So I headed out to the park for the last day of operations in the 2002 season after work on Sunday. Made it there at about 1:15pm where Corey Jessup (Rollocoast) and I met up with Chris Ward (duelingdragonsrok11) and Kyle Johnston (Punkin Picker), who had just figured out he left his keys in his car at Kroger -- smooth one genius! :)
Now this isn't going to be one of my typical 15 page TR's...just something small to highlight some interesting stuff. Corey hadn't been to SFoG since 1998 so SUF, Acro, and Scorcher were all new to him (Deja Vu WOULD have been, however...).
First ride was Cyclone in the second from last row (6.1). Holy hell does this thing really want you to leave the train! The trims were hitting but they honestly don't detract from the extreme airtime you get on hills two, four, and seven. One of the scariest coasters around!
We then decided to hit Acrophobia since Corey was *dying* to go on it, and I hadn't been on it in a while. It is, after all, my favorite drop ride of any type! And with absolutely no line we couldn't pass it up.
Acrophobia I *think* got struck by lightning a few weeks back and was down for some time. But it reopened last weekend minus the rotation of the ring. This makes the tilting of the seats that much scarier at the top, because you can hear the air releasing and feel every inch of your body tilting forward...looking straight down at the ground. The ride op says a countdown (which is almost always off, to scare riders) and you drop the 161 or so feet back to Earth...what a freakin' rush! Corey loved it so much he proclaimed it his #1 drop ride after his first ride. We rode twice more before moving onto the Mine Train for a front seat ride.
Mine train is fun and nothing more so it only gets this sentence to say we rode it. The end.
After our Mine Train ride it was time for the ACE gathering at some restaraunt to have a Q&A session with the parks VP and GM, John Odum. Free soft drinks were served which was unexpected and appreciated! The session lasted for about 1hr and all sorts of things were brought up such as how they can improve the park, what they're trying to do with the staffing situation (hire teachers or something interesting like that), what it takes to open rides in the morning and why Deja Vu consistently is closed in the am. Then after that, the new PR guy, Jim (I forget his last name right now) made up some trivia questions for us and awarded prizes to anyone who answered correctly. It was a lot of fun and was cool see how much John and Jim appreciate ACE.
After this ended it was about 3:30pm and we still hadn't ridden Superman. Corey was whining so we walked over that way :). They had one train running (what is the *deal* with that?!! SOooooooooo frustrating to say the least) and about a 35-40min line. Oh well, we had to get one last ride on the first ever B&M flyer in the US for the year so we waited it out. In the line we ran into Bill (rollergator) and his wife, and also a couple of local enthusiast kids, Charlie and I think his friends name was Brian but I'm almost positive I'm wrong....sorry! Anyway, we had some really good discussion, and I think I signed up two more for ACE. :) Remember guys, that's www.aceonline.org to sign up!
So anyway, Chris and I rode with Charlie and his friend in row 7 for our last ride of the season on SUF. It was, as always, an incredible ride, especially the pretzel loop. I just can't get enough of that thing! SFGAd and [unknown park ;)], you guys will love your new toy next year!
After SUF we skipped Ninja and GASM (one train op completely sucks, did I mention that?) and walked past the Deja Vu model (full size) and finally made our way to Mindbender. It was now starting to drizzle so that means the trims aren't nearly as effective on 'Bender now! Corey and I rode in the front row for the last ride of the season and slap me silly and call me susan if that wasn't the best ride I've ever had on Mindbender! Ejector air on two tops of the hills and incredibly powerful G's in the loops...best...s-kopf...EVAH!
Ok, now that I'm simmered down...we said goodbye to the green machine and went to ride the last unridden coaster by Corey - Georgia Scorcher. We saddled up in row 8, and since it was raining, the thing was going just that much faster. Row 8, left side is my favorite seat on this thing -- tons of airtime!
We only had time for one more ride before heading out to Superman for the last ride, but now things were starting to close because of the rain. So we decided instead of walking all the way to the back of the park, we'd just end the year on Cyclone. Rode last row for what I thought would be my last ride and had an un-freakin-believeable ride...now that the tracks were slick, the fins were sliding right through those trims!
Made it back to the station safe (barely ;)) and sound and lo and behold, no one waiting for the third to back row. So I hopped in there and rode with Kyle, with Chris and Kevin behind me and Corey in the row in front of me. Another rain soaked, airtime filled ride was had, and again, there was no one in our row when we returned so we got *another* "last" ride on Cyclone! It was the perfect way to end the season, I thought.
So we gathered up the group, which now consisted of 14 people, and headed out to Applebee's for dinner. Robert, Sam, and Peggy Ulrich, Jim and Andi Westland and Andi's parents, and Josh and Brandi Herrington joined us and we had a great time wrapping up the season together. Thanks for all the great memories y'all, can't wait 'til 2003!
"No honey, the monkeys have already done enough damage on this trip." - Guy coming out of front gate at SFGAd
SFGAm: 1)DV 2)V2 3)AE Blue 4)Viper 5)Bull
Legendary, great meeting up with you again....it was a blast getting to close the park down. S:UF is amazing, the pretzel loop INTENSE...and the close clearances to the ground really DO give that flying feeling. Ga Cyclone wasn't quite as *smooth* as early in the season, but still a powerful ride. Glad we got to ride 'Bender for the final ride of the season, I have to agree that it's my favorite Anton - at least until I finally get to Taz (whenever that happens, lol). The rain was definitely a BONUS!
I have downplayed the effectiveness of Acro's tilting seats before, but I must now recant...it IS pretty scary up there! The op told me the "gyro-ness" being non-functional WAS still a remnant of the lightning strike, but I'm happy they at least had it running - AMAZED there weren't people wanting to ride it (guess *everyone* was at S:UF, huh?).
Shout-outs to RolloCoast and duelingdragonsrok11. SFoG ranks RIGHT up there in the chain as far as I'm concerned, the staff makes all the difference....not to mention "the company you keep"...;) Sorry we couldn't join you guys for dinner, we barely made it home by midnight with the rain and Hotlanta traffic...
Finally, an answer to Bull fan (he's waited long enough)...it seems the PM (preventative maintenance) takes quite a bit of time for DV, and John suggested that it was better to have MORE rides open earlier than to sacrifice several other rides to get DV ready for park opening. Had to agree with him there....
Finally, Legendary has a real point....why SINGLE train the "premier" ride at the park...even when it's a Beemer! The NEWEST ride at any park should ALWAYS be run to the fullest capacity - that's where the customers are. (I guess the Q-bot sales would suffer some though, huh?)
A great way to end the "coasting season", at my favorite SF park...thanks to all!
Congratulations to two Gator greats, Emmitt Smith and David Eckstein - job WELL done guys!
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle - unless you've got a spare planet!
It was also announced that for next year S-UF will be receiving new, larger seats on all the trains (along with any new installations for 2003). Hopefully folks who couldn't fit this year will be able to ride next time they're in the park.
Same goes for Batman.
Thanks to SFOG for everything in 2002, and hoping for more in the future...
PS. It appeared that they only had staff for 2-3 people per coaster which could have been the reason for 1-train op. At least we all got free "Gold" preferred parking.
...it WAS kind of ironic that Gary Story couldn't fit into the "standard" seats, huh? He wanted to check out S:UF before the installs at SFGAdv and "that other park" were complete.
I *guess* they'll also get the "big boy seats" on the two new flyers next year....seems weird to make EVERY seat a "big boy" seat....I've yet to see any park CLEARLY mark which lanes they're in, although I do recall one park that at least had one small sign *mentioning* them...
Bill L. are you mental? I am *positive* that you have seen a park that "clearly" points out were the "fat cat" seats are. In fact, I can think of TWO such parks. One is my "Whore's Delight" HERSHEYPARK. The have a big sign before entering the station telling big boys to go stand under the great bear logo and there, right above the air gates are the GB logos.
Also, IIRC, Kraken @ SWF has a sign pointing out the big seats. Though I'll admit, these are the only two I can think of...
"To get into this head of mine, would take a monkey-wrench, and a lot of wine" Res How I Do
Bill L. are you mental?
OK, fair enough, I do recall the signs on GB (I was pretty sure I'd seen them SOMEWHERE reasonably recently). I've never seen them on Krapen, er uh, Kraken...apologies to all those who love the ride. Usually I just walk up and grab a seat - never any lines at SeaWorld, except for the free beer line, lol.
As fas as me being "mental", I *assumed* THAT was a given by now. But I am STRONGLY in favor of giving the information to the guests and letting them use it as they will. Hate seeing the ops have to shift around guests (when they should be dispatching) because someone didn't know where to sit....Deja Vu, anyone?
Hey Joe and Bill, it's Charlie from the Superman queue yesterday....glad to have met you all.
I agree, the 1 train situation for S: UF sucked...I would have ridden at least once more if the line wasn't so darn long! But once is better than not at all I suppose.
Batman was friggen awesome! Definitley my favorite. There's just something about those B+M inverts that I can't pass up---I guess it's the intensity!
I had never ridden Scorcher in the evening/night (nor in the rain for that matter), and it was even better than usual. It's not the biggest or fastest, but it sure is fun.
The Cyclone was a great way to end the year. I got some big air time in the back. And the rain made it that much better.
All in all I'd say it was a pretty good day at the park....rode 4 great coasters (some in the rain), met some other enthusiasts by pure chance, decided to join ACE, and got to experience the pretzel loop without blacking out. All in 3 hours. Doesn't get much better than that.
Oh, and BTW Joe, that other kid's name was indeed Bryan...but he is my brother. I'll make him sign up here too. Later.
Since I don't have much else to add, I won't do my own full blown TR. I did get there shortly after opening and rode everything before the lines got bad. I also did not like the one-train op (Mine Train the exception...it, Freefall, and Acro were the only walk-ons all day.) I got my SUF ride early on and did not even bother waiting again with one train op. It's not like they need to prevent wear and tear on the trains when they will be taken apart during the offseason anyways.
There was a slight delay on Mindbender because the train was stopped at the wrong spot in the station, and the a mechanic was required to push the train out of the station. Great ride. As odd as it seems, I like Acrophobia much better without the rotation. It makes the tilt much more noticeable, as well as the verticle ascent. I completely forgot about the ACE shindig, as I was needing to leave soon anyways. Joe, I actually caught you guys entering the Mine Train on my way out...sorry I couldn't "join the party." I, as well, took my final ride of the season on Cyclone, which kicked butt in more ways than one.
The 50% off everything was a big plus though ( I saw one lady enter the park at opening, buy bagfuls of merchandise, and leave). Not often at SFOG will you get a giant Turkey Leg and Fries for some $3.00. I even did the Ham on Rye VR theater as it was only $2.00 (interesting, but not something I'd pay full price for). This was a great way to end the season at SFOG, although one more train on SUF, as well as Deja Vu being up would have made it even more excellent.
Sean, who was asked for ID when buying RCT2.
Nitro, Gemini, Laser, Ice, Thunder...The American Gladiators!
The only Coasterbuzz member with Ridgeline Racer in their Track Record.
Is that a Q-bot in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
Fun times to be had by all on Sunday. Hey Chris,... did you give the Navajo Joe Shirt to you know who?;-)
Anyway,.. can't wait for next year. There will be some awesome events down in the South. Can't wait. Oh,.. and I could not have thought of a better way to end the season than dinner with 13 other people at Applebee's.
"Sit down, enjoy much airtime and put your feet IN the fire!"
"He's gross,... He ain't gettin' none of this!"
Great TR, I think my favorite part was when you saw Sylvestor in the motorized cart.
(Personally I can't believe he made it through the season without getting another hole punch in his SP) :-)
Whoops! I forgot Kevin Smallhorn was with us too! How'd I do that? Oh well, lil' Red Rosie was in our group too and he said funny things. The end. ;)
I can't believe I actually remembered your brothers name! And I even almost spelled it correctly lol. Yeah you guys definitely need to join ACE, I think you'll find it worthwhile.
You always seem to find a better way of looking at things. The free parking was a definite plus! Can't wait to get together for those Travel Channel shows too, rock on.
I'm glad I spelled her name right! It was cool of you guys to make the 4hr journey just to see me for closing day. That's why you came, right? ;)
Flabby Lips, you'd better watch your back... =-o
Everyone else, thanks for reading the TR! Maybe I'll finish that one from OcBoulderFest now, eh? Yeah, that'll be the day hehe.
"No honey, the monkeys have already done enough damage on this trip." - Guy coming out of front gate at SFGAd
Riiiiiiight Joe. Riiiiiight. ;)
Nice TR Joe,
Since I wasn't able to make it down there for that day, reading a TR I guess was the next best thing. I had a great time hanging out with you guys down there this season and I know I will be back soon.
-Sean (who is no longer going to say "what's up?" to certain people anymore for one reason in particular. LOL)
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