TR – a few hours at SFMM, 7/29/02 [long]

Associated parks:
None

Tuesday, July 30, 2002 2:39 PM

I made a slightly early exit from the office [with the Boss’ blessing, naturally] to head up to the Mountain to spend a few hours with new buddy Rob “nasai” Leland. Normally I avoid the So Cal parks like the plague in summer but after our good time at Knotts a few days earlier I decided that the good company would make for a fun night even if the park turned out to be packed. This was to be my first visit since the Sunday after Solace.

I arrived at the park shortly after 5pm, met up with Rob, his wife, and two sister-in-laws, and two 19 yr olds from England [James and Eric] that Rob had met earlier in the day. After planning a meeting time the girls went on their way and the boys were off to ride.

Rides not operating, as listed at the ticket windows: X, Sky Tower, and Metro Monorail. Rides found not to be operating once inside the park: X, Sky Tower, Metro Monorail, Scrambler, Revolution [temporarily], Thrillshot [due to “weather”] and Ninja.

After leaving our meeting spot near Revolution’s loop we walked up towards Viper [three trains, 2 hour wait, did not ride] past Raging Rapids to Déjà Vu [2 hour wait, decided to try again later]. Eventually we came across Gold Rusher, which James and Eric has not ridden. It only had a 5 minute wait so we gave it a go.

Gold Rusher – an 1971 Arrow Mine Train – remains a sentimental favorite of mine, with a great tree-shrouded trip over and around the mountain. With the exception of the object that hit Rob in the forehead, the ride was fun yet uneventful. We never found out what it was but it wasn’t big enough to make a mark.

Next was Goliath, which with 2 trains sported a 90 minute wait. We had Fastlane tickets so we only waited ten minutes for the back seat. While Goliath always leaves me wanting more the Brits exclaimed that it was “brilliant.” Kudos to the crew…they allowed plenty of room between the lap bar and our thighs.

The Brits asked about Colossus, so we made a quick jaunt over so they could experience it. The park was operating one side only with two trains. Four other trains sat idle on the transfer track. The wait was only 30 minutes. Colossus continues to be the “Coaster that Could Be.” If only they’d spend some money re-tracking, restore that double-down, and buy some shiny new PTCs….sigh.

It was then time to met back up w/ Rob’s family, so we hightailed it back to the front gate. The Brits wanted to do some more riding so we suggested a 9pm meeting at Déjà Vu, with hopes that the line had shrunk by then. With Rob’s family in tow we decided to ride the only coaster his sister-in-laws had not yet ridden: Riddler [running 3 trains, BTW].

Again, we used Fast Lane passes but soon encountered the most frustrating incident of the entire evening. The way the park was worked out Fast Lane, you enter near the front of the train, walk down along a wall past the long queue for the front seat, and join the stand-by line where the individual queues begin. No problem. The girls wanted to ride the front, so we got in that queue line.

A group of guys ahead of us in the front row queue kept motioning for their friends further back in line. After 6 guys made their way up they also saw people they knew entering via Fast Lane and motioned for them to cut in line as well.
Because the music in the queue is so loud there was no way to grab the attention of a ride op, so I got out of line and walked to the front and spoke to one [his name is Aldo]. I told him that almost a dozen people had cut in line and asked him to do something about it. He said he would but nothing happened.

Then Rob’s wife, Tomoko, went to speak with him TWICE but again he didn’t react. By the time security arrived we were at the front of the queue and the offenders were long gone. Adela, the petite security office who showed up to handle the situation, apologized to us and offered us exit passes on any ride we wanted. Great, here was an opportunity to get on Déjà Vu w/o waiting, right? Wrong! Adela said the only ride she could not offer an exit pass for was Déjà Vu because “they only run one train.” We decided not to argue but instead take it up with Guest Services later.

Post-Riddler the girls decided they were too tired and called it a day. Rob and I headed over to Déjà vu to meet James and Eric. We noticed the line had shortened only a bit, to 90 minutes, so we wished the Brits a fun ride, got their email address, and headed back to use the rest of our Fast Lane tickets on Goliath. My second-to-last ride on Goliath, in seat 1:2, was with a good 6 inches of space between my thighs and the lap bar, and as we sailed over the third hill I floated high above my seat, which garnered a surprised “WOW!” from Rob. A few more rides and we called it a night and looked for a place to grab dinner.

The heat and crowds reminded me why I don’t come to the Mountain often in summer. While I don’t see myself returning again until the X situation is solved I had a pretty good night, thanks mostly to the company I kept.

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"Outside of a dog, a man's best friend is a book. Inside of a dog its too dark to read." - Groucho Marx

*** This post was edited by Mamoosh on 7/31/2002. ***

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Tuesday, July 30, 2002 9:05 PM
Nice TR! This had to be a Saturday correct?

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See THE ULTIMATE in Orlando TR'S! Right now in the TR fourm!

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Wednesday, July 31, 2002 6:40 AM
Todd - no, it was this past Monday, the 29th.

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"Outside of a dog, a man's best friend is a book. Inside of a dog its too dark to read." - Groucho Marx

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Thursday, August 1, 2002 10:41 PM

Gosh, Matthew, should I write my own TR? Yours was so good! Folks, if you are ever in the area, and you aren't too terribly geeky (coaster geeky that is), contact Matthew for a wonderful day. He knows how to treat a guest well, and he made my experience at SFMM a great one.

BTW, I hit Deja Vu in the morning, and man is that one intense ride. I never had any desire to ride it, but all the hype, and the fact that I had never ridden it kind of made me do it. I am so glad I did. That, and the fact that I got to ride in row 15 with my wife on my first time. There isn't anything like that incredible drop from a long way up. Nice, super fast, but not too intense through the inversions....something I wasn't expecting. ....oh, and boy is that last, slow ride back into the station scary!
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www.tripowered.com ~ where the big boys are

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Friday, August 2, 2002 9:18 AM

Yes, its true. Rob did get the special Moosh treatment, but without the full release [per his request]. Perhaps next time, now that he knows me better ;-)

Moosh - who is SO happy its Friday!

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"Outside of a dog, a man's best friend is a book. Inside of a dog its too dark to read." - Groucho Marx

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