Where did the people go? SFOG - 6/29

Associated parks:
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Tuesday, July 1, 2003 7:57 PM
This day at SFOG was one of the best days I’ve had at the park, 2nd only to the Spring Fling event in March. The crowds were almost non-existent, which meant multiple rides for my friend Jason & I. Here’s a synopsis of the day:

Most time spent waiting in one place: The parking lot! Well, actually at the gate to the parking lot. We arrived shortly before 9AM, and they didn’t open the lot until 9:35. I thought this was unusual, but the park has apparently modified their opening procedures. They didn’t let us in the gate until 9:45, and then held us at the fountain rather than by the bridge past the Cyclone.

Best choice of the day: Not renting a Q-bot! I normally insist on renting one, and since this was Jason’s 1st visit, was planning on renting one. We decided to run to the rides in the back to avoid the crowds, and when we finally got back to the front of the park, there weren’t any crowds yet! We didn’t need a Q-bot at all.

Best unexpected airtime: Last ride of the day on the Cyclone. The lap bar on the left side, last seat of the red train would not go down past 2 clicks!!!!! I was trying to push it down further, but the springs kept popping back up. This is one ride where the airtime is very violent (drop #4), so I just tightened the belt and headed out of the station. I think I landed on the seat divider a couple of times, but it was a great time. We ended up with 3 rides on Cyclone all day – each with no more than a 5 minute wait!

Worst stapling: Although the crew was phenomenally fast, the ride ops on Mindbender (especially the foreman) were pushing the lap bars down to obscene levels. I’m not one of those enthusiasses who tries to get away with a high lap bar, but I don’t want it digging into my thighs either. Oh well, we were glad the lap bar was there for our 4 front seat rides w/ ejector air, and our 1 ride in the back – all with no more than a 3 train wait!

Best standing air: The Scorcher never ceases to amaze me with it’s standing airtime, especially in the back left seat. Good thing for us, this row was not reserved for Lo-Q. The wait was only about 5-10 minutes, mostly due to the slow crew. This is one thing that gets me about stand-up coasters: they keep locking and unlocking the seats. Maybe if they would open their eyes and see that people are still re-entering the train after stowing away their loose articles, they wouldn’t have locked them in the first place.

Funniest view on a ride: Sitting in the back of Ninja and watching everyone in the first half the the train get their heads banged all around. I haven’t ridden this ride in over 5 years, and probably won’t ride it for about 5 more. I didn’t have any headbanging, only because I was taller than the restraint and received only mild neckbanging instead.

Worst crew: BATMAN!!!! This crew was the slowest moving group I’ve seen in a while. It was as if they had nothing to do but drag their feet from row to row and talk back and forth about nothing. We sat on the brake run forever, as had every train before us. Not that I’m complaining since the wait was only 15 minutes (just outside the building by the annoying siren), but it should have been a walk-on because of the small size of the crowds. They have also changed the queue house, and now have roped of the back 2 rows for Lo-Q only. This can work to your advantage if there are no Lo-Q people waiting. Get in line for row 6, and they will let you load into all 3 back rows, if available. This turned a 4 train wait into a 2 train wait (which still took forever because of the crew).

Best comment from Jason: "I just went skydiving for the first time yesterday and that thing still scared the @#$% out of me!" He was referring to Acrophobia, of course. We had a great drop, but it seemed like there were some members of the crew missing, which made for a longer wait. Still worth the 15 minutes in line for that drop!

Least locking restraint: The vests on Superman did not lock in place on our first ride out. We were still secure due to the design of the restraining system, however it makes the ride completely different. In a good way, when you exit the pretzel you really feel the transition from back to stomach. In a bad way, it’s more uncomfortable on the lift and break run. Either way, there was no wait so we rode twice – once in row 7 and once in row 2.

And finally:
Scariest bathroom: This was not at SFOG, but I had to mention it. DO NOT GET OFF EXIT 82 ON I-75 IN SOUTHERN GA! After riding through 20 miles of construction with an extremely full bladder, I pulled off at the next available exit for some relief. This was not relief. This bathroom had no doors on the outside, or on the stalls (which only had a 3 foot wall surrounding them). AND the urinals were so close together that I’ve stood further away from people while peeing in a trough! It smelled of death. Needless to say, I turned around and went to exit 81 which was better, but not by much.

Overall, it was a very good day at SFOG. WE got a lot accomplished in just 6 hours. Here’s our ride totals:
Superman – 2 rides
GASM – 2 rides
Ninja – 1 ride
Mindbender – 5 rides
Batman – 1 ride
Scorcher – 1 ride
Cyclone – 3 rides
Sky buckets – 1 ride
Wheelie – 1 ride (try lifting your legs up while riding this – it’s FUN!)
Deja Vu - 0 rides (I'm destined to never ride this ride)

As I said, the only time I’ve had more fun at this park was during the Spring Fling a couple months ago – which WAS the “perfect day” as indicated in John’s video.

-Matt
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I-4: The scariest ride in all of Orlando!
*** This post was edited by Matt D 7/2/2003 12:08:29 AM ***

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Tuesday, July 1, 2003 10:24 PM
Regarding the restraints on Superman: I assume you're talking about the black vest that is supposed to retract in? Sometimes it doesn't, God knows why. Anyway, the panel operator can see if it's locked or not (and all the other restraints too), but the vest ("seatbelt" as the panel deems it) does not have to be locked against you in order to ride safely. It's primarily for rider comfort.

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Is that a Q-bot in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

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Wednesday, July 2, 2003 4:20 AM
Yeah, the vest didn't retract and lock, but it had happened to me before so I wasn't worried. It freaked the people out next to us, but then they found out it was okay once the ride started and we assumed the flying position.

-Matt
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I-4: The scariest ride in all of Orlando!

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