Why does gator *keep* praising SFoG...here's why!

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rollergator's avatar
Well, there's an easy one...ask me something harder! John Odum and staff put together an *amazing* event for us...ERT galore, lunch, and some excellent "surprises". Thanks as well to the Ulrichs and to those ACErs who put in alot of effort to not only make this event possible, but to make it an event to remember.

At the opening for the event, we were informed that there had been some trouble with Superman the night before. Undaunted, we headed for GASM. Sure, we knew it had some work done for the 30th Anniversary of the coaster, but before we left, we would know SO much more about the ride. Of course, for now it was RIDING time, so ride we did...the infamous *pothole* had been fixed so well you could barely remember it being there. After returning to the station, it appeared that SUF was operating...bummer, LOL. It was about breakfast time anyway, and I was ready for some *pretzels*. Getting back seat rides on that thing is amazing! The pull is so forceful even experienced ACE members can't seem to scream through it...the wind just leaves your lungs. So, after several rides on SUF, there was time for one more ride on GASM before the crowds arrived. While I truly love the setting and the ride (train junkies unite!), those bunnies always get me....the trains just seem to *skip* over those hills, and the AIRTIME....hooray!

So with our morning ERT ended, we meandered around the beautiful park, riding, enjoying the scenery and landscaping. Heading over toward Gotham City, we stopped for a quick look through the Cartoon Network store (or should I say SuperStore...yes, I definitely should). After seeing an array of *Adult Swim* merchandise, we KNEW we'd return for some souvenirs before leaving Atlanta....cartoons aren't just for kids anymore, LOL.

After some Mindbending action, we progressed around the park, getting some rides, etc. before lunch at the Carrot Club. While I loved the fried chicken and BBQ, I *do* have to suggest that parks set up some cheese sandwiches or something for our vegetarian members...esp. since Jill is "one of them". The food was excellent, but I think the *on-site registration* proved to be considerably larger than anticipated as we spilled out of the Carrot Club.

After consuming vast quantites of food and beverage, the drawing for "behind the scenes tours" was held. Then there was a movie which told the story "The Making of GASM", complete with interviews, etc. This was dug up from the archives, and is available to attendees in DVD format. Also, SFoG announced they are holding a *30-hour marathon* to celebrate the coaster's 30th Anniversary. A drawing was held to determine who would get to ride for this historic event. Congratulations to the winners, certainly sounds like a LOT of fun.

After the winners were announced, we got a bit of a jump-start on the evening ERT...Mindbender and B:TR were first up, then on to the entrance area for Ga Cyclone, Acrophobia and Ga Scorcher. After several Mindbending rides (awesome), I went over for a couple front rides on B:TR. Now it might have been the ERT enthusiasm, but I don't ever recall a better B:TR ride...thatthing was *flying*. Back to Mindbender for a couple more, even got to ride with Sean F., who apparently was enjoying the EJECTOR air on top of the second hill...;) Then, we were told it was time to move on for yet more ERT.

They were having a small problem with Scorcher (which was resolved fairly quickly), but I knew what I wanted...more wood! Sure it was pretty chilly out, but you couldn't tell by the coasters. Well, I got a LOT of rides on GC, and to tell the truth, I now rate this clone below ONLY the original. Viper may have had a little better tracking, but even with the trims engaging the ride was *awesome*. After quite a few spins, we noticed Acro was spinning its way to the top with very few riders. Well, went over and caught a couple drops before the event (finally) came to an end. We hung out a little by Cyclone to shoot the breeze with some fellow enthusiasts, then off to Waffle House for some nice HOT coffee and some breakfast...

Why's SFoG so good? Great steel, great wood, great landscaping, scenery, etc., all make it a really nice park. But, as always for me, what *really* makes the difference....the STAFF. It's what really sets the park above the others IMO, and why I'm happy to have it be my SF home park, even if for only a couple visits a year.
Dr. Thrill IS my family practitioner
"As clear as mud for over 35 years"...and still going STRONG...thanks, redman...:)

It was a fun day wasn't it? This was our second ACE event and we loved it. Everything was running great, well everything except for Deja Vu. The night ERT was definitely the highlight though. I don't think that I've ever felt Batman move so fast. It was absolutely cooking. Plus I think that I've found a new appreciation for the Cyclone. What a great, wild ride. All in all a great day. It was a pleasure meeting you for the few minutes that we chatted while waiting in line to get into the park.
Very nice report 'Gator. In English and everything. ;)
Saturday was a great day at the park. It's great to hear someone commenting on SFOG's staff, because, franky, in the past, most of the staff has just plain out sucked (with a few exceptions)... but I think that they really picked the top people to work at the park (or the top people applied)...
Wow, I never knew you were at the event Gator. I was there that day with a large group but not for the event (had to work and didn't feel the price was justified in the ERT, although I'm *sure* attendees felt different! I just have debt I want to get rid of ;)).

I agree with basically everything you said except one HUGE disagreement...the STAFF.

This year so far, most of the ride ops have been very good, compared to the past. I have had tons of "hi how are ya's" and "did you enjoy your ride's" and all that from the ops. The food employees , while being unbelievable slow, were at least semi-nice so far this year.

But the one department I absolutely loathe (yes, strong word, but it's warranted) is the security department.

During my visit on Sat, I was with friends from IL who came to ride SUF mostly. They had one ride during the day and wanted one more before the park closed at 6pm. So at about 5:45pm they were by the entrance waiting for us. Also by the entrance was a secrity guard (who "claims his name is Officer Wilson, however how am I supposed to know this when he doesn't have a name tag on? Shouldn't there be some enforcement for this? Either way he was a larger, stocky, African American guy...) who, at 5:50pm closed the entrance to the line without warning. Literally, there were people no more than ten feet from entering the queue and he closed it right in front of them, ten minutes early.

So when Kyle, Chris, and I met up with my friends in front of the queue, we saw the entrance closed. I walked up there to see why it was closed, since there were 10 mins left of the operating day. I asked Officer Wilson why it was closed and, with his arms crossed, he answered very coldly, "Ride's closed, no more for the day."

So that annoyed the crap out of me because you could obviously tell he wasn't listening to reason or logic, just what he says goes. And that's not how it should be, IMO. I was thinking "why does security decide when to close the line, don't the ride supervisors train their staff to close it at closing time?" So I kept asking different questions to him and telling him what I thought of the situation and how I could tell he didn't give a crap about how my day was going, in fact, I almost would say he was ENJOYING not letting us ride. So I did what I've had to do so many times in the past...go up the exit and speak with someone who actually has authority, a rides supervisor.

So our group went up there and I spoke with a man name Thenarius (spelled wrong but it's close!) Ward. I explained the entire situation and he was VERY helpful and everything; he listened to what I had to say and made the situation right, for our group at least. He let us ride (it STILL wasn't even 6pm yet!) one last time. I explained what happend at the front (btw, there was an African American ride op who claims he has power to close the line, named PJ...) of the queue and asked "What is the official closing policy?" and he responded "The operators are trained to close the queue at the closing time, in this case, 6pm." That's exactly what I thought, and told him how this is NOT an uncommon occurance, and that I really hated the inconsistancies, and maybe the ops need to be retrained on proper closing procedures.

So we got our ride, thanked Mr. Ward for his awesome guest service and left the park on a happier note than if we hadn't gotten to ride SUF one last time before closing.

I went to GR and got a form in which I am going to say Officer Wilson and PJ did an absolutely horrible job in handling the situation and how Thenarius did a great job redeeming their screw up. I feel sorry for the (at LEAST) thirty people behind us who saw the queue was closed and didn't get their last ride. They were just as upset as I was but didn't realize they were talking to a brick wall.

Sorry to make this so long, but if there's one thing I cannot *stand* it's inconsistancies at parks. Especially the closing the queue early, because that last ride ends your day on a positive note...I mean, in ten minutes, maybe fifty people would have showed up? Two more trains? Is it really worth it closing it early to save two trains worth of cycling but piss off all those guests?

"No honey, the monkeys have already done enough damage on this trip." - Guy coming out of front gate at SFGAd

Oh. My. God.

Gator actually typed up a trip report. ;)

And a good one, at that.

rollergator said:
Back to Mindbender for a couple more, even got to ride with Sean F., who apparently was enjoying the EJECTOR air on top of the second hill...;) Then, we were told it was time to move on for yet more ERT.

Oh yes! Funny how just moving to one seat makes all the differnce in the world!

Thanks for the TR! Now I don't have to do one. =:^)


Nice TR,so I see that SFA isn't the only SF park that favors closing the queues to it's most popular rides at least 1/2 hour to 15 minutes before park closing(cough cough S:ROS/Batwing cough cough) I ohh so hate it when that happens.
But that's the thing Batwing Fan...it's *not* policy to do this, as the supervisor stated to me! It was just a couple of bad employees who would rather get off ten minutes earlier than pleasing their guests. It needs to stop.

"No honey, the monkeys have already done enough damage on this trip." - Guy coming out of front gate at SFGAd

rollergator's avatar
Alright, well, in fact I also had ONE negative experience...the female op on Acro during ERT had her own policy about glasses...."Straps don't matter". So, I took off my glasses for the ride....I think there IS a point that needs to be made to park management in general, at *all* parks...CONSISTENCY. If I ride S:UF with glasses and straps the first time, it's annoying to be told the next time that I can't wear them...

Also, park security always seems to be on a different page, at events especially (I've noticed this at several other parks as well). Would it be possible for GR to inform security that there WILL be guests in the park after closing, and that we are *supposed* to be there....almost got kicked out at an event before 'cause security didn't know about us....;)

But the number of *positive* interactions I had with ops, and food service people, and check-out people at shops, outweighed the negative by about 20 to 1. I am bummed about not seeing Joe C., but I'm sure he'll show at HW sometime soon...;)

Pale Rider, it was good talking with you guys as well, certainly made the wait through security much more enjoyable...thanks!

Oh, and dawn (and chris, this goes for you too)...well, I'm not speaking to you guys, in English or any *other* language....hehe...:)
Dr. Thrill IS my family practitioner
Hey look, gator finally posted a TR...;)

oh good, I'll finally get to sleep at a decent hour ;)
Bill, hafta say that you technically aren't allowed to wear glasses on either SUF or Acro, but maybe they missed your glasses on SUF. It happened to me, I noticed someone with them on while we were dispatching and I had the operator stop the train on the lift to get them. But if no one saw them as the train was leaving, then I guess you're free. Ha ha ha.

Joe. Beats me what was up that night. Sometimes rides dept. will get with security and have them close SUF early so they can start "sweeping" the park (they start in Cotton States. For that reason SUF will close early with a long line. But it's unusual they close it that early.

Thenarious became a super last season and he's a nice guy.

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

In reality, the rules have changed. While preparing for the ACE event management re-visited the situation and determined that eyeglasses will be permitted on all rides on the condition that they are secured by a sports strap. This information was communicated to all rides personnel immediately prior to the event.
rollergator's avatar
Well, not to cause any grief for anyone, and I certainly HOPE this doesn't change anything....but I'm gonna spill the beans anyway. On *every* previous ride on SUF and Acro, and we're talking quite a few here, I've always been asked if my glasses were *secured*. I show my strap, and away I go.

Important note here: There are NO rides in existence that will remove a pair of glasses with croakies....no launches, no drops, no flying coasters, nothing. *Unsecured* glasses, they should be removed since they fit the category of items you can't bring on....*secured* glasses, IMO, are totally safe...thousands of rides later, I still take my ONE pair of glasses with me on all trips, and I can't drive without 'em....I am NOT a gambling type. I know they are *secure*, and check my glasses strap before each ride the same as I do for my restraints.....I plan on coming back to the station INTACT, every time....

Not an SFoG thing, but industry wide....everyone working rides should know THE policy, and as long as there's no variation, guests will adjust quickly...

edit: PLEASE remember, I'm not trying to *complain*, I certainly had a WONDERFUL time, and will continue to *hawk* the park....but I know (and you know too) that a lot of higher-ups DO read these boards...it's more for their benefit that I'm posting this....;)
Dr. Thrill IS my family practitioner
Hey look, gator finally posted a TR...;)
*** This post was edited by rollergator 4/3/2003 10:51:16 AM ***

rollergator said: Important note here: There are NO rides in existence that will remove a pair of glasses with croakies.

Guess I can one-up you on that one. My glasses have never come off on any coaster/thrill ride/water ride, even without a strap. A brief scare on an SLC jolted them a bit, but they seem to be plastered to my face pretty well. ;)

I hated not being able to wear them on Supreme Scream (rideOp forced me). :(

I found the staff to be pretty good except for the people working at ticket sales and teh food employees. Those people moved so slow I couldn't believe it. You Southerners are so slow and patient, while Northerners always seem to be in a rush. Good TR Gator.

All who think Mean Streak needs a match taken to it say I.

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