Batman queue and decided to go for it.

As expected, the B:TR queue was more like 75 minutes. We took a back seat lap, and we all agreed that this version was more intense than it's older brother at SFGAm. Great pacing, slight headbanging. The queue was disgusting, which was to be the theme for the weekend-overflowing trash, gum walls (which had business cards stuck to them), and people bouncing basketballs incessantly.

Fearing the worst, we then walked around the park to Superman: Ultimate Flight. The wait was surprisingly short, approximately 30 minutes. I was glad to see that they were using numeric boarding passes, and actually enforcing the use of them as well-i saw two groups removed for line jumping. The ride is...anticipointing. The pretzel loop is outstanding, but the rest of the ride pales in comparison to the Vekomas, IMO. I'm sure that my view of the ride was influenced by my experience on it the following day...more on that later.

Figuring that people might be a little more spread out now, we headed back up to Georgia Scorcher. The posted wait was now only 60 minutes, so we got in line. All I can say about this queue is YUCK. NO trash cans anywhere, so trash was piled ankle high throughout. The lines were so narrow that I felt like I was cattle being herded to the meat factory. The operations on this ride were absurd-stacking with two trains. I saw them nearly let a girl ride whose feet were not touching the floor-the only thing that stopped them was the mom asking the ride op AFTER he checked their restraints, "Is it okay that her feet don't touch?" Unbelievable.

The ride was outstanding, however-best stand up on my relatively short list (Mantis, Chang, IW, KC). Great pacing, serious airtime, no headbanging, disorienting inversions in the dark. Two thumbs up.

We headed quickly to the Georgia Cyclone, as it was getting near closing time. Again, filth everywhere in the queue. One overflowing trash can. I opted for a seat near the front, as Lori doesn't care much for rough airtime. Well, I would have taken that over what we got-shuffling and roughness. I'm going to give this ride another shot in the back someday, but for now it was terrible.

5 minutes left to go, we sprinted towards Acrophobia. This drop ride doesn't look like much when you're in the queue, but it scared the HELL out of me. I can't imagine how anyone survived being stuck for 80 minutes at the top-I felt like I was going to fall out for sure, and the "boys" weren't terribly comfortable. Mercifully, after a 10 second wait, we plummeted towards the Earth, and the ride was over.

Day 2

We showed up a little later than planned, thanks to the non-existant alarm clock in our room. Still, arriving at 10:20 we got a walk-on ride on Ninja. I wasn't expecting anything out of this Vekoma creation, so I was pleasantly surprised (the opposite of anticipointment). A smooth ride, minimal headbanging, good speed. This ride would be a good addition at a small family park that needs looping steel.

GASM was up next, and a 5 minute wait led to a fantastic ride on a smooth out-and-back with plenty of air to boot. Lori normally doesn't like woodies, but she loved this one. I should have known my luck would change soon...

Another lap on S:UF was next...minimal wait, about 10 minutes. Another good lap, intense pretzel, and as we pull into the station...the ride stops. Uh oh. 15 minutes later, we pull into the station, sighing relief...but they still don't let us out. 30 minutes later, the general manager and other suits show up-from my inverted position, I could have sworn one of the name tags said Gary Story, but I was damn near hallucinating at this point from hanging for half an hour. John Odum walked by me (general manager) and I called out to him, "Sir? Excuse me? Sir?" He ignored me, and I called out again. He still ignored me, but a person waiting by the airgates tapped him and pointed at me. He walked over and said, "Yes?" in an irritated fashion.

"What would you do right now if there were a fire?" I asked.

"There's no fire."

"But what if there were?"

"There isn't."

"Well, my wife is about to pass out and I may never have children, so I consider this an emergency. What's the emergency procedure?"

"We'll get you out shortly."


"I heard that 20 minutes ago."

"I appreciate that."

"I bet you'd appreciate it a lot more if your head was blacking out like mine is."

"Thanks for voicing your concern." And he left.

At this point, the ride ops walk around and take names from us as we're hanging. They fill up water cups, realize that we can't drink them hanging on our stomachs (45 minutes at this point), so they start drinking them themselves!!!

That was just tooooo much. My wife started crying, and I about lost it. Sata was cursing in one of the 5 languages he knows, and we're all feeling clausterphobic. Finally, after an hour, the mechanics come around to manually release the seats. My wife collapses, crying and shaking (if you guys haven't figured it out, it hurts women a lot more to have their chests pressed against a restraint). A ride op runs over with water, and they offer us an exit pass on any ride EXCEPT Deja Vu or S:UF. Nice.

I walk over to the GM and ask for a Deja Vu exit pass, since we have literally been tortured for an hour. He just says, "No." Great customer service, pal. So, one of the ride supervisors comes over and says, "come with me. " We walk into a corner of the station, and he writes out an exit pass for Deja Vu. Very cool. I thanked him profusely, and after getting Lori back on her feet, we exited the station. We took a couple of pics of them getting people off the ride, and one of the suits asked for my camera. I told him where he could place my camera, and walked down the ramp.

Having recovered sufficiently, we walked back around to Mindbender. The park was now jammed with people, since we'd been on the ride for over an hour and they subsequently closed S:UF, distributing that line throughout the park, so the line was once again listed at 120. Deja Vu wasn't scheduled to open for another 2 hours, so we waited. Despite the one train operation, it was only about an hour. I think that this is a "hidden gem, " as are all Antons. I think it's the second best ride in the park.

We still had some time to go, so we went to the Dahlonega Mine Train. 40 minute wait, herded like cattle once again through a tiny queue. Wow, this ride is rough! I bet it causes more children to cry than any coaster in America. SFoG is badly in need of a kiddie coaster. I was shaken up by it, and the two children in front of me were crying like crazy. Fun, but not for kids.

Finally, the time to use our golden ticket on Deja Vu. The ops were slightly confused by it, but they let us on through the Lo-Q line...rows 8a and 8b!! Couldn't have asked for better.

Deja Vu, when it runs, is awesome. The back row provides great visuals and terrifying hangtime/airtime on the first spike. If they could ever get these running better, they'd have three winners on their hands.

Satisfied after our thrilling DV ride, we headed back to Columbus around 3 PM. My overall impressions of the park? Great rides, terrible, and I mean TERRIBLE operations. I know that S:UF breaking down is not their fault, but that was just one of many problems. Did I mention that all the drink stands had run out of soda on Saturday night? That they had no ice? Well, allow me to mention it.

My guess is that they simply weren't prepared to handle the extreme number of guests. While I understand that, it's no excuse. I loved the rides, but I doubt I'll go back.

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No love for the whiners

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Monday, August 5, 2002 12:12 PM
Most of my experiences on S:UF have been fine, except for the time a ride-op dumped garbage on the guy next to me. I'd be sure to write a letter to Mr. Odum, and hope you get a response.

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My two favorite coasters are named Superman.
Nitro, Gemini, Laser, Ice, Thunder...The American Gladiators!

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Monday, August 5, 2002 12:12 PM
Oh man! I thought Magic Mountain was ghetto!

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Monday, August 5, 2002 12:30 PM
Wow! It sounds like the suits there just don't give a damn about the customers! All they care about is money, money ,money! That suit that ignored you must be a real horses ass. I bet he didn't learn to wipe until he was 25. I have heard other horror stories about this park from tons of people. Maybe they should fire all those suits, hire real people, and buy some trash cans. God I hate the way some parks treat their paying customers.

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Beer, my soon to be wife, coasters, and the FREEDOM OF SPEECH. Is this a great country or what!!
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stoogemanmoe


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Monday, August 5, 2002 12:47 PM

Mark, I'm sorry you didn't have more fun at my park. :( In all honesty, someone would have to pay me real money to go on a Saturday. It's just not fun. I hate to say it, cause it's my park, but it's just a miserable experience. Too many people. I wish you could have planned things a little differently and maybe let me know ahead of time. I coulda drove down and showed you around (i.e. best seats to ride.. I hate you missed my Cyclone in the back seat.. it's horrible in the middle). This is one park where the Q-Bot is the ONLY way to go. We went last Monday, and it was still crowded, but the Qbot got us on DV in 10 minutes, Batman in 4, and 'Bender in 3.

As far as S:UF, I woulda had someones azz for sure. If you read my trip report from early this year, I called it that they would have problems if people got stuck in the "flying position"... I woulda lost my mind. That and the normally quick like for Bender when it's running two. It doesn't seem like you could've caught my park at any worse of a time.

I'm sorry you had such a bad time... :(

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Why do we fear Mack trucks, but not Mack Wild Mouse coasters?

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Monday, August 5, 2002 12:56 PM

SFOG is prolly the worst park experience I have ever had. Ridiculous lines, dirty, line jumping like I have never saw before. I waited two hours just to pick up my season pass from the will call window. The entrance plaza is so screwed up.

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All I need is 4.5 million bucks and a half a mile long sliver of land and maybe someone could build me my very own Shivering Timbers. ;)

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Monday, August 5, 2002 1:12 PM

...since we have literally been tortured for an hour.

for being tortured for an hour, you sure had no problem asking for more compensation and remaining in the park for a couple more hours. Pretty impressive and hypocritical for someone who was "damn near hallucinating. " You insult your own intelligience by being satifisfied with a little piece of paper so you can walk up the exit of some other ride. Don't be so over-dramatic... grow up and get over it. Bad things happen in life, much worse than this. You should leave the house more often.
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Monday, August 5, 2002 1:21 PM
IndianaBeachGuy: You must be joking.
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Monday, August 5, 2002 1:23 PM

IndianaBeachGuy, now who's being overdramatic?

People stuck in the "flying" position for an hour should receive ample compensation and profuse apologies from the park, without having to ask for them. Ample compensation, I would think, should be 4 free passes to the park, at least.

Just to show how generous a park can be: At the Drop Zone media day at PKI in 1999, a bunch of enthusiasts showed up at 5 a.m. for a ride session that was cancelled. We had to wait around doing nothing for 4 hours. But in return, the park gave us all 4 free passes, AND opened up Face/Off for us to ride later (it wasn't supposed to be open). And this is in addition to the free event we'd been invited to, and the free food!

Anyway, that SFoG would respond to this in any way but extreme regret and generosity is ridiculous. Yes, worse things happen in the world, but these guys just don't know how to run a business and keep customers coming back.

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He let the contents of the bottle do the thinking; can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding.

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Monday, August 5, 2002 1:27 PM
Well it's not like they are going to give them anything else. They almsot didn't get a pass to get to the front of the Deja Vu line so I would be upset about htat too.

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(Former Signature replaced due to bad joke with accident) The Beast at night-Two peas in a pod?

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Monday, August 5, 2002 1:29 PM

i hope to God he is joking.

of course, that IS the typical Six Flags way to "Handle" things. throw a couple of exit passes at the customers and send them on their way....

guess i'll cross SFoG off my list for now....AND SFGAm AND SFWOA....

i always hate reading a lousy trip report...

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SAVE THE WHIZZER!!!

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Monday, August 5, 2002 1:30 PM

I've been participating in usenet groups, etc., for too long to be irritated by IndianaBeachGuy's thoughtless comments. If you haven't been on the ride (and I'm assuming he hasn't), then you have no idea how unbelievably uncomfortable being stuck was.

I drove nine hours to the park to ride two rides: Superman: Ultimate Flight, and Deja Vu. I'll be damned if I was going to leave without accomplishing that, despite my irritation with the park. I'll let IB guy's 6 posts speak for themselves.

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No love for the whiners

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Monday, August 5, 2002 1:54 PM
Try being stuck on DejaVu on your back with your legs above your heart... not comfortable either. I'm simply saying that the words "tortured" and "hallucinating" were a bit of a stretch to describe what you went through. A little hyperbole I guess. As for my six posts (now 7) I only take the time to respond to the most ridiculous of all threads... this was one of those times. I hope you'll never get into a serious situation like a car accident... you'll be all out of words to describe it!
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Monday, August 5, 2002 1:58 PM

Dude, Mark is the wrong person to question about a car accident.... I believe he was hit by a bus or something and broke his neck??

An hour in ANY position without moving is uncomforable. In the flying position could be considered torture.

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He let the contents of the bottle do the thinking; can't shake the devil's hand and say you're only kidding.

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Monday, August 5, 2002 2:04 PM

I'm not really going to defend myself anymore other than to say, yes, Den, I was hit by a 10-wheel lumber truck on my bicycle when i was 16. I should be a quadraplegic, at best, according to my docs.

Sorry you didn't like my choice of words. To me, it was horribly discomfortable, and I considered it to be torturous.

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No love for the whiners

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Monday, August 5, 2002 2:10 PM

That park has the worst crowds ever. There was a traffic jam walking through the midway. When i went all the lines were at least an hour or two and deja vu was said to be 5 hours.

And on a somewhat racial but true note just about every black man had a basketball. On one of there ridiculous lines i counted 301 black dudes with basketballs to 17 of everyone else with them.

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Track Record: 135 and counting.....

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Monday, August 5, 2002 2:22 PM

Class acts : IndianaBeachGuy and Patman.. remind me never to pay attention to anything either of you ever say anymore. Tell me how not to take that as a racist comment. Stick to telling us why NOT to go to HW from now on. And IBG, you're just a little bastard who judges people. *Shrugs*...

Shame that a TR thread has to be closed due to people interjecting worthless opinions about things they know ZERO about.

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Why do we fear Mack trucks, but not Mack Wild Mouse coasters?

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Monday, August 5, 2002 2:32 PM

It is unfortunate that you had such a negative experience. Several (7+) years ago, SFoG was my home park and my family of 5 (wife and three kids) had season passes. I based my opinion of SF on my experiences there. I though Six Flags was a great place. Of course, this was when Time Warner owned the place. I ignored most SF bashing here and this year I visited SFMM and SFWoA. SFMM was a real dump, and I was very disappointed (not to mention the X fiasco). SFWoA was not as bad as some say, but still not a great place. Now, BGT is my home park, and my family of 8 (new wife, same 3 kids, plus 3 more) have Gold Passes (SWFL too). BGT is a paradise, and SF only makes it and places like Holiday World and Cedar Point look like heaven on earth.

That said . . . getting stuck is bad, and is certainly deserving an exit pass or in your extreme situation, a free pass and maybe a food voucher or two. The behavior of the "suit" was deplorable. All those who commented that you should have left, missed the 10 hour drive part of your TR. If you had left, the "suits" would have won. They would have taken your money and provided nothing. I would be curious to know corporate's response to your letter/email. You will be sending one right? Obviously, local managment really didn't care. Maybe corporate will at least provide some lip service.

I have been lurking here for quite some time and your experience is one of the worst (and credible too) I have read.

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Sometimes lurkers speak . . .

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Monday, August 5, 2002 3:20 PM
I in no way agree with what John Odum did. He should have definately given something more than exit passes (what about the people on the train that used Lo-Q, that means they would have gotten crap...) BUT... I was stuck on S:UF for about 25 minutes a couple of weeks ago, and trust me, when he said it was horrible, he MEANS it. Just about 1/4 of what he had to go through, was torture for me. I probably won't have kids, and my friend (she's a girl) probably has de-formed you know whats. From my waste down, fell asleep, and it was very hard to breathe (that pretzel loop puts the vest REAL tight against your chest). I think that IndianaBeachGuys comment was very rude and inconsider it. He most definately has not been in the same position, and I've also been stuck on Dejavu, and it's a LOT more comfortable than S:UF. But I do have one question, why do you ride roller coasters if you were in such a terrible accident? Couldn't a rough coaster hurt something? (Sorry if this offends you, It wasn't meant to) And that comment that Patman007 made was not racists. I know that probably more black men like basketball in the atlanta area than white men. It's just that sorda thing. He didn't say that basketball is stupid, and only black people like it, he just said that the bouncing of the balls was annoying (and I agree) in the lines, and most of the people were black. It is just statistics! Like in Dekalb county, African American people are the majority, and in Henry County, white people are the majority. He didn't say anything that was racists, or to offend anyone. I don't think that saying there are more white people than black people in MLB offends anyone.
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Monday, August 5, 2002 3:30 PM

You would never know by looking at me that i had an accident-just one visible scar on my arm. It's perfectly safe for me to ride.

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No love for the whiners

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