The Great Escape - Gotta love the Comet (06/28/02)

Associated parks:
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Tuesday, July 2, 2002 5:31 PM

To start with, my home park is La Ronde, so in essence, any park is amazing compared to what I am used to. The Great Escape goes beyond that. Fun, clean, well run and decent thrills. My girlfriend and I arrived at about 9:20 for 10AM opening. Free parking. Never had that before and enjoyed it very much. We got in around 9:30 and hung around the International area before the rest of the park opened. It gave me a chance to check out the park map and plan the day. Here’s how it went:

We headed to the Boomerang first, which I though would be the capacity nightmare of the day. We got on the last seat, first train of the day. A fun ride, that’s over all too soon. Crawled through on the way back, but that’s to be expected at 10 AM.

We then headed to the back of the park to hit the Comet. What can I say? It’s my new favorite woodie. Violent air from the first drop to the final bunny hill to the breaks. Two ride in the morning, last seat and 1.3. The back is definitely the place to be. The feeling of being thrown out of the car after the first turn-a-round boarders on frightening. Sure I haven't been on too many of the great wood coasters but this one has got to be one of the best.

From there we hit the Alpine Bobsled. Boring is an understatement. I understand the need for breaks but after every helix just when it was getting exciting? The only other bobsled I rode was at PKD and it had some pace and flow to it. Not here.

Raging River was next a fun, except for getting stuck on the lift hill. The problem was quickly handled but great ride ops and the delay was only 5 minutes or so.

Back to the coasters. Nightmare at Crack Axle Canyon was a great ride. The forces in some of those turns were incredible and it all happening in the dark doubled the fun. Too bad I had to wait over an hour to get on it. Could there be a lower capacity ride out there? The wait was made more pleasant by a ride op who obviously loves his job. He also mentioned they were re-working the ride in the off season. I asked when I finally got on and he said there were adding cars so 4 people could go at the same time. He also said they were thinking of adding a loop but I doubt that was true.

Last coaster to hit was The Steamin' Demon. Short is an understatement. They couldn't have added a few more turns? Fun but not worth waiting for. Luckily every ride was a walk on expect for Nightmare.

The rest of the day was spent relaxing by the wave pool at the very enjoyable Spashwater Kingdom water park area. I could have lied in the sun all day and watched that gorgeous Comet toss people out of their seats all day. 3 more rides on the Comet before we left and that was it. Great day. I'll be back, if only to ride the Comet at night.

*** This post was edited by Mtl_Shag on 7/2/2002. ***

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Tuesday, July 2, 2002 6:17 PM
I agree Nightmare is ridiculous with its capacity, and its something that has to be fixed.

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Track Record: 110 and counting.....

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Tuesday, July 2, 2002 6:27 PM

Yeah... Nightmare is really... a capacity Nightmare! I rode it in 1999 a few days after its official opening. Was there 2 days (my parents and aunt came over for the first day, but I used the 5$ second day offer to come back the following day). So, enter the Nightmare line and crawl over those 1 and half switch backs for 90 minutes before going on. The line wasn't too annoying as its shaded and there was zero line cutting. Plus, I had an interesting chat with people stuck with me in line... I agree, the ride is pure Schwarzkopf genius. Only he could make such a small non wild mouse coaster that is so intense and fast...

Loving the ride and decided that well, another ride was in order, I smooth talked my parents into dropping me in the morning at the park (following day) and stay there until the night came, while they had fun around Lake George. So, I position myself at the rope... when its drops, I RAN (which I never do in an amusement park, unless its for a capacity stinker) and I'm proud to say I was the fifth in line. When we arrived at the ride, a security guard make us stop and checked that everything went fine. When I arrived at the station, 2 girls cut me and almost jump in the car. I chatted with the ops when... I saw them run in the ride building and all the lights came on. Guess what? The car I was supposed to get on VALLEYED! 30 minutes later, they fixed the problem and I was grinning at the girls who looked at me thinking its wasn't such a good move to cut me... He, he, he. What comes around gets around!

*** This post was edited by Absimilliard on 7/2/2002. ***

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Tuesday, July 2, 2002 6:43 PM

Nightmare should have definitly been the first coaster of the day. That wait was the only low point of the day, and it wasn't that bad.

Definitly no line cutting. On the Comet they were actually making people re-walk the whole empty line for cutting under chains. Well run park.

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Wednesday, July 3, 2002 12:15 PM

Good TR, this will give me some thoughts on my trip to Great Escape in a month. I will definitely ride Nightmare first. I've been there before, but I haven't ridden Comet, Nightmare, and Boomerang. So I'll be sure to hit those, and maybe even skip over Steamon Demon.

Did you look for any signs of construction of any sort to the left and behind the Comet? I've heard of some rumors a while back, but nothing recent.

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I lost my hat on Poison Ivy. How pathetic.

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Wednesday, July 3, 2002 2:12 PM
Nice TR! I'm going in September and I might hit Nightmare first because of it's lines.

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-Sean Newman
84 coasters in Track Record!! Hypersonic XLC # 100 in July. Waiting for the 305 foot drop tower in 2003. Thank you PKD.

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Wednesday, July 3, 2002 2:23 PM

S:KoS, I took a walk back as far as I could, took a look around the picnic area and there wasn't much going on. I wasn't specifically looking for anything besides a general look at the park, but I suspect I would have noticed something major. I did notice the road connecting Jungleland (I couldn't imagin a bigger waste of space by the way) to the Ghost Town was closed, creating a long walk around, but it's not even on the park map so I doubt it's a recent or significant sign.

SFdadvMAN, you've gotta ride it first if you want to go on it at all. I waited 1:15 on a day everything else in the park was a walk on. The way I figure it, one 2 person train every minute (it could have been longer) gives it a capacity of 120/hour. Fun ride though..

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Monday, July 8, 2002 10:07 AM
In September, lines for the Nightmare will be way shorter, so you need not ride it first thing in the morning. They tend to open Ghost town later than the rest of the park. If you see a rope up en route to the Nightmare and there's people waiting, don't bother to join the rush. It's as maniacal as the Space Mountain rush at Magic Kingdom. Rather, come back later as the day gets hotter. Most people at the Great Escape can be found at the Splashwater Kingdom during the hotter parts of the day, causing lines to become somewhat shorter around noon to two o'clock (a theme park rarity). The reason this happens is because everyone takes advantage of the waterpark, since it's free. If all my advice proves to be untrue, waiting an hour is worth your first time riding, but most people like it only enough to wait once. It's my third least favorite coaster (only above the Alpine Bobsled and Thunderbolt at SFNE), but I don't regret waiting an hour and a half for my first ride.

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Monday, July 8, 2002 10:07 AM
In September, lines for the Nightmare will be way shorter, so you need not ride it first thing in the morning. They tend to open Ghost town later than the rest of the park. If you see a rope up en route to the Nightmare and there's people waiting, don't bother to join the rush. It's as maniacal as the Space Mountain rush at Magic Kingdom. Rather, come back later as the day gets hotter. Most people at the Great Escape can be found at the Splashwater Kingdom during the hotter parts of the day, causing lines to become somewhat shorter around noon to two o'clock (a theme park rarity). The reason this happens is because everyone takes advantage of the waterpark, since it's free. If all my advice proves to be untrue, waiting an hour is worth your first time riding, but most people like it only enough to wait once. It's my third least favorite coaster (only above the Alpine Bobsled and Thunderbolt at SFNE), but I don't regret waiting an hour and a half for my first ride.

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