SFOG April 6, 2002 - First Public Train for S:UF

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Sunday, April 7, 2002 3:35 PM
Hello All. I arrived at the park at about 9:00 AM with my already processed pass and got about 4th row of parking. I was one of the first people at the turnstiles at the park's enterance. I waited about 30minutes until they opened the gate. The park opens at 10:00, but they open the Promenade, Cyclone, and Scorcher at 9:30 AM while closing off the rest of the park. I took a quick ride in Cyclone's back seat, and it was great (First ride of the morning with Trims on and I was still getting good airtime at the end). After exiting Cyclone, I then joined the crowd that had gathered in front of Acrophobia, which was roped off under the Train track. The rope would not open until about 10:00.

At 10:00, the security guard removed the rope, but told us all to stay still. Then he just said "GO!" The "Running of the Bulls" began to S:UF. I'm in no shape for the long sprint, so I was lagging behind, but while most people went past Deja Vu through Lickskillet, I took the Carousel Hill Shortcut and made it to the roped off S:UF entrance at about 10:02, and I was about the 10th person there.

There were a bit of entusiasts up there with me, I saw ACE, SFMM, PKI, and of course SFOG clothing. We talked about coasters for about the next two hours, which included making fun of the lazy security guards, talking about other parks and rides, taking pictures of maintenance guys on the lift hill, lots of good stuff. One person had a cell-phone and called Guest Relations from the queue line to ask when it will be open! Finally, after about eight test runs (some with people) with a couple long delays there were finally two trains in two stations, waiting for their first public passengers. They opened up the queue line and we were told to walk slowly to the station, so we did.

The queue is nicely themed, but we had no time to enjoy it. The landscape was pretty ugly, but I'm surprised how far they came after how it looked opening weekend. When we reached the station, we had a chocie of left or right, and I had a 50% chance of being first train. I chose left, and I was right. The four first people took front, so I got 2nd row. I locked my comfy restraint, the shoulder vest locked, our side gave the thumbs up first, and we tilted, and we were off on the first train ever at 11:50 AM on 4-6-2002.

The ride was so overwhelming and surreal, I hardly remember it. I just remember that it was outstanding, fast, and intense. The pretzel loop is very intense. At the top you are thrown against your back and pushed harder and harder the entire inversion, until you float back into the flying position at the top. The ensuing turnaround is fun, as I could see the entire Metropolis Park section watching us, the first riders, in awe. You are taken through a number of turns, a short tunnel (which you can't even notice) into the surprisngly abrupt inline twist. I reccomend the Superman position, hands out all the way, for the enitre ride. We cheered and clapped for the queue line below us as we were on the brake run. It was amazing. I congratulated John Odum (park VP and GM), but did not see Mr. Mabillard. I was so psyched by the ride, I convinced myself to buy the expensive on-ride photo. The camera is at a bad angle and covers half of your face, the printer printed it very bright, and they put it in a completely white, blank sleeve. (My S:ROS photo from SFDL has ride logo, ride stats, and color).

I then lined up for Deja Vu without a Q-bot (BIG mistake). The time between each dispatch is 6 minutes (I timed it) plus many other delays. During one delay, a maintenance guy had to run back to the "Deja Vu Trailer" to get a wrench. Another time the ride stalled on the second lift, and was brought down for about ten minutes before the train got to experience the second half of the ride. After 2 hours I made it to the station, however. Robert Ulrich (ACE Rep.) got right in front of me with his Q-bot, but I was still just hoping to ride. I got on and was somewhat disappointed. The ride was still great, especially the drops, but the ride was much rougher than last year. Perhaps I had a bad seat with bad wheels, but I found this ride worse than Vekoma's boomerangs, and almost as bad as Ninja or their SLCs. It gave me a headache. Or perhaps it just seemed rough after an extremely smooth Superman.

Anyways, after my two different two-hour waits, it was time for me to go home and go to work. I usually avoid Saturday's, but today's ride on S:UF was an exception.

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"Hello to Yogi, Hello to Booboo, Hello to Scooby Doo. Barney and Fred say hi..." --King's Dominion's Singing Mushrooms

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Sunday, April 7, 2002 3:56 PM

awesome trip report astro....im going to SFOG on a friday...June 7th. im hoping, like VA, that GA schools are still in session at that time...means shorter lines but it doesnt matter..i have to ride SUF and Deja Vu...anyways, thanks again. ill check into that Qbot thing if i find out that that friday is summer vacation

Tim (who very distinctly remembers the Singing Mushrooms at PKD....its been years since they graced that little stage in front of the former Hanna Babara Land Sky Ride station, but they are not forgotten, haha)

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"hi, my name is Tim, and im a coasterholic"...."Hi Tim!!" hehe

*** This post was edited by vacoasterfreak on 4/7/2002. ***

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Sunday, April 7, 2002 4:02 PM
Sorry, but the last day of school for the SFOG area is May 24th (shool starts August 12th) which reflects the park's daily operation schedule. If you could, I'd visit May 17th or 24th, the only school days that SFOG is open to the public.

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My two favorite coasters are named Superman.

*** This post was edited by astrosgp on 4/7/2002. ***

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