SFWoA 5/5/2002 -- Close to perfect...

Associated parks:
None

Monday, May 6, 2002 9:18 PM

So loriu and I had this theory, that since Sunday was Cedar Point's opening day, SFWoA would be comparatively empty. We were SO right, it was simply amazing.

The plan was to meet Lori and her husband Steve and their daughter Jordan (age 3), along with our friend Joe and his grandson Brandon (age 5), at the water fountain just inside the park at 11:00am. Barring that, we would each have one of our FRS radios with us and try to hook up that way.

My sister Liz and I arrived at around 10:15 (having left Pittsburgh a tad later than we'd expected, to make a quick stop at Target for batteries for my FRS). Our first stop was the Season Pass center to process our passes. In spite of a short line outside, we were in and out amazingly quickly. I now have all three of my season passes processed (having done Cedar Point through the mail, and PKD on March 24th). Six Flags does this right, it would seem.

So into the park we went, where we made a quick pitstop. Coming out of the bathroom, my FRS started squaking -- Lori and Steve were here. Joe and Brandon were already in and riding the flume (something Brandon would want to do a LOT).

We quickly met up at the fountain, a tad earlier than expected, and ready to go. While waiting for everyone to gear up for the day (the Uhings needed to use the facilities, for instance), I walked over to the Guest Services window to snag a strip of parking vouchers for Liz and I to share. $20 for 5 vouchers, not a bad deal considering parking is $7.

So, then it was off to the park. First stop? The antique cars. I hadn't ridden this, and with the two young 'uns in the group, figured why not. My main comment about these is that the gas pedal is VERY stiff, to the point where it gives you a workout. Interesting...

After this, the group would part and rejoin at various times during the day (coordinating with the FRS). One parent or the other would go off riding coasters with Liz and I while the kids were occupied (in Boomtown, on Road Runner Express, on the flume, what have you).

So what did Liz and I do during all this? We rode some of the flats with them (the ferris wheel as well as the aforementioned auto and flume), checked out the tigers, ate, watched the kids on rides and playing, and most importantly, rode coasters.

Lap counts are for Liz and I, but Lori, Steve, and Joe were on some of these with us:

Batman Knight Flight (6 laps total, 1 front row, 4 back row) -- kudos to the crew on this one. The park was empty, and at times the station was deserted (like when we grabbed our front row lap -- we literally walked into the station and on in the front row!) , but they had two trains on all day. The ride was running really well. The midcourse was almost off, resulting in that good airtime pop in the back. Good stuff.

Big Dipper (2 laps total, 1 back seat & 1 ejector seat (that'd be 1.3)) -- I still love this woodie. I admit it. Not the biggest or fastest, but it's a LOT of fun. Lori rode the ejector seat by herself while Liz and I went to the back, and we could see her getting thrown around all over the place. The "ejector seat" strategy definitely seems to work for this ride. One train operation, the 2nd was on the transfer but not necessary.

Mind Eraser (1 lap, front row) -- Near the end of the day, Liz realized that she had never ridden this particular boomerang, so we hopped on to get her the credit. Another deserted station, so another unplanned front row lap. (If our count during the drive home was correct, this was Liz's 70th coaster; she hasn't kept a full track record but wanted to make sure she hadn't just accidentally made something so lame her 100th )

Raging Wolf Bobs (2 laps) -- Again, Liz, Lori, and myself hopped on for a token lap. We got a decent airtime pop on the 2nd drop, which was fun, but for the most part this ride just tossed us around like rag dolls, and I don't mean that in a good way. Lots of bouncing up and down, and shuffling back and forth. The air makes me think this ride still has potential, but it needs some serious work. When we got back to the (empty) station, Lori asked if we could go again. The op said "If you can take it, sure...", so we did. The 2nd lap chased us off, though...

Road Runner Express (1 lap) -- Jordan and Brandon rode this quite a few more times than we did, but Liz and I hopped on it once. This is a fun little "kiddie"/junior coaster. I noticed that one of the I-beams has a cutout on it for clearance, which I don't remember from last year. A few other posts have padding on them still, so I'm not sure why they'd cut this one out and not those.

Serial Thriller (1 lap) -- Liz, Lori, and I hopped on this for our token lap. Once again we walked right on with no wait. Yup, it's a ride. I had a slight headache getting off, but that went away reasonably quickly.

Superman: Ultimate Escape (6 laps total, 1 front, 3 back) -- Liz and I planned on closing out the day on this, "until they kick us out of the park". A sudden launch before I was quite ready for it (resulting in my head popping back against the seat, and a headache) put an end to that plan with all of 8 minutes of riding time left. SUE wasn't heavily staffed -- 3 operators (1 in the booth, 1 on each side to check restraints), but for the most part, they were really trying to get the trains out. One time, the guy in the booth even started counting over the PA "42, 44, 46, c'mon guys, move it, 50, 52..." I know it gets mixed reactions, but I LOVE the holding spike. I'm sure I'll love the backwards twist when I finally get to it, but S:UE is still a winner in my book.

Villain (6 laps total, 3 back) -- In my opinion, this is still SFWoA's signature ride. The best coaster in the park, and one of the better woodies anywhere. Only one train was to be seen, which wasn't a problem today but COULD be a problem if it doesn't appear soon. The back row, with some room between you and the restraint (and ops who pull instead of push to check the bar!) leads to an incredible ride.

X-Flight (1 lap, back row) -- Neither Liz nor myself were all that impressed with this ride last year, but given how empty the park was we decided to see what the line looked like. 15 minutes later, we were on, in the back row. Longest wait of the day.

I liked X-Flight MUCH better this year. I believe the big difference is that the "recline on the lift" trick is functioning. I HATED lying in the station waiting to be dispatched -- since the "lying" position is actually a bit PAST horizontal on your back, blood rushes to your head, and I found it VERY uncomfortable. Not a good way to start a ride. Now, however, that isn't an issue, and I found the entire ride more pleasant as a result. Liz, however, still didn't seem terribly thrilled with it ;)

Other comments:

Double Loop did not operate. In fact, there are no trains on it whatsoever.

A few of the food stands were still closed (most notably the Gotham City Pizza, where after some debate we'd finally agreed upon for lunch)

The park was much cleaner than I'm used to seeing it. Admittedly it wasn't crowded at all, but there were also sweepers out and about! This was very good to see and hopefully will continue.

The food on the Wildlife side is still quite good. The BBQ chicken we had for lunch was quite tasty, actually.

The tiger display is very nice. I hope these animals are treated well -- it looks like the trainers are very good with these animals, though, so I don't have too many worries in that department. Hopefully Six Flags KEEPS these trainers with these tigers, though. When we went over there, 2 of the trainers were in the enclosure with the tigers. One of them was actually sitting in the grass, with a tiger sleeping next to him with its head in his lap. He answered a few questions for us. These tigers are year-old littermates that have been with these trainers for 8-10 hours a day, every day, since they were only a few weeks old. This is why they can get so close to these animals -- the trainer with the tiger head in his lap said he'd NEVER get that close to an adult tiger that he hadn't established this kind of bond with. He also said that such a bond could take YEARS, if ever, to form with a fully-grown captive-raised animal. Hopefully Six Flags will allow this bond to continue, because the display is just amazing to see.

Overall, this was just an amazing day. The weather was perfect, but even so the midways were empty and the lines even emptier. This was a good day to go to the park with the kids and let them get some rides in (it would also have been a good day to go WITHOUT the kids and run up the lapcounts, but honestly I enjoyed this more)

-----------------
--Greg
"Are you justified in taking life to save life?" -- The Great Debate, Dream Theater
My page

*** This post was edited by GregLeg on 5/7/2002. ***

+0
Tuesday, May 7, 2002 3:15 AM

Yea, people who say SFWoA has no trashcans, I saw at lease 15 looking in one place. Trash cans everywhere.

Yesterday, the bathrooms were dirty. So we went to Customer Service. After we told them "ok, we will get that fixed now, thank you" and she got on the phone and called. Thats how it should be ran!

-----------------
BKF Rides-14
SFWoA Online
**STAFF**

*** This post was edited by SteveWoA on 5/7/2002. ***

+0
Tuesday, May 7, 2002 7:39 AM

We had a really great day and the kids had a blast. They ended up with 12 laps on RoadRunner and 7 or 8 on the long flume. It was a perfect day to have them with us as we could swap very easily because lines were non-existent.

Greg did forget to mention they got stuck on the lift hill of Villain. Maintenance was there within mintues and fixed the problem. I'd say they were stuck for maybe 5 minutes.

Ejector seat on Big Dipper by yourself is so much fun. You don't have to worry about slamming into someone, you can just let yourself go. It's a oldie but a goodie.

The new park management definately seems to be on the right track. I also noticed more trash cans and as Greg said, the sweepers were out and about all day and the park was clean. Everyone from ticket takers, security, ride-ops to food personnel were really friendly. As we were walking by a food stand, an employee was around the front cleaning up and said "Hi, how are you today" with a big smile on her face. If this trend continues, I can see us visiting more often than we originally intended.

+0
Tuesday, May 7, 2002 2:03 PM
I went Sunday also with 2 of my friends and we had a blast. I was also amazed that on such a nice day the park was so empty. Longest wait was 20 minutes for Villain as someone threw up all over the train in front of us and they had to call in a whole bunch of workers to get it all cleaned up. It was a great day and the best ride of the day had to be Villain as I found it to be running fast and wild with some good airtime.

-----------------
"I live my life a quarter mile at a time. For those ten seconds or less, I'm free." Dominic from The Fast and the Furious

+0
Tuesday, May 7, 2002 4:17 PM

loriu, I was in front seat on that train that got stuck on Villain. We were stuck for 10 and 1/2 mins. It was a blast :) The whole train was singing some song, and the people behind us were singing some "Life is like a Rollercoaster" song. I think it was country. GregLeg, was that you?

And..

We rode the log ride 7 times also, they didnt make us get off, they let us go through 5 times. I was in the back of the log with my friend and two other people. It was a guy and his girlfriend im guessing. The water cannons rock!

-----------------
BKF Rides-16
SFWoA Online
**STAFF**

+0
Tuesday, May 7, 2002 4:24 PM
That's good to hear! Although I have had bad experiences there (no soap in the main bathroom at 11:30 am!!!) I want nothing more than to see them do well and turn into a real class act. I hope they keep up the good work

-----------------
- Peabody

+0
Tuesday, May 7, 2002 4:43 PM

SteveWoA said:

The whole train was singing some song, and the people behind us were singing some "Life is like a Rollercoaster" song. I think it was country. GregLeg, was that you?



Nope. I'm not exactly the country type :)

-----------------
--Greg
"Are you justified in taking life to save life?" -- The Great Debate, Dream Theater
My page

+0
Tuesday, May 7, 2002 4:51 PM
Good TR but what is the ejector seat?
+0
Tuesday, May 7, 2002 4:58 PM

Some coasters have an "ejector seat" in the back row of the first car. With a long train going over short hills, the front of the train has lost almost no speed going over the hill, so the back row of that first car can get MAJOR airtime.

For Big Dipper, that's car 1, row 3, hence the "1.3" note I used above. Other coasters that come to mind that I've experienced ejector air on would be Magnum at Cedar Point (1.3), Phoenix at Knoebel's (1.3), Hurler at PKD (1.2), and Thunder Run at SFKK (1.2).

-----------------
--Greg
"Are you justified in taking life to save life?" -- The Great Debate, Dream Theater
My page

+0
Tuesday, May 7, 2002 6:40 PM
I also noticed that the employees have a better attitude this year and are much nicer. The park is, as people noticed, much cleaner. I also enjoyed how X-Flight reclines on the lift and I noticed that ST got new pads for the OTSR. It make me actually want to re-ride it in the same visit! Overall, I had a great visit and I'm glad to see you guys did, too.

-----------------
mmm, roller coaster
(Homer Simpson)

+0
Wednesday, May 8, 2002 7:15 PM
I really liked SFWoA the lines weren't bad at all when I went on a Saturday in August which is a very good sign. I'm glad to see capacity is doing better than it is here in SFNE. However, I disagree with your ride reviews but that's just my opinion. I didn't like Villain that much at all. It was good but I didn't think it was great and it was also painful and this comes from the man who rides the Riverside Cyclone or SFNE Cyclone quite often. I thought Big Dipper was a much better woody. In fact I thought the Dipper was up there with Boulder Dash. I liked B:KF but I like our Batman floorless a little better. I found SUE to be absolutely excellent and X-Flight to be a gimmick ride with nothing spectacular about it... in fact I found it to be rather boring. But that's just my opinoin. Wildlife side also had excellent food and shows and I hope they keep this up. Great potential with that park.
+0
Wednesday, May 8, 2002 7:19 PM
Hey Gregleg, I was the op at RWB who said that and was letting you reride! I knew you guys were from coasterbuzz cause i remembered you from last year at X-Flight on one of you had a CB t-shirt on. Thats the only reason i said if you can take it, i mean its a rough ride.

-----------------
SFWoA ATL in 2002!

+0
Wednesday, May 8, 2002 7:30 PM

you people complain of way too many headaches. im almost thinking its a "cool" trend where people are just describing "rough" coasters as giving them headaches, when im quite sure they didnt have a single ache...

me? i have NEVER had a headache from a coaster, NEVER (and ive ridden revolution many times, the infamous "headache giver").

the reason i say this is because quite frankly its insulting to me when somebody says a coaster gave them pain if it really didnt, thats just totally uncalled for. im sure the designer feels marvelous about those uneccesary comments...

but...if these headaches are ligit, preach on.

-----------------
"you all laugh because im different, well i laugh because YOUR all the same"

+0
Wednesday, May 8, 2002 7:42 PM

Well then you're lucky. If someone says they have a headache, they MEAN it.

XFlight -- thanks, man. I didn't realize you were a Buzzer, cool. Two was enough, but the air was cool. The CB shirt last year was PROBABLY Lori, if I remember that day correctly, but I may have had mine on then too.

-----------------
--Greg
"Are you justified in taking life to save life?" -- The Great Debate, Dream Theater
My page

*** This post was edited by GregLeg on 5/8/2002. ***

+0
Wednesday, May 8, 2002 8:31 PM

Yo XFLIGHT...I was on RWB Sat. night and me and my friends went around like 50 times...was wondering if you recognized me by my pic...next time say hi.

I had a great time, and the BKF crew was doing great for the first day...I bet they could have ran three trains...one was going down the midcourse drop when one was on the bottom of the lift.

-----------------
"Villain-Once You Drop, The Fun Don't Stop!"~My No Limits Designs...http://coastergames.net/author.php?author=BKF%20Master

+0
Friday, May 10, 2002 3:34 AM

How were the crowds? I will be going on June 6th (Thurs I belive) before coastermainia. Will I have any luck with shorter lines during the week? Because I went last year on a weekend lines were extremely busy.

-----------------
Valleyfair Security 2002! 8Years working at Valleyair :)! SRM, Coastermainia CP, Kings Island June 9th, Timbers Fest. May29th-June10th less than 3weeks :)!

+0
Friday, May 10, 2002 5:46 AM
As I thought I made abundantly clear in my report, the park was empty. However, that has no bearing on what the crowds will be like the Thursday before CoasterMania.

-----------------
--Greg
"Are you justified in taking life to save life?" -- The Great Debate, Dream Theater
My page

+0
Friday, May 10, 2002 8:42 AM

The Beast said:

How were the crowds? I will be going on June 6th (Thurs I belive) before coastermainia. Will I have any luck with shorter lines during the week?

All parks tend to be more crowded after Memorial Day weekend. Take that for what it's worth...

-----------------
-Rob Vaccaro


+0
Friday, May 10, 2002 10:41 PM
I'll be heading to SFWoA on June 12th. I've never been to this park before so I'm really looking foward to it.


-------------
TITAN RULES!

+0

You must be logged in to post

POP Forums - ©2018, POP World Media, LLC
Loading...