We left Cincinnati about 10am and on the agenda for friday was a short stop at SFKK to get our 45.99 season SF passes as we are going to probably three other SF parks this season. The plan was basically to get in, take a quick couple of rides on Thunder Run and Twisted Twins and get out as we have been very dissapointed in SFKK on our last two visit.
We arrive at SFKK about 12:45 after stopping at a Louisville Kroger to buy our passes and pick up some lunch items for saturday and sunday morning which we didn't need much cause HW stuffed the Enthusiast on this trip with great food!
We enter SFKK and find one gate open for about 50 in line and I kinda looked at my brother Rob ans said here we go again, Well they opened another gate and I found the hold up was metal detectors, I don't mind, you can't be too safe I guess so it only took about 5 minutes to get in and get our passes processed right away!
We went straight from the SP processing back to Thunder Run and took a back seat ride, Lucky we knew how to get to it because the entrance is so hidden, I'd almost bet people walk around it a dozen times to find the entrance! Oh well, The first half on this coaster is as good as any I have ridden, Great airtime!
From Thunder Run we headed back to Twisted Twins???? Ok, I knew about the name change but was surprised to find both running with no wait! Our last rides on TS were last year after SRM and I found it was not nearly as good as I remembered from its first season, Basically they had not greased it and it was slow and pretty boring and I was dissapointed last year.
Woooooahhhh! Grease everywhere! This thing ran great on both sides and provided killer airtime and latterals. This is a underated CCI when running right although I will not say the most comforatble as I was not expecting Legendesque latterals because last year it was so slow it didn't have any.
Well what was supposed to be at 30 minute visit turned out to be two hours of almost ERT as the park was deserted and all three woodies were running great! We even rode RR Express and the Break Dance and the employees were invisible or nice compared to previous visits of cussing and flashing gang signs!
Maybe theres hope for SFKK? It would not take much to make and keep this park as enjoyable as I found it before SF took it over!
SRM night one: We end up in Santa Claus at about 4pm and make way to Lake Rudolph where Larry Reed and his nephew Kris are waiting with camp already set up. It didn't take much unpacking to be ready and very soon we were on the shuttle to the park for SRM.
We get off the shuttle to see a very, very well done memorial to Mrs. Kochs late husband Bill, all done by the park employees with their own funds and effort! Bill was a super nice person and I know that this memorial was done from the heart of every HW employee!
OK, Im getting around to SRM! We started out with a quick Raven ride and it was running completely insane! I thought it ran nuts last year but when the second to last car gives you more airtime than the back seat did last year thats a Idea of how nuts this ride is! I was litterally stunned and amazed at a coaster that I had ridden a ton of times could impress me even more and deliver a ride more insane than any other coaster I had been on save legend pre PTC.
That was before the park clearing in the Discovery Theater as it was still a bit early. It was very clear that many people did not know this was HW's time to CLEAR THE PARK of people as many just kept riding through the period. Oh well I don't know why I should say this but I kinda feel it is dissrespectful for two reasons. 1. These people are great and deserve to be listened too. 2. Even though it is not my problem, I felt that it might have given the park a headache to empty out before our schedualed ERT.
Well we did the meeting and enjoyable as ever so we had a good time till it was over, Chuck being no dummie and starved to boot made a hastful exit for the pizza! Great and tasty but the reason I did that was because last year they were so crouded they ran out. That was very aparent that this did not happen this year and HW was totally prepared and the brief announcement for some to go ride and others eat and vice versa helped this emencely!
Ok, Our group including URC'ers Robscoast, BGW, Beast and Beastess at Night and swOHman. Friends Larry and Kris Reed and new friend Kendrick and we were together or in any combination of people all night long so the ERT WAS ON!
We had taken a ride on Raven earlier to find it just totally nuts and I was thinking to myself that if Legend was running as good as it used too We were in serious trouble of total coaster INSANITY, so our first ride of ERT was Legend.
Legend! This was my favorite coaster I had ever ridden up to this point and the coaster previously run with a Gerstlauer train. Our first ride was in the second to last seat in one of the two new PTC trains.
The first thing I noticed is a little less room than Raven in the seats themselves but I really think Ravens seats have just been broken in and therefore a little more roomie, I did not find Legends PTC's to be uncomfortable as I do on some coasters that have them with Seat dividers and highbacks ect such as Racer (PKI), Mean Streak and Beast. I actually found them comfy and the soft seat is more than welcome as it used to bottom out so hard in the double up that spinal compression almost resulted in the old G trains!
Ok, First ride on Legend, Great air of the drop which is about as good as it always was and into the new for 2002 retracked tunnel that had become a little bumpy last year, (Thanks Jeff!) We scream around the first sets of dips and turns but something is not quite right and I couldn't put my finger on it. Next up is the Spiral Drop and it seemed great but not quite as insane as I remember and then the double up. WHAT???????? No airtime!!!!!!!!!! OMG! The best moment of airtime of my life is gone???????? Ok, We drop into the underground tunnel and I get some pull over airtime but that first hump standup and holler uncle airtime was gone on my first couple rides. It got to the helix and the few jogs before it were good but it almost stalled in the helix! I thought we were going to half to call a wrecker and winch it through! Well the layout of the ride has drops before every rising turn and makes the final corners good no matter how it runs but I got off my first couple rides dissapointed and sad that a once insane brutally fun coaster was not as fast and furious as it once was.
See footnote 1. and 2. as there were some obvious reasons and things that would change my opinion greatly over the next 30hrs.
Well later on it drizzled a bit and I got a rain ride that was almost as good as it ever ran so I was content that there was hope and I also figured out some other things that are include in the footnotes but the rest of the night was pure RAVEN in INSANE MODE PERSONIFIED! This thing at night is so wicked and nuts that if you have never done it before, It must be on every woodies list of things to do. Raven left me breathless and comming back for more and night one ended with me feeling better and a new #1. RAVEN!
I was pleased to meet several Buzzers and others for the first time, Airbears, PKIguy and many many others were there inluding Jeremy :) and clearly enjoying themselves and it took me a couple hours to gain my composure and I tried my best not to say much negative and still be respectful at the same time and as everyone said and I agree, THE RIDE IS MUCH MORE COMFORTABLE (LEGEND). I also say BRAVO as the capacity improvement of the second train made even saturdays previous hour waits cut to only 15-20 minutes! Again, BRAVO HW!
Footnote 1. almost every ride I took on Friday was on train B. Train B had been put into circut after the park closed and 1. Was obviously not broke in or warmed up and 2. actually had tighter seats from lack of use as this train has about 1/3 the amount of running as the other one.
Footnote 2. There was a hand missing from the crew and I am absoulutly possitive he was doing his best with one arm as he could. Jeff has a broken arm. (Get well soon friend!) It was very obvious that the park was doing everything they could to provide absoultly the most insane coaster ever and the new track, trains and super fast dispatching all made the Legend great in a different way.
Charles Nungester, Read day two and see how much my opinion and enjoyment level changed for the good!
P.S. These are my true statements and are in no way meant to disturb anyone as it was a personal thing and changed very quickly later that night and all day saturday.
Lesourdsville Lake, The great American amusement park opens the season June 6th Thurs-Sun every week. Park phone is (513)539-2193
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