Six days late, $19 short - SFGAm (5/28/04)

Associated parks:

Olsor's avatar
I was supposed to have been in attendance at Coasterbuzz Con at Great America this past Saturday, but the forces of nature conspired against me, as well as United Airlines, and I finally made it into Chicago a day late, missing the entire event. Alas, I concocted a brilliant scheme… wherein I would simply drive up to Great America one day this week… I mean, I came this far, and I have a season pass… I might as well go.

So anyway, I got to the park around 9:30 this morning, and the weather couldn’t have been better. It was on the cool side - more like autumn than late spring – but the sun was out, and there were only a few puffy white clouds to break up the azure monotony of the skies. I was once in a tribute band called Azure Monotony… but I digress.

In honor of the holiday weekend, I present to you my hot dog scale. Besides, everyone’s probably sick of reading SFGAm TRs by now…

Box Score (in order ridden, more or less):

Raging Bull – fun as ever, good air. Big, plump, juicy hot dog.

Viper – disappointing! Gave a wild ride, but minimal air. Maybe I was stapled? Maybe it wasn’t warmed up yet? Have had much better rides in the past. Hot dog with a stale bun.

Demon – oldie and a goodie. Hot dog.

The Whizzer – got tossed around a little! Classic, classic ride. Hot dog.

Giant Drop – only running three sides, but dispatches were quick. Fun as always until I, and seemingly all the other men on the ride, experienced great discomfort during braking. Never happened to me before, but I’m even more wary of riding Acrophobia now. Cocktail wiener.

V2 – first ride in the rear was as good as always. One of my sleeper favorites. Hot dog with mustard. Then I noticed the line really dropping off, so I went for a double dip, and aimed for the front row this time. YIKES! And I thought the back row was good! I was absolutely blown away by my front seat ride… the cool air in my face, actually twisting on the front spike… just amazing. Hot dog with the works.

S:UF – more intense than I remember, but that could be due to me finally riding in row 8. I thought the pretzel loop was going to bust a rib! From now on, only row 7 and under. Flattened hot dog.

American Eagle – unfortunately, only the red (forward) side was running, but it did not disappoint. It put the Viper to shame today. Great pops of air, terrific speed, plenty of out of control feeling, and so much fun. Ballpark frank, baby.

Raging Bull (redux) – Aloha means hello and goodbye. Big, plump, juicy hot dog.


  • Batman – looks great with the new paint job, but been there, done that.
  • Déjà Vu – down for the early part of the day, but the line got ugly as soon as it opened. Had fun on it last year, but opted to reacquaint myself with Eagle instead. Overheard some adolescent describe Déjà Vu as “the pimpest ride ever.” Note to Six Flags: you have your new slogan.

Notes: I’ve been going to Great America for 16 years now, but I was just blown away by how green the park looks. Trees are just filling in every blank space in the landscape. It’s really become a beautiful park. Several times, I noticed the smell of flowers overpowering all the smells of candy and smoke and everything else.

Ragin’ Cajun and King Chaos were still sitting on the bench, but they looked ready to go any day now. The new Mardi Gras re-theming is nice… kind of reminds me of Bourbon Street at 10 am… only 100 times cleaner. Superman sticks out like a sore thumb amidst the new decorations, but what can you do? He moves merchandise. King Chaos does not.

Crowds and lines were decent, considering the holiday weekend. There was one obnoxious teen girl squad in line for the Eagle, but that was about it for the day. Saw lots of park security, and ride ops were doing a great job all around.

Final thoughts: you can never have too many yellow coasters, unless you have three. Because that’s too many. *** Edited 5/29/2004 4:33:12 AM UTC by Olsor***
I only got 1 ride on VIPER this season (during Coasterbuzz Con), but I have to agree with you... wild ride - but minimal air. It's actually smoother than ever... but perhaps the smoothness is killing the insane airtime that enthusiasts seem to love. I noticed a lack of airtime on AMERICAN EAGLE as well...

I'm a little concerned that the unfortunate incident at SFNE has affected the entire Six Flags chain. The trim brakes on most coasters seem to be "trimming" more than they have in the past this year. It's especially noticeable on the American Eagle helix.

I completely agree with your reviews of V2 & RAGING BULL... but I wish you had the chance to ride DEJA VU - it is fantastic this year...

BullGuy's avatar
Viper was hauling butt towards the beginning of the season. Over the years it's been pretty consistant, so while I had some dissapointing rides on it last time I went (C-Buzz Con) , I think it'll come through again as the season warms up.

Never Has Gravity Been So Uplifting.

Olsor's avatar
I'm sure Viper will warm up as the season progresses. I've never had a bad ride on it... yesterday was just a little low on air and wildness.

I was totally surprised by Eagle, though. I've had terrific rides on it before, but I don't think I'd ridden it in at least 3 or 4 years. It was just fantastic. Appropriately enough, though, the blue side was running before the park opened, and a red train was stuck on the anti-rollbacks on the helix. I have no idea why they ended up running only the red side. But the trims were on light... the helix was approaching Beast intensity toward the end.

Forgot to mention that I skipped Iron Wolf, too, but that kind of goes without saying.

Olsor said:

Ragin’ Cajun and King Chaos were still sitting on the bench, but they looked ready to go any day now.

It seems you missed it by one day. :)

Ragin' Cajun opened to the public yesterday. King Chaos, however, is still sitting dormant.


Actually, Cajun was open for an hour Friday night.
Viper was outstanding on my two rides opening day in the cold so recent reports are a little surprising!

^To the person about the trimming and SFNE. I can almost guarantee you that SFNE has nothing to do with the trims at SFGAm! all depends on what day you hit it on, could be fast, could be slow. Plus, i dont see how slowing a ride a few mph would actually help anything. *** Edited 6/4/2004 6:44:30 PM UTC by SFGAm Viper***

SFGAm Viper
The best rating must be a Chicago-style hot dog, right?

[url=""]My blog[/url] You said, "I'm gonna run you down." I heard, "I'm an orangutan."
I have to agree with the recent Viper reports, my past two rides (cbuzz con & memorial day) have been very low on airtime. Which is the exact opposite of how it was running the first 3 weeks of the season.

Kick The Sky's avatar
I am here to report that the air is back in Viper. Rode it today in the "magic seat" and nearly got launched out of the ride. In fact it was one of the first times in a long time that I had to grab the seat back in front of me because I was getting so much airtime. As I put it to Shannon, "it's just one of those rare rides where everything goes right."

Certain victory.

Olsor's avatar
Glad the air was back, KTS! And for those not acquainted with Viper yet, keep in mind that you can never really have a bad ride on Viper. Just a less insane ride. When Viper's hauling, you'll get air on every part of that ride. Wild, body-tossing air.

One thing I'd recommend for SFGAm newbies, though - ride Viper before you ride Raging Bull, and then be sure to ride Viper at night. Viper is so well-maintained that it almost doesn't feel like a wooden ride.

P.S. Den - is there any other way to eat a hot dog than Chicago style? I think not. :)

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