Tatsu: Day and Night

Associated parks:
None

Friday, June 2, 2006 12:13 PM
First, let me say that this is not a pure trip report. I know that there are a lot of enthusiasts out there that don't give a hoot about what SFMM offers and shuns the very thought of a visit to this park. Better for all those who want to experience this incredible coaster. Therefore, I call this a coaster report.

Theming: The designers of this ride and the person(s) responsible for its placement in the park should receive an award of some sort. When you first enter the park you're staring right at the 'giant' 125-foot pretzel loop as it plunges right next to 'Revolution's' historic loop. You see the train emerge from the trees as it comes out of a turn straight towards you moments before the riders plunge head-first into the loop just as a Revolution train hits its own loop. The timing here is intentional as I saw this happen several times during the day. Good job.

Made our way up the hill to Samarai Summit where there is an impressive clearing of the trees and a nice plaza area with the entrance to Roaring Rapids on the left and the Tatsu entrance on the right. Hard to describe the area as it has a totally new feel. Very open with the crest of Tatsu's lift hill directly over the walkway so when you look up the riders are staring down at you...screaming. Very cool. As you look all around you see the yellow and red track (orange supports) swooping in and out of view, so not what I expected.

After about an hour wait we hit the loading station. Impressive operation with two trains loading at once. Very efficient. With three trains running, this ride easily hits its 1600 rph capacity. We hit the last row and were ready for the flight.

Nice ride up the lift. As you hit the last third you're treated to an incredible view of the surrounding mountains, probably the best in the park since the coaster is on the hill. Then, slowly, you move into a head first position which is where all the screaming starts.

The first drop to the right is breathtaking. Swooping around the tower and over the lift into the zero g roll, also to the right. The first impression is speed and intensity as this thing moves! The next element caught me by surprise as I didn't know it would be so much fun. It appears to be a simple combination zero g roll/corkscrew, however, you're changing direction at the same time. So you go up, bank turn to the left, followed by a downward inline roll turning left also. Awesome. From here you go into the horseshoe turn followed by a short left turn. This is the only place where you get to take a breath and you'll need it as you approach the pretzel. The train climbs a bit before hitting the loop and all I can say is this is the most intense element I've ever experienced on a coaster. At the bottom of the loop you are totally plastered to your seat. Some vibration, but it totally adds to the experience. Also, the ride is designed so that the best and most intense element is next to last. You have the distinct impression of simply dropping off the hill. Incredible. Unbelievably, the coaster maintains a good amount of speed as you exit the loop and swoop to the left into a 120 foot tall inline spin to the right and a hairpin turn overlooking the entrance to the park and finally you hit the brakes...and not a moment too soon.

I've been brief here but I must say that this is the only new coaster that easily surpassed my expectations. I could have made this report twice as long, describing every nuance, but you simply must ride it yourself.

Also got in a night ride (about 9:30p) and I cannot conclude before saying that the night ride was even better. Soaring over the horseshoe and hairpin turns at heights over 100ft makes you keenly aware that those chest restraints are all you have keeping you alive as the lights of the city streak by. Awesome. Thanks SFMM and B&M. Easily the best ride in the park now.

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Friday, June 2, 2006 1:05 PM
coolio i can't wait till september!
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Monday, June 5, 2006 9:11 PM
I doubt the timing was intentional between revolution and Tatsu. Just a hunch. Just b/c you saw it happen alot doesnt mean it was intentional. At Kennywood, the Thunderbolt and Phantom intersect each other perfectly many times a day, and being a Tbolt worker, I know we have no communication w/ the Phantom or try to dispatch trains in order to cause this "fly by" intersection so-to-speak.
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Monday, June 5, 2006 11:14 PM
Thanks for 'straightening' me out...
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Tuesday, June 6, 2006 12:37 AM
I enjoyed Tatsu quite a bit myself, a total surprise as I've been pretty bored with every flyer up to now. You don't get that uncomfortable *belly flop* feel as you do on the Vekomas, and the visuals are much more potent here than they are on the Supermans. I even like the jump into the station brakes that ends the ride as it feels like hang gliding onto a platform.

I'm not sure yet where I'd place this ride among my favorites, but it would certainly place somewhere in my top 5 B&Ms if I were a "ranking" person.

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Tuesday, June 6, 2006 3:23 AM
What DWeaver said ;)
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