TR: Stricker'sGrove/PKI/|Americana July 4

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Friday, July 6, 2001 7:22 PM
On July 4, I went to PKI and Stricker's Grove. I arrived at PKI about 9:30 and went for the |Beast walkback, which didn't happened because after 22 years, the park still hasn't learned to open the Beast on time. For those of you who think this is just a bunch of complaining, it seemes like 4 out of 5 walkbacks result in the Beast opening late. Anyway, the ACE members(most of them) went to the Eagles for what could be considered a mini ERT. After three rides on the Eagles, I went to Vortex for three spins. I then went for five straight rides on Flight of Fear. I have ridden this coaster more this year than in all of the previous years combined. It is just incredible without the shoulder harnesses. I also went on the Racer, Adventure Express, Top Gun and Phantom Theatre. I was hanging out with Arrow guy for most of my PKI visit. At 1:00pm, I left a side trip to Americana before going to Stricker's Grove. There were no signs of anything going on at Americana. the grass out in front of the park hasn't been cut for a few weeks, needless to say, I am afraid this park is being left to die. At 2:45, I arrived at Stricker's Grove before its 3:00pm opening. I was on the first 27 Tornado rides for the day before the crowd started to pick up. After the park go t a little busy, Iwent off to do other rides, but I did get 3 more Tornado rides before I left to go home shortly after 6:00. My current ride count on the Tornado stands at 275 rides. My thoughts about the day are 1. I had a better time at Stricker's Grove than I did at PKI. The reason for this is Stricker's is more organized than PKI. An example of this could be found in the fact that after 10:00 in the morning at PKI, our group of ACE member went to the Eagles and the ride ops didn't have the ride open because they didn't know it was after 10:00-at Stricker's, everything opened on time. 2. Someone from PKI needs to get over to Stricker's and take some lessons about the proper care of a wooden coaster. The Tornado and the Teddy Bear at Stricker's Grove run better every year-the wood coasters at PKI run rougher every year. 3. Stricker's doesn't rob guests with the food prices-the price of food is at least twice as much at PKI. 4. I hope Stricker's Grove becomes more popular than PKI-Stricker's Grove is a true amusement park that is about fun-PKI is a corporate run park that is all about money, but it could be worse I guess, I mean Six Flags could buy the place-then it would have real problems. LONG LIVE STRICKER'S GROVE!

Darren Mullins
Friday, July 6, 2001 8:05 PM

1)Stricker's Grove is open 2 days a year to the public and unless that changes, they will never be more popular than PKI.

2)Since SG is only open for two days a year, they have around 363 days to prepare to be perfect for those two days and they don't get a lot of people to come in and mess up their park.

3)Son of Beast at PKI is much smoother than last year and still my second favorite woodie. Maybe PKI keeps braking The Beast, because of "rough" comments like yours? I thought the backwards Racer had more airtime than the two woodies at SG combined. Yes, I went on the 4th as well. Got 14 rides on Tornado and 6 on Teddy Bear and had a wonderful time. From all the reports I've seen, the two parks oldest woodies(or 3 as maintenance goes) have a lot more to be done than the two at Stricker's, but I still hear rave reviews about how smoothe each are. PKI also has to maintain the two longest wooden coasters in the World daily. That's a mighty feat if you ask me.

4)With the amount of things going on at Strickers Grove and the amount at PKI, I think PKI runs the better park or there would be different circumstances between them.
Friday, July 6, 2001 8:42 PM
It looks like we will have to agree to disagree on this one. I find that the forward side of the Racer, the Beast and Son of Beast all leave me in pain depending on where I sit on the train. This is because these rides can at times be rough. What I do not understand is how inconsistent the woodies at PKI are. Sometimes, I can get a good ride and then other times, the woodies there can be very rough. Only the Beastie and the backwards side of the Racer are consistent. Now for Stricker's Grove. Stricker's Grove is open five days a week during its season. Most of these days, the park is rented out to groups of 500 or more, so this park gets used more than you think. I am amazed at how consistently great the two wood coasters are at Stricker's Grove every time I go. This is a sign that the park really keeps up these rides. A good coaster will be great nearly everytime you ride it, sure, there may be an off day here and there where it might run a little rough or it may run too slow, but a coaster shouldn't go from one extreme to the other with each park visit like the PKI woodies do. I must say this, if they are maintained, PKI's woodies can be fantastic. Let's not forget one very important thing. PKI has deeper pockets than Stricker's Grove, there should be no reason why Stricker's Grove is more consistent about its operations than PKI when PKI has all the money in the world.

Darren Mullins

*** This post was edited by Darren Mullins on 7/7/2001. *** *** This post was edited by Darren Mullins on 7/7/2001. ***
Friday, July 6, 2001 9:09 PM
I guess we will have to agree to disagree, because from some reports, I go in expecting, "oh no, not the 2000 SOB again" and "did they brake The Beast even more", but I always come off with a bigger smile than I went on. Roughness is one of my favorite parts about woodies and what seperates them from steel. But I don't and have never had headaches(knock on wood) and have only had bad experiences on two CF woodies so I guess that's where I really can't see it the same way. Especially since the SG woodies were built more than 20 years after PKI's "consistant" woodies.

But I will definitely accept your opinion as I know the Grove woodies are very fun as well. I'm guessing the group working at PKI and others that go there enjoy them or else they would have fixed the problems. The park has always been good about trying to make as many guests as happy as possible. Maybe you should write and tell them about it. If there is a problem that is very noticible and concerns me, I do approach GS and tell them about it. But a funny thing happened one time with one of those CF woodies and GS. I went up and asked them about it and they said, "Yes, we know it's a bad ride, but there's really nothing we can do about it". I laughed and asked them if they heard of taking the brakes off. She said she didn't know it had brakes. ;)

Oh well, nice TR and I hope you have better trips to PKI in the future. Taking care of 7 woodies(by track length) is pretty difficult though. Maybe that's why the "big woodies" like Rattler, Mean Streak, Hercules, and Predator have gone down hill over they years. Strickers is fun and relaxing, but overall I have more excitement and thrills that I want at PKI. I didn't notice a single difference that would mean Stricker's would have better operations. Yeah, there's a price difference which I completely understand. In the long run, they're just completely different types of parks and have to be run in completely different ways. *** This post was edited by Koaster King on 7/7/2001. ***

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