West Vs East Coast GP

Monday, September 10, 2001 11:49 PM
Hello Everyone!

About 2 months ago I traveled cross country from Washington state, through California, through Florida, through Virginia, and somehow found my way home. I try to take a family vacation once a year. This year we hit SFMM and BGW.

I found that Draken Fire was SBNO as I rode the train past that wonderfully curved blue track. Then, during the day, I noticed the GP didn't seem to like the coasters I did ( which was good, as I got to ride the more extreme rides more then once.)

I'd like to make this as non-flame here as I can. I don't think the issue is coaster enthusiasits that read and post here. I think the problem is the GP.

At BGW the longest wait line was for BBW (Big Bad Wolf). At SFMM the longest wait was for Batman and Goliath. Not comparing capacity, just the wait in line.

Why, please tell me why, BBW at BGW is such a popluar ride when Ninja at SFMM, a very similar ride (with some better elements), does so poorly?

Then, consider that Draken Fire didn't have much attendance, leading to its SBNO. Also consider that Alpengeist and Apollo's Chariot BOTH had less of a line then BBW.

Now, don't get all upset, I'm really not here to start a flame war. But, Ghostrider at KBF is a heck of lot more intense then Apollo's Chariot. Yet, everyone I overheard at the park was so amazed and stated how awesome Apollo's Chariot was.

Why the popularity of BBW? The partial helix through the town is good, and the drop to the Rhine river is excellent, BUT, at SFMM the track is used to swing the cars more (and, I'm not sure if Ninja is slower, or newer, but BBW was simply a hell of a lot more rough sounding on the track.)

I have to wonder, if Draken Fire was built not on the east coast but on the west, would it have had the riders to keep it operating? I will rate the opinion of others who have ridden the original Corkscrew at KBF, and the current Psyclone ( damn roughest ride I've ever been on) at SFMM, over others that just want to vent.

I want to know if I just visited on an off day, or if there might be some way to get the GP to become more appreciative like the enthusiasts that post here.

Can anyone here compare how rough SFMM Viper or Revolution is to what DF was? Viper is intense, I can't imagine it would do well at BGW.

Also, one more note. The GP at BGW seem to go along more with the wolfpack. Rides would have 5x the line at certain times then they did at other times. I have only seen this happen at Disney parks when their parade comes through. Anyone have a good idea as to what caused such a fluxation on line congestion?

Sprig --- Really upset that Draken Fire wasn't operating.

Tuesday, September 11, 2001 5:20 AM
Drachen Fire would still be operating if it were built at Kings Dominion instead of Busch Gardens.

As for the large pack of people roaming the park at BGW, you can blame the design of the park and the fact that the largest mob of people arrives there just as the gates open. The design of the park pulls people through in a particular sequence, and the park enforces the pattern early in the day by not opening the entire park all at once.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Wednesday, September 26, 2001 11:25 AM

I think this may have been set aside because the WTO was hit only a few hours after I posted this.

Is the east coast GP wimpier then us west coast people? And, to be fair, How do the midwesterners compare? I note there are quite a few parks just south of the great lakes.

Note, this does not apply to us coaster fans. Read again my note about the comparison of roughness between Dracken Fire and SFMM Cyclone. IF you have ridden both, I would sure like to hear some comments. I don't think anything could be as rough as Cyclone. Yet, the GP does ride Cyclone, and it is sitll in operation. How could it be the east coast GP let that great coaster of theirs become the $10million home to an eagles nest?

Wednesday, September 26, 2001 11:37 AM
I still say you shouldn't base your opinion of an entire population on a visit to a single park that is not necessarily representational of all the parks in the area. Also, remember that the behavior and opinions of the GP are frequently manipulated by the parks they visit. BGW is operated by a company which is notorious for operating their rides in "wuss" mode when possible. My visits to BGW and PKD this past weekend demonstrated that: PKD's more extreme coasters were the ones with the long lines.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.

Wednesday, September 26, 2001 1:05 PM
I have to agree with Dave here.  BGW is an odd place.  If you go to most East Coast parks, it IS the big coasters that draw lines.  Batwing at SFA, Volcano and Hypersonic at PKD, Nitro and Medusa at SFGAdv...

I would bet that among the GP there really isn't much of a regional "preference" to coasters, or at least no more than among enthusiasts.

"Beat the rush, sign up for your post-Mean Streak MRI now..."
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Wednesday, September 26, 2001 1:06 PM
In all honest opinion: Big Bad Wolf is 100 times better than Ninja. Ninja is boring, slow, short, and just plain not fun. Big Bad Wolf is fast, furious, and the cars swing much more, and the drop is amazing. I think BBW is one of the better coasters I've been on. Also, Apollo's Chariot is wonderful. Granted, Ghostrider is much more wild, you are correct there. However, AC is just pure bliss. The drops are filled with air, the setting is mind boggingly beautiful, and the ride is just short of a masterpiece.

I tend to disagree that the East Coast has "milder" riders in the GP. At PKD, the line for Hypersonic was over 3 hours. The line for Volcano was over 1 hour all day. Those are two EXTREME rides, yet they were lining up to ride them. Same for SFA, where the most extreme rides had huge lines. Maybe there are more families at BGW...after all, they try to be a family park. However, I do disagree that BBW and AC are not extreme...they are just about as wild as they get.

Wednesday, September 26, 2001 1:33 PM
BBW is the stand alone suspended, the king of its' breed as far as I know. At times, it may feel less intense, it has moods like a wooden. Iron Dragon at Cedar Point feels like a kids' ride compared to the Wolf. I enjoy the back seats of any of those cars, it's one of my favorite rides as well as very poular, that's why it has lines almost always. I've been plenty of times to BGW, and the longest wait we've ever had was about 20 minutes for the second seat. Even on Friday and Saturdays, I've never seen it bad or anything(?) Alpengeist will take what seems forever to get up front.

For all we know, DF could be closed because it hurt people, they haven't said any real reason as to why it sits there, it's just a mystery. I went to the park alot before DF, and now after DF, so I missed it. To say the riders are whimpy is not even an issue. We don't pick the rides, if they'd asked before closing it, nobody would have wanted it closed.

BGW is weird because of where it is, Williamsburg, Virginia. People go shopping and it has outlets, pottery, and the whole history thing. One thing I've noticed walking around there at BGW, there will be tons of people shopping, and I don't think those people ride. Every time I sit to eat, the people around are relaxing, you know what I mean? There's alot of old people, too.

Wednesday, September 26, 2001 1:40 PM
That is exactly what happens when i visit BGW, and especially BGT. Maybe I catch them at the right time, but 13 walk on Kumba rides (we coluldve done more) and a similar situation on Montu, and i would think that Python or Scorpion wouldn't exactly be the biggest lines in the park...boy was i wrong. Same thing with Apollo's Chariot and Alpengeist. It seems the longest i've ever waited (in BGW) was dwarfed by BBW.

B&M+SFGAm=3 excellent coasters.

Wednesday, September 26, 2001 1:43 PM

saviourmachine said:
"In all honest opinion: Big Bad Wolf is 100 times better than Ninja. Ninja is boring, slow, short, and just plain not fun. Big Bad Wolf is fast, furious, and the cars swing much more, and the drop is amazing.

I actually felt BBW was slower (except for the drop to the river), and the cars did not swing as much as Ninja. Note that I did ride both within a week of each other, Ninja first.

I do agree that the drop to the river is quite nice. However, I must also note that this is also the noisiest and roughest part of the ride. Note that I never rode either in the front or rear cars.

Either way, I enjoy the concept of these suspended coasters, but find BOTH fairly mild. I could easily skip either one on a return visit and not feel I missed anything.

Apollo's Chariot was, to me, quite boring after the 1st drop. I was waiting for it to get over. The ride felt little more then being on one of those old kiddy horses suspended on springs. I've gotten more airtime driving 90mph on highway 395. I don't know if it was seat location, weather, or some other factor. I rode it twice, and the first drop was only mildly more exciting on the second ride in the dark.

Now, none of my comments here are meant as flames. They are my opinion and comparison of two certain rides and my interaction with the GP and those rides. I would certainly visit BGW again. LochNess first drop has a great chest thumping G's at the bottom. And, throws you into the station right after an inversion. Alpengiest is just incredible all the way. I think it was trimmed a little slower on the 2nd half then should be. But still, Alpengeist is enough reason alone to revisit BGW.

I thank those above that posted in reply to the GP concerns. It appears my perception and expectations of the parks on the east coast has been at least somewhat misguided. That is why I posted this! Honest harmless curiosity.

Maybe all the serious coaster enthusiasts were at PKD in line for Hypersonic, and not with me in line at Alpengeist!

Is that also why the line for Drachen Fire dwindled?

Wednesday, September 26, 2001 1:52 PM
You confuse me. Maybe next time you're in line you shouldn't think so much. The people in line, well, you don't have to take them home with you.

I enjoy both PKD and BGW, leaning preferrence towards BGW because I'm a newlywed, and it's quite the romantic place. Plus, the lines I've found have always been smooth. The REAL enthusiast doesn't have much to complain about, after all, we all seem to make several trips to parks every year. Frankly, that's like a vacation to most people, so some people look way too far into some things. If you only got to go once a year.......

Wednesday, September 26, 2001 1:53 PM

RideMan said:
"I still say you shouldn't base your opinion of an entire population on a visit to a single park that is not necessarily representational of all the parks in the area.

Rideman, thank you.

The whole reason for posting was to see if my experience was a representation of the parks in the area. I am very pleased to find that it is not, and I will now be considering more seriously including the other parks in the area in my travel plans.

But, I am still curious about the Dracken Fire comparisions. I wanted to ride it! And, now that I have learned more about it, I now want to ride it even more!


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