So, the weekend in a nutshell:
Friday night: Weather delays and connecting through Filthydelphia Airport (that's a knock on the airport, not the city! Well, ok, maybe a slight dig at the city too :) ) do not a good combo make. Still, we (meaning Tim Melago, Derek Ruth, and myself) arrived in ATL not much later than we were supposed to, and as our pilot put it, "We're getting in just ahead of some bad storms, and they've given us a landing slot, so hang on, we're going in while we can!"
Superman: One courtesy visit during the washed-out morning ERT session was enough. Flying coasters are moderately interesting, but there are so many other styles I prefer.
Great American Scream Machine: Our other ERT ride. Again, we only took one lap on this, but it was running better than I'd remembered. While walking the queue for this, Bethtoons gave me a call to let me know that Goliath was actually testing, so Derek and I headed over that way next.
Goliath: After an extended wait in the station for storms to blow over, where I saw many faces I hadn't seen in ages, it was finally time for a Goliath spin.
After the one Goliath ride (don't worry, more to come later!) Derek and I took off for a credit run to Lake Winnie. Tim, who'd been there in the past, stayed behind at SFoG with Mike Saunders. I'm sure they had a fine time, but I think Derek and I got the better experience.
Derek got us to Lake Winnie in 2 hours (including a stop for lunch). The mouse (Wild Lightnin') is painful, and the Wacky Worm is, well, a token for-the-credit ride, but Cannonball (3 laps) was a nice surprise. I'd heard this ride had potential, but that it wasn't running well lately. Hah -- while not a Top 10 ride, it's a damn fine midsized woodie.
We also hit Oh!Zone (their new-for-2006 drop tower), Boat Chute, Castle (a fairly lame dark ride), and an insanely-run (I mean that in a good way!) Orbiter. Sadly, we didn't see any signs of a Fly-O-Plane. Was this taken out, or did we really somehow manage to miss it?
By now, it was about 3:30, and time to head back out. Not directly to Six Flags, though. Oh no, first we had to get some real food. We went to Five Seasons. Highly recommended. I can't drink beer due to a funky food allergy, but they had Strongbow Cider on tap (yay! I had two :) ), and Derek sampled two of the beers. Derek had the Spicy Lobster Roll and I had the Edemame for our appetizers, and we both opted for the Salmon with Sticky Rice and Thai Curry Sauce for dinner (this matched well with the Strongbow Cider, which is crisper and less sweet than the Woodchuck one usually finds when they ask about cider).
They also had a nice looking selection of Port's, but I was too full after dinner, and we WERE headed back to the park after all. Oh, I should also mention that the service was very attentive and efficient, and the owner even came over to ask us how we were doing. AND when I mentioned that his beer sounded great but I couldn't have them, he demonstrated an impressive knowledge of what "gluten intolerance" was all about. Nice touch.
Anyway, back to the park. Derek and I knocked off quick token laps on Georgia Cyclone (which is still a great ride, although it's running a bit rough this year), and the credit run on Canyon Blaster (not a bad ride for a "kiddie" coaster!) Oh, we also hit Monster Plantation before heading over to the reception/show. The bottles of water they were handing out was a welcome touch.
Then it was off to the ERT. 5 laps on the absolutely off-the-hook Mindbender ("let's get bent!") and a front-row ride on Batman. Then Derek and I were headed back to Goliath, where we'd spend the rest of the evening. 17 laps later (for a total of 18 on the day), including the last train of the evening, and we were very happy campers indeed. Holy...crap...
Sunday morning saw us returning to the park before heading out to the airport for our flights home. This time, Tim hung with us the whole time.
We started with Goliath, knocking off two more quick laps (including the front seat). Once again, wow. That made for a total of 20 laps for the weekend, not a bad total.
Next it was over to Mindbender, for two more laps that proved that Saturday night wasn't just a random fluke. Another lap on Batman as well while we were in the area.
Then it was off to Deja Vu. What were we thinking? Well, Tim still needed the credit, so even though I'd already ridden it (in fact, although I've seen all three US installations, this is the only one I've seen RUNNING) we decided to ride it when we saw how short the line was.
Ouch. This piece of dren dropped DOWN on my list. What were THEY thinking? Oh, right, it's Vekoma, they don't think things through, they just implement...
Um, let's see, what else did we do? Quick lunch at the mediocre Mexican place (which to its credit has a nice ordering system). Derek and I TRIED to ride Acrophobia, and I was once again denied. EVERY time I've been to the park, I've been unable to ride. THIS time was the most annoying yet, though. We walked into the empty station, standing at the gate, to watch the attendants look at us, then continue to close off all the empty seats (over half the ride) anyway, and send it up. It goes up, it comes down, those riders get off, and..."We're sorry, ladies and gentlemen, Acrophibia is now closed for an indefinite period of time!" Well, screw it.
Two more laps on Georgia Cyclone, and a courtesy visit to Georgia Scorcher (which I DO like, but there's so many better rides there), and we were off to the airport.
The plane was late getting in, and Tim and I were going to miss our connection through PHL for Pittsburgh, but once again USAirways showed they're willing to take care of their elites. They could have easily tried to route us on one of their own flights through Charlotte, or a later connection from PHL to PIT, but instead USAirways put me on a direct flight to Pittsburgh on Delta (a rebooking like that costs USAirways a pretty penny, so cudos to them for doing it), and put Tim on it with me when I asked. It's rare that getting bumped is a pleasant experience, but in this case it was a welcome end to a great weekend.
A totally wicked awesome weekend was had by me as well. Finally after about 17 years of wanting to visit this park, I made it down there. I've had my eye on Mind Bender and its "Three German loops" for those 17 years and had heard that it isn't quite what it used to be. Despite that, it totally lived up to what I expected. During the evening ERT, I had to pull myself out of the backseat (with no one in line to take my seat) and finally head over to Georgia Cyclone and Goliath (with a couple of Acro drops between).
Due to the crowds, morning ERT being rained out and a 2-hour wait for my second Vu, we didn't get to ride Goliath, Acro or Cyclone until the 11pm ERT. Like I had been planning since it opened all those years ago, I took my first ride on Cyclone in the very last seat. Holy crap! After that surprise EJECTOR air on the 4th drop, I pulled my seatbelt even tighter than it already was. Brian (HomeyG) had warned us that it was running rough, but it didn't bother me. It was the fun kind of rough---uber intense and airtime-a-plenty. I loved it. I can only imagine how great it could be without the trims and the roughness.
The time is now 11:30 PM, and we have yet to ride Goliath. That would soon change, but first, we stopped at Acro and it was a good decision. Wow! I was blown away by Lake Winne's new drop ride on Friday--it just feels like it isn't going to stop in time, but Acro wa wicked awesome as well. "Drop goes the weasel." By the way, Lake WInne was a blast also, but Greg pretty much summed it up.
Finally we made it back to Goliath and took our first lap in row 7 or 8. Brian hopped on with us to play tour guide for our first ride (He REALLY loves Goliath). He called out just about every single element along the course. "LEFT TURN!" (the helix) LOL. For the rest of ERT, we kept calling out the left turn. We never rode in the front row, but did snag row 9 at least once. I much preferred the back. Oh yeah, so like Goliath is "all that and a bag of chips." I was quite impressed. After about 30 minutes of riding it, Beth and I couldn't take anymore and sat out the last 20 minutes of ERT. It was a truly exhausting ride. Good stuff!
We only got one ride on everything else except Batman which we had to get an encore lap on, as it was just flying during ERT. GASM was much better than I expected--some nice air in the back. I hope to get some night rides on this when I return in June. The original Superman flyer was quite enjoyable--better than SFGAm's anyway. The mine train was great. Canyon Blaster was an exceptional family coaster, Vu was great, despite the long wait, Scorcher was great, although it rubbed my ears a little much and "Ninja Kick to the Head" was even enjoyable...for me anyway, as I'm tall enough to prevent my head from suffering. We decided to call Ninja "Chuck Norris: The Ride." :) We also rode the freefall (I love first gen Intamin freefalls), the dark ride (cheezey in a good way, and it was a boat ride, so bonus points there), the sky ride and the log flume--great log flume for a non-mountain-themed ride. I hope to take in the rest of the park on my return visit in June. I loved what I did get to ride. After those late ERT rides, SFOG surpassed SFOT as my favorite Six Flags park and is now one of my top 10 or so favorite parks overall.
I had a blast hanging out with a bunch of my coaster friends as usual--Beth, Nicole, Tina, Bill, John. It was also great to meet John's friend, Patrick and share our appreciation for the under-appreciated Georgia Cyclone. Wow!
To sum up:
I love Mind Bender. I love Georgia Cyclone. I love Goliath. I love Six Flags Over Georgia. Must sleep now. *** Edited 4/24/2006 1:53:54 PM UTC by Acoustic Viscosity***
No derogatory comment about Monster Plantation are permitted here. Please edit your post.
Sorry I missed you yesterday. See you in 11 days though!
What's this about a rumor of the Plantation being removed? I have heard nothing of such nature, a little re-theme chatter but that was just an idea that the park has had for years that hasn't ever really developed. Besides, it's still really popular and there's a reason its on the Flash Pass system.
Great report, I probably met you but just didn't know it ;)
Spring Fling is one of my favorite Regional Events. Actually, it's one of the best ever! It was great hanging out with Bill, April, Pete, Matt, Beth, John, Patrick, Brian and co., Kristin, Jeff, and Nicole. You guys rock!
Goliath was pure bliss during nightime ERT. That's all I can say. It's ranked in my top ten now. I just need to rearrange my top ten, and decides who gets booted out. ;-)
Mindbender was running on crack mode as well that night. WOW!
I missed Scorcher, Ninja, and Cyclone just because I don't care for pain. ;-) Been there, done that.
The Wile E. Coyote coaster was probably the biggest surprise of the day. For a family/kiddy coaster it packs a punch!
It was an awesome time, and once the weather let up it was even better! It was a hell of a drive for me but it was well worth it!
Too bad everyone missed my Skycoaster trip with John and Nicole. It was a riot!
Can't wait till next year!
*** Edited 4/24/2006 4:23:14 PM UTC by coasterqueenTRN***
Too bad you missed Acro, it was open during evenng ERT ya know ;) (and had no more than 10 riders at a time)
Oh, we were well aware that Acro was open during the ERT, but we just couldn't drag ourselves away from that sweet Goliath tossing...
Mindbender is a true gem. :-)
I easily could have spent another 2 hours riding, that park just *delivers* ERT sessions!
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