The Great Escape (5/23/04): NEW WOOD on The Comet!

Associated parks:
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Tuesday, May 25, 2004 10:14 AM
As I got out of my first day of work in Lake George, I decided to take a drive by The Great Escape. Sure it was out of the way, but I knew it was opening weekend and I wanted to see how the park looked.

As I drove down the hill to the park I realized that there was NO ONE there! I was really excited! Too bad I forgot my season pass voucher. :( So I drove home and around 2:30 I got a call from my friend. She was called off work and wanted to get her season pass processed! I was so happy because I knew the park wasn’t very crowded.

We arrived at the park a little after 3 and processed our passes. Once that was done we headed into the park. I saw that the Boomerang and Alpine Bobsled were both closed. I wasn’t surprised about the Bobsled because it’s never open. However, the Boomerang is one of the parks signature attractions. Oh well. The metal detectors sure are a process. There were only about 4 people in line to get in but it took a while. The security staff was friendly and nice though. Once we finally got through the metal detectors we split up. We wanted to walk through the entrance separately so we didn’t get our picture taken. Nice try. They figured us out and had us pose. Oh well.

My friend Alicia wanted to ride the Comet first but I had yet to ride the Canyon Blaster (Great Escape’s 2003 coaster). As we headed up to Ghost Town, the park looked great. It’s really in a nice location. There are trees and flowers everywhere. The Great Escape may not be a big park but they keep the park looking great. The themeing on the rides is outstanding as well. This was noticeable on the Canyon Blaster. The queue is beautiful.

Canyon Blaster:

This ride was a WALK ON (probably because the park was empty). We ended up sitting somewhere near the middle. Once the one-click lap bars closed (see my concerns about this in THIS thread), we were off. As you leave the station you take a right and venture down a long straight piece of track. We were running parallel to the transfer track where at that time, the second train was sitting. You then take a sharp turn right and head up the first lift hill. The first part of the ride is just a small drop and a right-handed turn. The train shuffles a lot going into the second lift hill. The transitions on this thing are awful. After the second lift hill comes the big double helix (which I heard someone call a corkscrew while we were on the ride) ;) The helix is fast and fun. It’s a little bumpy though. This is really a great ride for kids. I think it’s a good investment for the park. My one complaint is that it’s too short.

Overall Ride Rating (between –5 and +5): -2

Next I wanted to check out the Nightmare while we were in Ghost town. Walking through the Nightmare’s queue is a process. It’s SO long. The themeing is really great though. The park also added some new stones to the entrance that look great. Once we got into the building we realized the line was too long. The capacity on this ride is horrible! We decided to skip it.

Next I wanted a spin on the Stemin’ Demon. The ride was a walk on.

Stemin’ Demon:

We grabbed the middle of the train for this ride. For those who don’t know, the Stemin’ Demon is an old Arrow loop and screw coaster. It’s a little rough but a fun ride nonetheless. This year the Stemin’ Demon turns 20 and it runs as good as ever (provided you position your head above the horse collar and brace yourself for the corkscrews) ;)

Overall Ride Rating: 0

Next we ventured toward the Comet. What a hike that is. On the way we stopped at the petting zoo to look at the park’s new Squirrel Monkeys. They are really neat animals.

We finally made it to the Comet to see there was virtually no line and two-train operation. Awesome!

The Comet:

We ended up taking three rides on this beast. One thing new I noticed were the seat belts. The ride has always had seat belts but the ones this year are new. Also, the operators now have to tighten the seatbelt for you and THEN check the lap bars. This is a lengthy process that resulted in longer waits. It’s okay though. Whatever they have to do to keep everyone safe. The last thing I noticed was NEW WOOD. This was incredible. If anyone has ridden The Comet the new wood is at the bottom of the first turnaround. The little bunny hill with what used to give intense laterals has been COMPLETELY re-tracked. It’s amazing! It’s now as smooth as glass. If they could just re-track some other parts of this ride it would be my number one woody. It’s still great though. This ride also gains points for having the fastest lift hill. Seriously you JET up the lift. Right before the top you literally get THROWN over. Okay… I’ll stop rambling. I just really LOVE this ride. :) (BTW, the ride turns 10 this year!)

Overall Ride Rating: +4

After The Comet we hit up The Pirate Ship, Trabant, Magical Mystery Ride (which needs some serious TLC) and the Rainbow Ride. We also took another quick spin on The Canyon Blaster just for kicks. Overall it was a good day. All those rides in less than 3 hours! It looks like it’ll be a fun 50th at The Great Escape!

*** Edited 5/25/2004 2:25:33 PM UTC by rentzy17***

+0
Tuesday, May 25, 2004 12:00 PM
Glad you found Canyon Blaster to be a walk on. Last year (a Monday in late August), it was a 45 minute to an Hour wait.

As for Nightmare... fast little enclosed coaster, but the wait is horrible! The line wasn't that long, but the wait was 1 hr 20 minutes.

Personally, IF Great Escape was a park I knew I would be getting back to in the "near" future (i.e. the next 4 or 5 years), I wouldn't have waited.

+0
Monday, May 31, 2004 11:11 PM
I live about 45 minutes from Great Escape and I can't stand it. The only good thing there is The Comet in my opinion. I've ridden Nightmare once and it's awful. I don't feel like wasting my money to test out the Canyon Blaster, so that's out of the question.
+0
Tuesday, June 1, 2004 11:06 AM
I only live about 45 min. from the park as well and I love it. Sure it dosent have a lot of good rides, but it has a top 5 wood coaster with almost no wait. I love going up on a friday or sat. night and around 7 or 8 and gettin 10-20 rides in like 2 hours. Its my 2nd favorite wood next to Phoenix. As for the new wood... I like it too. I know those laterals are gone there, but the speed through that section is great now. Plus, the laterals are still there on the second time around.
+0
Tuesday, June 1, 2004 11:30 AM
I was there on Sunday.......I think The Great Escape is a great little park. Rode almost everything with no or little wait. Now, for the Comet....I am not saying that this is not a good coaster. I just don't feel that it is anywhere in the top 5! Maybe top 20, at best.

My top 5 Wood Coasters:

Shivering Timbers
Boulder Dash
The Beast
Raven
Phoenix

+0
Tuesday, June 1, 2004 12:12 PM
I haven't been on Timbers yet...I will hopefully go to HW this october, as well as Dollywood. Thunderhead looks sweet.
+0

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