SFoT 8-2: Texas really IS bigger!

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Sunday, August 3, 2003 1:00 PM
I'm here on a 2 week business trip in the D/FW metroplex area and eagerly awaited my first visit to SFoT. My partner arrived Friday afternoon and we spent the day seeing the sights and preparing for our ultimate no-no: Saturday at a major amusement park.

Arrived: 1pm, after driving the 20 miles from the hotel, Jeff realizes he forgot his season pass at the hotel. So we go back to the hotel, get the pass and grab some lunch.

First Impression: Very pretty park. Well landscaped and themed. Very family oriented atmosphere, enthusiastic crowds and curteous employees made me smile and enjoy the day that much more.

Rides: La Vibora - My first open air bobsled coaster. Very fun with some nice lateral air on the changes in directions. Brake runs hurt, though - probably not much of a way to correct for that. 6/10

Texas Giant - Being an avid wood fan, I was greatly anticipating this ride. First ride was in next to last seat. Some fun moments, but a little rough towards the end. Second ride was next to front seat - WOW that ride blew us away. Great airtime, fun laterals, serious speed. This is what a big wooden twister can be! 8.5/10

Texas Titan - After wandering around the pathway by the Giant a few times trying to figure out how to get to the ride, we made our way down the long path to the entrance for Titan. First ride was back seat - I loved this ride. Wonderful 1st and 2nd drops, intense helices, nice speed throughout. Front seat ride was even better. Awesome air on the 3rd hill and the falling out sensation coming off the MCBR scared the crap out of me. Overall, the highlight of my trip! 10/10

Shockwave - Again, taking a few minutes to figure out how to get to it, we made our way and hopped on for a front seat ride. This ride may be my biggest case of anticipointment to date. Mindbender at SFoG is my #3 at that park and I was hoping Shockwave would deliver the same thrill. Alas, not to be - the loops were nice, but the rest of the ride really didn't do much for me. 6/10

Mine Train - We hit this one because it's a classic. Fun little ride, nice theming and I loved the tunnels. Definately a must ride for this park to get a sense of how far the coasters have come. 5/10

Mr. Freeze - We entered Gotham with one purpose - Mr. Freeze! Got in line - the mercifully air conditioned queue house was one of my favorite things about it! :) Made our way to the station and got a front and back seat ride. This ride is insane. Watching it run the course, it doesn't look too intense, but it really packs a punch. The airtime going into and out of the top hat way very unexpected, and the lim boost up the spike is one of the most bizarre sensations I've encountered on a coaster. SF should put a few more of these babies in their parks. 9.5/10

Flashback - We only did this for the credit, and because Jeff had never been on a sit down boomerang before. the forward ride was fun, but the return trip was quite the headbanger. No surprises here. 4/10

Judge Roy Scream - Again, I love the wood, so I was looking forward to this one as well. Sadly, there was not but 1 pop of air the whole time, and we were in the ejector seat. Still, it's a good looking ride and it's position by the lake makes fo great photos. 6/10

Runaway Mountain - looked like a short line, so we decided to give it a whirl. After an hour and fifteen minute wait (the longest of the trip) we finally got to board. I'm not sure what kind of coaster this is, but the darkness really adds a lot to the experience. Not worth the wait, though, but more on that later...5/10

We skipped Batman because we've ridden the one at SFoG and the line was way long. Also didn't get a chance to hit Superman - lines were at 1.5 to 2 hours all day - new ride syndrome, I suppose. I don't handle flats too well, to we skipped most of those too. We did go to the top of the Oil Derrick for some nice arial pictures of the park.

Other aspects of the park:

Good - Nice theming and landscaping - more beautiful than even SFoG. Employees were nice, crowds generally happy. Great selection of rides.

Bad - Pathways are entirely too narrow for a park this size. Getting through the crowds was the hardest part of the day. It's also a difficult park to navigate. Too many dead ends, small paths that are the only way out of a section, too few signs pointing the way to the attractions. A little logistical clean up is in order.

Ugly - We had 2 negative experiences with the park on this day. The first was while waiting for Runaway Mountain. The wait was incredibly long for such a small ride. We got to the station and realized why. Q-Bot. The ride ops were filling trains with Q-bot people and sending nobdy from the regular line. When we were the next to board, we saw 3 trains run with exclusively Q-bot riders. I think they need to perhaps have 1 car for Q-bot and the other 2 for the line. All the other rides had great procedures for letting in Q-bot folks, but this one had no discernable procedure and made what could have been a 30-45 min wait over an hour.

The other problem was while waiting for Titan - some kids crawled under the railing to meet up with their friends. I told them that I would be letting the ride op know and that we had seen someone removed from he line for that earlier that day. I took Moosh's advice and got some other witnesses to tell the person who monitored the q-bot merge point about the kids. She said that she couldn't do anything about it. I asked her if she couldn't go tell the kids to leave and she said she wasn't allowed to leave her spot. She also had no way to communicate with the station crew. She did let me go on up to the station to tell a ride op there, but getting the attention of a busy ride op across a crowded platform is difficult. If that employee can't do anything about a line jumper or leave their spot, what help can they be if there was a real problem? Anyway, we let Guest Services know about our day - good and bad - on the way out.

All in all I had a great time. I will definately be coming back to this park, and it has unseated SFoG as my favorite SF park.

Fafolguy
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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
*** This post was edited by Fafolguy 8/3/2003 5:11:02 PM ***
*** This post was edited by Fafolguy 8/3/2003 5:12:21 PM ***

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Sunday, August 3, 2003 4:14 PM
Great TR, Fofolguy. I just went to SFOT for the first time today, and got the same impressions as you. Very nice park, but the most glaring complaint is definitely the hidden ride entrances.

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Come on fhqwhgads!

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Sunday, August 3, 2003 4:55 PM
Does Freeze have lap bars?

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"No, it offends me as a comedian."

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Sunday, August 3, 2003 5:24 PM
It sure does, and they're shibby.

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Come on fhqwhgads!

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Sunday, August 3, 2003 6:58 PM
Great trip report! I'm glad you enjoyed the park. I must agree about the deadend/hidden paths... there are several of them. The first time I went to the park (several years ago) I couldn't find Judge and got turned around in the Texas section.

Also, did you just ride in the front on Shockwave? If so, try the back on your next trip. :) And how do the G's in the loops compare to Mindbender's?

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I lied.

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Sunday, August 3, 2003 7:30 PM
Ahh...the deadends of SFOT. By the second day I was there, I could've made money escorting people around the park. You could just see it in their eyes. Whole groups of people would start walking one way, look confused, and then walk the other way. I can't believe how long you waited for Runaway Mountain. When I was there in May of last year, it was a walk-on. Did you ride Mini Mine-Train? It's better than Mine Train IMO. I"m glad you loved Freeze. Out of everyone on our trip (11 in all), only one liked Titan better than Freeze.
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If you have a problem with clones, the solution is real simple—Stop traveling.
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Sunday, August 3, 2003 7:51 PM

Intamin Fan said:
Did you ride Mini Mine-Train? It's better than Mine Train IMO.

Are you serious?

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I lied.

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Monday, August 4, 2003 6:47 PM
Craig - lap bars only on Freeze, bu tthey have those wierd ankle bars on them like the other premier retro-fits. Still allowed for a lot more freedom and i'm sure less headbanging.

Shy One - yes, only one front seat ride. The g's in the loops were a little longer in duration than Mindbender's, but didn't seem as strong. It also seems like Mindbender hits them a lot faster than Shockwave.

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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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Wednesday, August 6, 2003 7:46 PM
The regular mine train tracks horribly and is very rough, but it is the first one ever made.
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If you have a problem with clones, the solution is real simple—Stop traveling.
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Thursday, August 7, 2003 1:10 PM

Fafolguy said:


Shockwave - Again, taking a few minutes to figure out how to get to it, we made our way and hopped on for a front seat ride. This ride may be my biggest case of anticipointment to date. Mindbender at SFoG is my #3 at that park and I was hoping Shockwave would deliver the same thrill. Alas, not to be - the loops were nice, but the rest of the ride really didn't do much for me. 6/10


You really need to ride near the back, the airtime is insane.

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Thursday, August 7, 2003 1:15 PM

Fafolguy said:


Runaway Mountain - looked like a short line, so we decided to give it a whirl. After an hour and fifteen minute wait (the longest of the trip) we finally got to board. I'm not sure what kind of coaster this is...

It is Premier's version of an SDC / S&MC Windstorm / Hurricane (mirror image). Sorry to hear that you had to wait so long, I don't understand how there could be so many fastlane people all at the same time.


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