SFOG Spring Fling - 3-29-2003 - AMAZING!

Associated parks:
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Monday, March 31, 2003 6:00 AM
WOW! What can I say about my first ever ACE event with ERT. I'd first like to thank Robert Ulrich and all of the others who volunteered to make this event happen. I'd also like to mention the wonderful service and welcoming that SFOG provided to ACE. They were awesome hosts. Anyway, here's how the day went:

After arriving, registering, and processing my season pass in record time (less than 5 minutes!), I met up with Bill, John, and Kari and we were off to our morning ERT on Superman and Great American Scream Machine! They were having problems with S:UF, but these were fixed as everyone was waiting for the 1st couple trains on GASM, so all was good.

We took a ride on GASM in the last car, 1st row and it was running incredibly well! The pothole at the bottom of the first drop is gone, and the brake at the end is not as violent as in the past. We then made our way over to Superman and took some rides in the back. The pretzel is still as intense as I remember. The other parks getting this clone are VERY lucky, as it is one of my favorite B&Ms out there.

After several spins on both rides, the park was open and all of us had one thing on our mind: Mindbender! We got there and found no wait, so we rode a couple times in the front and back. Lucky for us, they were running 2 trains, and this ride was running in GREAT condition! The ejector air in the front was amazing, and the g's in the "third" loop were so strong I shortened myself by an inch after each ride, or so it felt. It’s amazing that a ride can be 25 years old, yet is in better condition than a lot of recent coasters. Gotta love that Schwartzkoph German engineering.

Then we moved to Batman and took a back seat ride. I love how my legs go completely numb in the turnaround on this ride. The GP was billowing into Gotham City by this time, so we headed over to the front of the park to check out the situation there.

A 25-minute wait later we were on the back of the Cyclone. Interesting was that the lines for all the front half of the train were about 3-4 trains long, but there was nobody waiting for the back 4 rows! We jumped into the back seat of the blue train for an awesome "standing air" ride. The track work on this ride improved it's performance from last year, and the trims were on, yet did not inhibit the ride experience at all. The 4th drop on this coaster is incredible, and it also makes for a very funny on-ride photo.

Since the park was getting more crowded, we decided to rent a FastLane Q-bot. Lucky for us, I got a coupon with my pass good for a free Q-bot for up to 6 people! We grabbed the Q-bot and immediately got in the virtual queue for Cyclone again. It gave is a 20 minute wait, which is really only 15 since they let you on a little early with the Q-bot. This time we rode the red train. It was a little rougher, but the airtime on this train was violent and massive! Bill landed on the divider on the second drop, and all of us almost fell out on the 4th drop! It was great.

It was now time to eat, so we met at the Carrot Club and had barbeque, fried chicken, some nasty stuff with mayo (I hate mayo), and other goodies. The food was surprisingly good! The barbeque was my favorite. They showed us a documentary filmed during the construction of the GASM, and then gave away copies to those who answered trivia. I got a copy!! They also raffled off a walk back of S:UF and GASM and took names for a drawing for a 30-hour marathon on GASM in June.

We left the lunch area and went right over to the Scorcher, but not before stopping at the car for a sweatshirt. It got pretty cold while we were at lunch, and being from FL didn't help. I love the Scorcher. It's the best stand-up I've been on, and the back left seat is awesome. There are about 3 or 4 spots of floating air, the best being on the sideways camelback. You float in the restraint and are perpendicular to the ground. It's awesome.

After the Scorcher I talked Kari into riding Acrophobia for the 1st time. Bill and John wanted to sit this one out because they are scared of it, but Kari and I braved the element. This ride is very scary, but the drop is awesome and the landing, well, you have to sit the right way or it can be painful for males.

I survived intact and we went off to ride the Dahlonega Mine Train. I've ridden this once before, and probably will not ride it again. It's a fun little ride, but there is a forwards and backward jerking motion that was not kind to my back. After we got off, they were running empty trains, so maybe there was a problem that we were unaware of.

It was getting closer to park closing, and we wanted to get in more rides on Mindbender before our evening ERT. We get there to find an empty station house! We took 5 rides on Mindbender, most in the front. Again, the ejector air was insane!

We headed over to Batman for one last spin before meeting at the Axis Arena for our surprise ERT info. Before the conference we all knew that the evening ERT session would include the Cyclone and other "surprises". We were all not ready for what they announced. The got the "first 45 minutes or so" on the Gotham coasters, Batman and Mindbender! This was to be followed by the 2nd half of ERT on Cyclone, Scorcher, and Acrophobia!!!!! We all cheered and headed for Mindbender.

After a couple rides in the front few rows, we went over to Batman, which had no line at all. We took a couple of spins on Batman, but my legs had gone permanently numb, and everyone was marathoning on Mindbender, so we headed back over there.

The mini-Mindbender marathon (MMM) was the highlight of the day. We got about 15 rides in a row on Mindbender without getting off. These 1 and 2-click rides in the first few rows are amazing. We were mostly sitting in the 3rd or 4th row, and laughing hysterically when everyone would fly out of the train and then get slammed to the side. The 1st 4 rows were getting great air on the crests of the hills. Everyone except for our train had gathered at the Gotham entrance to go over to the other coasters, but we just kept riding. The train would return to the station, we would stay on waiting for them to tell us to get off, and then they'd ask if we wanted to go again! It was awesome! And the last few rides were in the dark, making it even better.

After this we got a couple more rides on the Scorcher, got dropped a couple times on Acrophobia (which is a lot more exciting at night), and finished the night off with about 4 or 5 rides on the Cyclone in the back of the red train. The air on the Cyclone was borderline dangerous, and we were loving every minute of it.

Well, now it's 2 days later, my shins and calves are still in excruciating pain, but it was well worth it. Thanks again to all who made the Spring Fling a possibility. Robert mentioned this was the 1st Spring Fling, and it hopefully will not be the last. SFOG may not have the tallest, fastest, whatever, but they do have wonderful guest service and a great collection of amazing rides that should not be missed!

-Matt

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Monday, March 31, 2003 3:33 PM
I'm sorry for all of you that didn't make it to the Spring Fling. We all had a great time, and the ERT was awesome. SFOG was very generous with this event, and I hope that they make the Spring Fling an annual event. Luckily, I was one of the 18 chosen to marathon on the Great American Scream Machine for 30 hours! (on June 26-27)... that's going to be an experience that I won't forget...
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Monday, March 31, 2003 3:55 PM
LOL, gotta comment on the German engineering thing... Bender has its moments... the track requires a lot of care and upkeep, and the parts are hard to get now. It had an "average" number of shutdowns last season... BTR is by far better built (although I'm not sure I can say the same about the OTHER two B&Ms at the park).

Brakes at GASM: They aren't violent if the other train clear the station before you enter those main brakes. Also, if there is only one train on the track, the brakes aren't as hard. A good crew can keep you from slamming into them. When I was down there we could prevent that from happening most of the time.

Glad you had a good time.

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

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Monday, March 31, 2003 4:46 PM
I was at the event, and not running the ride, thats why it was slamming ;). GP, you taught me well on that ride...

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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."

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Monday, March 31, 2003 4:50 PM

Matt D said:
It’s amazing that a ride can be 25 years old, yet is in better condition than a lot of recent coasters. Gotta love that Schwartzkoph German engineering.

Obivously, the brothers have something in common. Over at SFOT, Shockwave can out run Titan (or at least for most of the last 2 years). I saw Shockwave running more than Titan (which broke down at about the same time each day I was there... strange, huh?). I love the way the track looks and how it sways. Plus, it's amazing how Schwarzkopf made the supports for the rides (and who could forget those awesome trains).

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Am I really that shy?

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Monday, March 31, 2003 5:35 PM
does anyone think that on april 17 when superman opens at great adventure, that will be a little bit of people?
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Monday, March 31, 2003 6:14 PM

Matt D said:
WOW! What can I say about my first ever ACE event with ERT. I'd first like to thank Robert Ulrich and all of the others who volunteered to make this event happen.


I will have to second that. I knew it was going to be a great event but I was quite surprised to see just much more fun it got as the day went along.

Everything from the great ERT in the morning, to the excellent photo walk-back, to the surprise night ERT was first class. That night ERT was something special. I sat on Batman for 30 minutes without leaving my seat, and was still to get multiple rides on Mindbender before that part of ERT was over. That Acrophobia ERT was awesome. The view of the Atlanta skyline at night from top of that tower was priceless. That drop ride still remains the scariest drop ride I have done.

John Odum and Jim Taylor really did go out of their way to make us feel at home. I had a great time and look forward to returning for the marathon in late June. Robert really knew what we wanted for this event and he did a outstanding job with putting it together. Thanks Robert!

It was also cool to see you again Matt!

-Sean


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