Trip from Calgary, Canada to SFMM 11/16-17

Associated parks:

Tuesday, November 19, 2002 9:51 PM
Trip from Calgary, Alberta, Canada to SFMM 11/16 and 11/17

So my crazy trip from hell came together pretty quickly, within a week of the idea’s fruition. I hopped on a greyhound bus on Thursday morning and made my way to Los Angeles. The bus ride wasn’t really that bad. I got plenty of sleep and had a good 3 hour stop over in Salt Lake City. I got kicked out of the Plaza/Best Western adjacent to the bus station there. All I was looking for was some local transit information. The clerk even called the cops. It was surreal. Guess the clerk was scared of me. What he didn’t realize is that I had 2 nights booked with Best Western in Santa Clarita, which was promptly cancelled. Once I got into LA I took a cab to Hollywood where I stayed at USA Hostels. Nice little place, and very cheap. $16 USD a night, only open to international travelers though.

The next morning my wake-up call was missed and I almost missed my tour bus out to Six Flags. I took Starline tours as a recommendation from a forum and was at Magic Mountain by 10 am. Got through the gates and went straight to X. Unfortunately I made a poor routing decision and ended up getting on Viper first. I rode middle of the train for my first ride. My personal preference for first rides is usually the middle so I can get a feel for the track layout before I hit the front for real excitement. Viper’s drop was awesome as well as the first loop. Even having gone on Kraken, Hulk, Montu, Kumba, Nemesis I still found the first loop of Viper very exciting. It was all downhill from there. The trim brakes were rough and I almost cracked my jaw open in the bowtie element. I recommend it for the first drop and loop alone though.

Once I made my way to X it looked like it was going to be a 3 hour wait, which I later realized was false. I walked over to the oriental express and rode up to Ninja. Ninja was not open yet, they were testing so I walked over to Superman. I entered Superman and waited only about 5 minutes for the front row. Quite honestly the ride wasn’t nearly as thrilling as I had expected. Still the ride gave a nice little rush of weightlessness at the top. Since the line was so small I walked right back in line and took the back seat. Once finished I headed to Riddler.

Here is where I should mention that I’m a pretty big guy. I’m roughly 300 pounds with a football build. Riddler didn’t like that and unfortunately I didn’t fit. It was odd because I fit just fine in all the other B&M’s I have been on, which is many. I then headed to Batman, but it was closed all weekend. I then walked to Goliath. I was a little shaken that I didn’t fit right on Riddler and was crossing my fingers I would fit on the rest of the rides.

Goliath was only a 5 minute wait. I hit the middle row and was off. This was easily the tallest coaster I had ever been on. As expected I was quite impressed. It has wonderful drops and airtime. The helix is massive and gives great G’s. I rode it two more times, the last time in the back, very intense.

I then went for lunch in the area adjacent to Goliath. Was expensive, especially a Canadian. I decided after lunch to head up to Ninja. Ninja was open, but it only had one car working. Eventually I made my way to the front seat after about an hour wait. I was quite unimpressed by the ride. It was Very slow and only a couple nice elements. I would recommend anyone go and try Vortex at Canada’s Wonderland for a more intense suspended coaster.

I then wondered over to Déjà vu, but the wait was right out to the front entrance so I went back to Goliath. I rode Goliath twice more, then I decided to give Viper another ride. I rode Viper twice once in the front and once in the back. The front was underwhelming. I could feel the entire coaster dragging behind me. The back was very rough and I had a bit of a headache walking off. I checked the time, had about an hour and a half left, so I decided to see if X’s line was any better.

I walked into the line, which started at the coke machines mid way through. The entire extra line areas where not open, so the line was a lot shorter than I had anticipated. I was still concerned as to whether or not I would fit, which would have really ruined my day. I was assigned the near side of the line-up and went for a middle row. I slid in behind a guy who was almost exactly my size so I could see if he would fit before I gave the ride a try. Sure enough he fit fine, so I became very excited as the next train rolled up. I entered the train and sat on the outside. I closed the restraints and had lots of room to spare, making me hope these restraints become the gold standard as they accommodate larger people and are extremely comfortable. I am probably one of the few people who has had the opportunity to ride Oblivion at Alton Towers and then experience X. Oblivion was the genesis for the vertical drop. Unfortunately Oblivion had no finale, as it had its drop and then the brake run. Still Oblivion has always remained my favorite drop on a coaster as the sensation couldn’t be beat…. until X came along. X’s drop is bigger and its finale is insane. My absolute favorite element, besides the drop, is the raven claw which is a thing of beauty. X has easily become my favorite coaster of all time.

Walking from X towards my shuttle back to Hollywood I was satisfied with my first day and anticipated a great Sunday with smaller lines and a day full of X. That night I got to sleep early as I couldn’t find my way to a theatre to watch a film in time. I woke up early, and anticipated my second day at the park. For anyone considering traveling the hostel I stayed at is a good consideration as they have a shuttle to the park every Sunday with a park ticket included for only $40 USD, less than the price for one day at the park.

The shuttle left a little later and I arrived at the park for about 10:45. I jumped out of the van and into the park. First stop X!!!!...................... But to my horror it wasn’t running!!
Noooooooooooo!!!! My horror soon subsided as I saw an employee clime what seemed like 1000 steps and watched as the X cars started testing. I bought my time by first riding Goliath twice, and then I hit Viper once more. X opened around 12 noon. A small line had formed around the barrier to the ride. I was lucky enough to get off Viper just in time and was on the first train out of the gate on the far side when X opened. I took the inside middle and found the ride to be much more relaxing, with less strain on the neck. I got right back in line and waited for the front. The front was only an extra three car wait and was absolutely spectacular.

I ate lunch in the picnic area and saw large groups of cheerleaders practicing for a competition in the park’s auditorium. I then went up oriental express to see if Ninja was available for a second chance. Unfortunately they were still running only one car and the line was quite big, so I hit Superman for another ride.

Superman was a short line I was in almost immediately. I went back in line, this time the second row, got one ride away from being in, when the ride broke down. I decided to wait 10 minutes to see if it would be fixed. It was soon opened again, and I was off for my fourth ride on Superman. I should mention that the right side second row seat had the most room of any that I had sat on. I should also mention that only the right track was running all weekend, as the other was closed for “seasonal maintenance”.

I then took one last trip on Goliath, then at 4pm I hit X for at least a couple more rides. The first ride I went for the back and must say that it was almost as good as the front. The back seats fly through the element and provide huge sensations of speed. I got in line only 40 minutes later and thought I could make it through twice more before the park closed. When I had almost hit the separation area of the queue, the line stopped. No train ran for about 10 minutes. Later I was told that someone had to be brought away on a stretcher, but I also saw a women practically being dragged off the exit area. Either way the line stayed for a while longer. Once I was at the far line’s top stairs the line paused again for another 10 minutes. Turns out they were kicking a guy out who had cut in line and they had tons of security up in the entrance area as they pulled him off the ride and out of the park. I waited for the front, as this would now be my last ride on X for quite some time. It was absolutely brilliant, and I had tears in my eyes as I exited the train for the last time.

That night I got on a bus and headed back to Calgary. All in all it was a short, but wonderful trip. Below is a total record of all the coasters I have ridden for a point of reference.

Coaster Ride Record

Type Where Times Ridden

Nemesis Alton Towers 6
Top Gun Canada’s Wonderland 4
Duelling Dragons: FireIslands of Adventure 3
Duelling Dragons: Ice Islands of Adventure 2
Montu Busch Gardens: Tampa 15
•LIM Launch
Superman: Escape Six Flags Magic Mountain 4
•Mine Train
Runaway Mine Train Alton Towers 1
Thunder Mountain Disney World 2
Thunder Run Canada’s Wonderland 4
X Six Flags Magic Mountain 5
•Stand Up
Sky Rider Canada’s Wonderland 4
•Steel Looping
Corkscrew Alton Towers 1
Corkscrew Calloway Park 10
Dragon Mountain Marine Land 7
Dragon’s Fire Canada’s Wonderland 7
Mindbender Galaxyland 12
Pepsi-Cola Loop Ocean View Fun Fair 1
The Bat Canada’s Wonderland 4
The Hulk Islands of Adventure 11
Kumba Busch Gardens: Tampa 10
Python Busch Gardens: Tampa 1
Scorpion Busch Gardens: Tampa 2
Kraken Sea World: Orlando 25
Viper Six Flags Magic Mountain 4
•Steel Non-Looping
Autosled Galaxyland 1
Crystal Bullet Crystal Palace 5
Black Hole Alton Towers 1
Jet Scream Ocean View Fun Fair 1
Mark 1 Calgary Stampede 6
Oblivion Alton Towers 3
Space Mountain Disney World 4
Goliath Six Flags Magic Mountain 8
Vortex Canada’s Wonderland 6
Ninja Six Flags Magic Mountain 1
Canadian Minebuster Canada’s Wonderland 5
Ghoster Coaster Canada’s Wonderland 1
Wilde Beast Canada’s Wonderland 3
•Wooden Twister
Gwazi Busch Gardens: Tampa 1


Total Coasters Total Parks Visited Total Times

38 13 191

Wednesday, November 20, 2002 2:01 AM
Nice TR! I am going to SFMM in April. I'm glad the lines were short for you.
Wednesday, November 20, 2002 4:02 AM
Superman's left side has been closed for about 3 seasons now, definately not "seasonal maintanance"
Wednesday, November 20, 2002 2:53 PM

No Goldrusher, Batman, Colossus, Psyclone? Seems odd to come all that way , and not up your coaster count a little. Oh well.

Yes I did notice that SFMM's seatbelts were shorter. I have a big friend, and when we went to SFGAm there slack on the seatbelts. Then when we went to SFMM the seatbelts were barley fitting. I mean i is not like he gain THAT much weight considering the SFMM trip was 4 days after the SFGAm.

Cheerleaders??? I have never seen cheerleaders at SFMM till this year, I went there 4 times, and those stupid cheerleaders were there all 4 times.Now I do not have a problem with them, except they are really psycho, and are always trying to be funny, and doing weird things.

Welcome one and all, y'all come have a ball!
Things a bear-y fine, ridin' on the old Knott's bear-y line!

Wednesday, November 20, 2002 5:08 PM
Im pretty much a non-wooden fan. It does have a lot to do with my size as wooden coasters tend to hurt quite a bit. Batman was down which sucked and goldrusher was one I probably could have gone on at least once but decided to up my Goliath count instead.
Thursday, November 21, 2002 3:51 AM
You seemed to be able to ride Goliath alot, and you didn't mention the line, was it short? It seemed like you were walking back around to the entrance and walking on with no wait.


Thursday, November 21, 2002 7:18 AM
The line for goliath was usually a three to four car wait. The line for the front was always constant, about a ten car wait. Only a couple of times on the Sunday did the line stretch down to the tills before the staircase to the platform.
Thursday, November 21, 2002 11:54 AM
ApolloAndy's avatar

Just a friendly suggestion: You don't need to include your track record in your TR's. :)

But great TR. You really have me salivating for my third attempt (the first two of which failed) at X this 'X'mas.

Be polite and ignore the idiots. - rollergator
You must be this dumb to ride Viper. -SFGAdv.


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