TR SFOG 8-17-02

Associated parks:
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Tuesday, August 20, 2002 5:59 PM

SFOG 8-17-02

Well, the goal was to hit all nine coasters plus Acrophobia. Thanks to a little threat of rain that kept the crowds away for the first half of the day we were able to not only get the rides done but get out of the park before the crowds became crazy. Myself, my wife Kim, and our friend Greg arrived at the park before 9:00 a.m., got our tickets, and made our way into the park around 9:35. I knew that the day was getting off to a good start, when waiting for tickets, the lady in back of us gave us a buy one get one free coupon. Very nice! Only the front half of the park was open until 10:00, so we made our way to one of the rides that was open early. The Georgia Scorcher. Now my only other stand-up experience was on Vortex at Carowinds and while I enjoyed that earlier B&M effort I absolutely loved this later version. It just seemed much smoother and faster and I really enjoyed the banked turns. Plus I didn’t feel all bow-legged after I got off, which is always a plus.

By this time, the whole park was open so we made a mad dash for Deja Vu. Unfortunately, it wasn’t open yet so we headed back to the Gotham City area to get Mind Bender done early due to it's one train operation. When we got there it had just finished testing, so after a minimal wait, we were on. There isn’t too much to say about this one. It didn’t seem very fast or intense but it was still a lot of fun. Particularly the way it weaves in and out of the surrounding trees. After we were done, we noticed the queue had filled up dramatically, so we were definitely glad that we had gotten it out of the way early.

Next, we headed next door to Batman: The Ride. Amazingly, everything but the front row was a walk on and even that line was pretty short. I had never ridden in the front of an invert before so we decided to go for it. Well Batman was definitely what everyone says it is. Short but very intense. I don’t know how this thing runs on a good day but this must have been one of them as we just absolutely burned through the first dive loop and the intensity and Gs didn’t let up until the end. I even felt the Gs in my feet, which was something I hadn’t experience before. Just an awesome, intense ride! As we got off, we noticed that everything was still a walk on, so we went back around and did an equally intense ride in the back row.

After we left Gotham, we went to check on the status of Déjà Vu. Well sometime within the last hour, it had opened and the queue was packed. We had heard that it doesn’t get any less crowded during the course of the day so we decided to wait it out. Well it took 1 ½ hours, which included two short downtimes for maintenance, but we finally made it to the front. Well I have to say that the wait was worth it. Let me just say for the record that getting pulled up that first vertical spike was about the scariest thing that I have yet to experience on a coaster. Why? The lower half of my body kept sliding out of the seat as we were getting pulled up. Can anyone verify that this thing has different restraints than the one at SFMM? It seems like on the footage I’ve seen of that one, the restraint gives more support of the whole body, particularly the lower body. Anyway, the ride itself was just about everything I had hoped for. It was pretty much the single most intense ride I have ever been on. Especially going backwards through the cobra roll. Very disorienting. Just a great ride and was alone worth the trip to the park.

By this time it was around 12:40, so we grabbed a quick bite to eat. After that it was off to check out the parks newest ride. Superman: Ultimate Flight! The line was quite short and I have to say that I love the two station loading set up. It appeared to be very efficient as we were up to the front in no time. We loaded in car number two, and I was relieved to see that the restraints were quite sturdy, after what I had just experienced on Déjà Vu . This was our first flying coaster and I absolutely loved it! I could have rode this thing all day, instead of just the two laps we got in. The first time I kind of hung on for dear life (as this is what I usually do the first time I ride a coaster) but the second time I let my entire body weight fall into the harness with the arms out like your supposed to and it was so much better. I felt just like Superman! Very cool indeed and going through the pretzel loop on your back has to be one of the wildest sensations around.

We then went over to take on the next closest coasters. First up was The Great American Scream Machine. This one wasn’t too bad for an older woodie but it just wasn’t too exciting. The most memorable part of the ride was the rather sudden lurch into the final brakes, which unfortunately wasn’t too memorable for my neck. Ouch! Next, it was time for a spin on Ninja. It was recommended to us that we sit as close to the back as possible (Thanks Homey G.!) so we waited for the back. Well I’m glad we did, as aside from some nasty knee knocking this ride was very wild and intense, with some sweet Gs in the back. I especially like the double corkscrew over the lake.

At this point we starting working our way back towards the front of the park with meant a stop for a ride on the Dahlonega Mine Train. This was my third mine train and definitely the roughest of the three. It was pretty uneventful until a very good ending, when you suddenly dive into the mine shaft. It was kind of funny. We had a Dad and his son sitting in front of us with the kid having an Atlanta Braves hat perched rather precariously on his head. We were sure that this thing was gonna fly off his head at some point on the ride and sure enough at the end it went flying. Luckily Kim was ready and snagged it in mid-air much to the kid’s relief. I joked with her that it was a good thing she caught it, as I would have let it fly (I’m not a big Braves fan.) We only had one more coaster to go at this point and darned if it wasn’t a good one. The Georgia Cyclone. Wow, I don’t think I’ve enjoyed a coaster so much that hurt so bad. What more can I say? This thing just pummels you with sweet drop after sweet drop. Sure it was rough but still a lot of fun. I only wish that I had ridden it more than once.

We only had one more ride on the agenda and that was Acrophobia. I have to note that by this time it was around 3:30 p.m. and the park had become much more crowded. The skies had cleared up and it had turned into a pretty nice day. So by the time we got to Acrophobia the queue was filled which translated into the second longest wait of the day at about an hour. I had thought riding this was going to be freakiest part of the day and it would have been if I hadn’t all ready ridden Déjà Vu. It’s not that the drop wasn’t terrifying, as I screamed my head off, but I think that it actually helped looking at the ground as we dropped. I’m the kind of guy that likes to be able to see what’s coming at me. My only other drop ride experience was Dropzone at Carowinds and I think that I was more scared looking straight ahead as we dropped on that. The restraints weren’t nearly as uncomfortable on the crouch area as I’ve heard some say but I wish I could say the same thing about the landing on this thing. Double ouch!

Well we rode everything we had wanted to ride and the park was getting crowded so we decided to call it a day. I wanted to ride Superman one more time but the line was much longer now. After I bought a couple of shirts, we left the park around 5:30 p.m. Well after hearing a lot of horror stories about the park, we were pleasantly surprised. We were fully anticipating a packed house on a Saturday but fortunately the threat of rain in the morning kept the crowds down until about mid-afternoon. Except for Acrophobia and Déjà Vu, we never had to wait more than 10-15 minutes for a ride. The ride ops were kind of hit or miss but for the most part were decent and I only say a couple instances of line cutting. I saw some of the trash problems people have complained about but it wasn’t too bad, most likely due to the crowds not showing up until mid-day. All in all, we had a great time with a great selection of coasters and look forward to coming back again next year.

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Tuesday, August 20, 2002 7:13 PM
Nice TR. Sfog is going to be a great park for me to hopefully get to. Glad you had fun.

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-Sean

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Wednesday, August 21, 2002 8:44 AM
Glad you had a great time, and really glad I could help with the planning (Ninja)!

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Why do we fear Mack trucks, but not Mack Wild Mouse coasters?

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Wednesday, August 21, 2002 5:52 PM
I can't wait to get to SFOG. BTW, there isn't a dive loop in B:TR

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Raging Bull= 107

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Wednesday, August 21, 2002 7:37 PM
Good Report. I'm glad you enjoyed the park, I don't see why so many people seem to hate it..

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"The fish are eating the guest, sir

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Wednesday, August 21, 2002 9:04 PM

Coasterzach1

Your right, I guess I should have called it a vertical loop dive instead. Isn't a dive loop the same as an Immelmann? I'm still getting used to some of the lingo. Thanks for the correction.

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